Small companies miss out on discounts enjoyed by larger firms

UK small and medium businesses under pressure to make savings

Small and medium sized enterprises in Britain have admitted they need to do more to control costs, but are struggling to balance business expenditure with sustaining growth, new research has discovered.

According to the survey, over half (56%) of financial decision makers from small and medium firms found that the VAT increase had led them to review their companies’ expenses system to get more value for their outlay. But while 62% of businesses admit they could do more to achieve greater savings, almost two thirds (62%) say this is a struggle because they often miss out on the savings, discounts and rebates enjoyed by larger organisations.

The study American Express Corporate Membership Rewards revealed that more than two thirds (68%) of financial decision-makers from small and medium businesses hope to reduce costs by reviewing their finances in the next year. But almost three quarters (74%)  said that despite current economic conditions, they feel that travelling to meet clients face-to-face is critical to the long term success of the business, leaving companies with a dilemma as to how they can save costs while maintaining their competitive edge.

Katrina Cliffe, vice president of commercial cards at American Express UK, commented: “Against the backdrop of the VAT increase and speculation about interest rate rises later this year, mid-sized companies are focusing more than ever on maximising business expenditure.

“Travel and entertainment costs typically account for an organisation’s third largest controllable cost after salaries and IT, and our survey shows that mid-sized companies in the UK are keenly aware of the need to put an even greater focus on how to achieve the best value from suppliers and from their overall company spend.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2011


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