Do you really need to travel to work?
5th March 2012
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Despite the government’s promise to postpone a rise in fuel duty, rising fuel costs have severely hit our region’s businesses.


According to the Close business barometer, these record fuel prices have had a detrimental impact on 48% of businesses in the region. As local head of Close Invoice Finance, Rob Harris explains, “From talking to our clients in all sectors, the general consensus is that rising fuel costs remain one of their main concerns on a daily basis. This is having a huge impact on operating costs for firms of all sizes, with SMEs in particular being hardest hit.”


“…it is not hard to see how increased fuel costs are causing firms a lot of additional pressure, which is ultimately pushing some beyond their limits.”


So what is the answer?


If travelling is a must, why not see if you can car share with fellow employees? Not only do you save money on fuel and reduce the amount of traffic in Haverhill, but you can also save pennies on expensive car parking if your workplace doesn’t have its own staff parking.


Alternatively, if you must drive to work, or your role includes travelling to visit clients, contacts and suppliers, there are a few tips that will help you conserve fuel:


Slow down! One of the simplest – and most effective ways to conserve fuel is to reduce your speed. Fuel economy decreases exponentially as speed increases, so if you’re one of those people who drives that little bit over the speed limit (naughty!) just adhere to the law. You’ll still get to where you’re going, save fuel and the price of a fine and points on your license if you get caught!


Check your air filter. A dirty air filter restricts the flow of air into your car’s engine, harming performance and fuel economy. Believe me – the cost of replacing an air filter is much lower than the impact it can have on the petrol you may be wasting.


Check your tyre pressure. If your tyres are under-inflated, rolling resistance increases, meaning that your vehicle has to burn more fuel to keep moving


Accelerate with care. It’s simple – if you fly out of every junction, speed off at every green light or accelerate hard just to have to break when you catch up with the car 30 yards in front of you, you’re going to waste fuel


Clean the car! No, thebestof Haverhill is not trying to get you to vacuum and dust (although getting into a clean car will raise your mood at 7:30am on a Monday morning!) However, it is all too easy to accumulate an additional couple of stone in weight – gym bags, antifreeze (do you really need it in the boot of the car in July?)... The list goes on.


Consider downsizing. If you are thinking of trading in your old car, have you thought of buying a smaller car? They tend to be more economical, come with a variety of safety features and usually save you money on tax and insurance.


Connect without travelling


thebestof Haverhill totally understands that there are some jobs and industries that require travelling. However, we do think that in some cases, getting in that car is more about habit than necessity.


The next time you organise a meeting with a client, why not suggest Skype, telephone or video conferencing? In most cases, you are still able to ‘see’ the person you’re meeting, and can interact with them on a ‘face-to-face’ level, but at a fraction of the price of actually sitting  in front of them.


There are a number of ways that your business can connect with others without travelling:


  • Skype
  • Facetime
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Teleconferencing
  • Video conferencing


If you’re not 100% confident in social media, why not speak to Haverhill specialist, Social Media Success?


You can succeed!


I’ll take myself as an example: I have been working from a home office for more than five years. I don’t own a car and probably have one ‘face-to-face’ meeting every two months. Yet armed with a phone and the internet, work has steadily increased. I enjoy close and trusted working relationships with all my clients, despite never having met more than 50% of them!


My situation started out of necessity but now I am part of a fantastic network and have lower overheads than my husband, who is in full time employment! He spends more on fuel in a month than I do in a year (on the odd occasion that I need to ‘borrow’ his car).


So the next time a client suggests that it’s high time you met up, why not save yourself – and them – both time and money and connect without travelling?

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