With the turn of the New Year comes the traditional avalanche of tips, trends and resolutions for the calendar year ahead of us and whilst some can seem like overkill or simply unachievable, there are some very attainable methods that small businesses can adopt to improve cash flow in 2016.

These three tips below should be something that all small businesses look into as there is real scope for considerable cost savings in the next twelve months to come:

Fuel Cards

Statistics show that the majority of small businesses with one or more vehicles are still not taking advantage of fuel card schemes that could dramatically reduce one of your biggest recurring expenses. Cost savings to your business could be extensive, particularly if you have a fleet of vehicles, with many fuel cards now allowing you to pay fixed wholesale rates for petrol and diesel, cutting two to three pence off the regular per-litre costs. Many fuel card initiatives also provide regular discounts and promotions to further enhance the cost-saving benefits over the course of the year. And that's not all; the online invoicing system for fuel cards – which includes a schedule of transactions and future payments – makes financial planning easier and fuel consumption tracking reports allow you to pinpoint where fuel is being wasted. Overall, a great money saver for small businesses.

Appeal Your Business Rates

It's been pretty well publicised that UK business rates are in dire need of reform, but whilst the government drags its heels in delivering a system that's fair for all businesses and based on true rateable values, SMEs are often left footing the bill for a property tax based on outdated information. Essentially, businesses are charged based on the size and value of their property but over many years, the property may have changed dramatically in both size and value. You may have had it partitioned or now only use a specific area for actual customer service whereas other areas are purely storage. What's important is that you're paying business rates that are fair, but in a lot of cases it's proven that they aren't. Plenty of surveying firms help sole traders and directors across all sectors providing free consultations to businesses looking to appeal their business rates and then take matters further on a no-win-no-fee basis so you really have nothing to lose. In addition to achieving a reduction in future business rates, these firms are often able to negotiate a full backdated repayment of business rate instalments plus interest. So if your appeal is successful, you could be set for a potential windfall in addition to long-term savings.

Energy Bills

Energy is something all businesses use and switching to the most favourable deal is a simple procedure yet it is still so often overlooked. It's almost certain that you are paying too much for your electricity and gas; in fact, this is such a competitive sector that many suppliers will offer a guaranteed promise of lowering your bills regardless of what you're currently paying. We work with such suppliers and have bespoke deals that could really reduce your dual fuel bills by a considerable monthly amount. What's more, the nature of our service means that we take full responsibility for the switching process and ensure everything runs smoothly - and all for free.