Money saving tips for small business owners

You can’t put a price on the freedom and happiness that comes from being your own boss. However,  that’s not to say that starting off as an entrepreneur doesn’t come with some money woes at the beginning.

In this tricky economic climate, even the most ambitious and hardworking SME owner can find themselves feeling financially crippled by overheads and business rates. In order to keep your head above water in the first few months, and during any rocky patches,  here are a few money saving tips all business owners should be aware of:

Go Green

There are untold financial advantages to operating an environmentally venture; from the immediate savings from not excessively printing out irrelevant emails and going paperless, to the bigger long term tax savings. Going green saves your business money, as well as the environment, plus is more appealing to potential clients and customers – a win, win all round.

Hot Desk

One of the biggest overheads for many small businesses is the money spent on renting an office. For many, working from home is not an option, for various reasons – but that’s not to say that splashing the cash each month on swanky digs is the only solution. ‘Hot Desking’ at collaborative offices is becoming more and more popular amongst startups and freelancers and can see you save hundreds of pounds each month.

‘Hack’ your office

If your business requires a permanent base and an office is the only way to go, ensure you keep your bills and expenses to an absolute minimum. Have you got a heating pump installed to get the most out of your system? Do you really need to splash out on top of the range furniture when an Ikea desk works just as well? Be frugal and focus more on seeing your money build up in your business account rather than build up a beautiful collection of soft furnishings.

Shop Local

Avoid using huge, national chains and companies where you can and work with other local, small businesses and freelancers. Chances are, you’ll get a better, more personalised service at a fraction of the price that big companies charge. Not to mention that it’s always a great way to network and build up connections which may  materialise into future work.

Online Networking

Networking events can sometimes be draining, pricey, time consuming and achieve very little in terms of bulking up your contact book. However, social networking is quite the opposite – businesses are built and flourish on apps we can download on our phones for free. Advertise your services on Twitter, connect with influential people on LinkedIn, keep a photographical journal of your successes on Instagram and keep a note of future ideas and plans on Pinterest – the possibilities are endless.

Money Saving Tips For First Time Buyers

There’s no feeling like finally getting the keys to your first house. You’re on the property ladder – you’re free to decorate the walls however you want without a risk of losing your deposit,  you can come and go at whatever time you want – you can please yourself.

But it’s not all one big party – with home ownership comes more bills. Yes, even more. While saving for the deposit may have seemed like the tough option, you still need to watch the cash as you kit out your first pad.

From food prepping to cutting your bills, here are 5 money saving tips for those new to home ownership.

Be savvy with your central heating

When you’re paying your own bills, you quickly learn why your parents were so frugal about the heating while you were growing up  Yep, it’s not just the mortgage you’ll be paying but all the fun utility payments that come along with it. Make sure you shop around and get the best deal available and also, get some fixtures and fittings in place to ensure you save in the long term. Grundfos Heating pumps come with a permanent-magnet motor (ECM technology) and continuously variable speed control for circulation of clean heating water. You’ll be thankful of it in the winter months and your heating never fails you.

It’s good to talk…at a discounted rate.

While a house phone may not seem like a necessity during a time where we all have smartphones glued to our hands, you will need a landline if you want WIFI installed in your new digs. It’s tempting to just get the cheapest deal possible and never even so much as buy a phone for your home. However, with great packages available that give you free evening and weekend calls, amongst other perks, it may be worth looking into which offer could see you use less of your minutes on your mobile. You could find yourself in a position to reduce your monthly contract with your mobile provider and save overall.

See shopping as a challenge

We’ve all done it – nipped out to do the ‘big’ food shop when hungry and come out of the supermarket having spent much more than intended. When it comes to filling your cupboards, you need to be prepared! ‘Meal-prepping’ may seem a technique used exclusively by Instagram fitness models but those looking to save a few pounds in the wallet should adopt this method too. Set aside an hour each week to plan your meals for the week and be strict with what you purchase from the shops – take advantage of online shopping if you can. Make big batches and make the most of your that Tupperware you received as a housewarming present and freeze the rest for future evenings. Not only will your purse thank you, you will always be grateful of this forward thinking when you come home from a long day at work and have a meal ready in a few microwave minutes.

Upcycle your way to an ‘Instagram worthy’ home

Once the legal stuff is out the way, the fun part of owning your own home happens – getting tobe your own interior designer. Unfortunately, we’re not all celebs with access to stylists and bottomless bank accounts to help us furnish our homes. Worry not though, a little bit of creativity and a few newly acquired DIY skills can see you cheat your way to having a goal worthy interior without breaking the bank.

Scour Pinterest and other upcycling sites to learn tips and tricks of how to make the most of furniture that has seen better days and you’ll be able to fill your house with unique furniture for a fraction of the cost. Not only that, transforming a battered £5 bookcase from Gumtree into a statement piece that will impress your guests is a rewardingly smug experience that can actually be quite fun.

Avoid expensive days and nights out

You’ve spent a lot on buying your house and then more on transforming it into a home – why would you want to spend more time away from it then in it? Learn to love hosting nights in and enjoying days in the garden on sunny days rather than wasting money in the local pub. Instead of pricey trips to the cinema, grab some popcorn from the shop and make the most of your Netflix subscription. Have friends round for a bottle of wine that costs less than what you’d be paying for per glass in a pretentious noisy bar where you can’t hear your conversation. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, transform it into a home gym that could allow you to finally cancel your membership. The possibilities are endless – learn to love being a homebody.

Is Your Garden Really Ready for Summer?

Ah, the British summer garden. The very words conjure up idyllic scenes of lush green lawns, fruit trees ripe for harvesting, butterflies skittering between dense, fragrant foliage and wildflowers, while a warm gentle breeze and the sound of fat bumblebees and birdsong soothes away your cares.

But, getting the dream garden often depends on where you live. In reality, for many homeowners the British summer garden promises parched lawns and hosepipe bans or waterlogged quagmires caused by heavy rains and localised flooding.

Fortunately, in either scenario there is a pump that offers a solution.

waterlogged garden solutions

Grundfos Well Pumps

There are two main reasons why lawns, plants, trees and vegetables become parched and fail to thrive.

In prolonged dry spells, giving your garden the water it needs to sustain healthy growth can be tedious, back-breaking work, particularly if a hosepipe ban comes into effect. Furthermore, if you’re on a water meter, utility costs can escalate quickly.

Alternatively, even when rains are relatively consistent, properties that are elevated can suffer the natural effects of gravity as ground water is quickly drawn away to leave gardens lacklustre.

In either scenario, a Grundfos well pump offers a solution. These high power multistage pumps can be lowered into the ground to extract water from deep below the surface and treat it to remove any chemicals before delivering it to you.

Once at the surface, this free source of water can be used immediately with a hose, or transported to specific areas like vegetable patches, ponds or sprinkler systems via single-stage or booster pump systems.

Sump Pumps

In prolonged rainy spells, gardens with heavy clay soil and in particular, properties situated near rivers, the coast, or in natural valleys or basins may find that the garden is often waterlogged and boggy.

A sump pump can help to improve the health of plants and lawns in the garden but perhaps more importantly, help protect the interior of your home or the foundations of it from becoming adversely affected by exterior ground or flood waters.

If you’re not sure whether your property is at risk of excessive flood or surface waters, you can find out by visiting the Environment Agency’s online Water Maps service.

A submersible sump pump should be located at the lowest point of your garden in a pit. Once installed, it will draw dirty groundwater away and safely divert it away from your home and garden via a hose, either to a drain, ditch, pond or storage tank for future use.

Selecting the right Grundfos well pump or sump pump for your garden means understanding the volumes of water you need to use or remove from it, but by taking steps to tackle problems now, you can get more from your garden in any season.

Contact the friendly team at Online Pump Supplies today. We can talk you through your options and help you to select the perfect pump to meet your needs, so that you can grow and enjoy your own, quintessentially British summer garden.

Does my Central Heating Pump need replacing?

In the midst of a heatwave and summer fast approaching, central heating issues may well be the last thing on your mind but it’s always worth knowing whether it’s time to replace your Grundfos heating pumps.

What is a central heating pump?

Central heating pumps are simply water pumps that drive water round a central heating system. The pump will send hot water, from the boiler, round the radiators and back to the boiler. Rooms are heated due to water leaving the boiler hot and as it travels round the radiators it loses heat and transfers from hot water into the atmosphere (the room). When the water has heated the atmosphere, it becomes cooler and goes back to the central heating boiler. Then the system will begin again.

While it may not be the most glamourous household fitting you purchase, a good quality central heating pump is integral is you wish to have a warm and cosy home. Grundfos heating pumps are regarded as the best available for securing optimum heating regulation.

What signs should I be looking out for that my pump may need replacing?

Some of the signs are obvious; such as the pump making strange noises or overheating. Pumps should only ever be warm, not hot, and noises, humming sounds and knocking is normally a solid indication that the pump needs replacing.

Other symptoms that should be noted are if the pump only seems to be heating some radiators; eg downstairs working fine but upstairs ones not.

There are plenty of issues that can affect a central heating pump; like most things, they can become subject to everyday wear and tear. There’s also the risk of internal corrosion that can stop the motor from turning, the propeller can become jammed, the start capacity can develop faults that will leak out a brown liquid or the pump can become full of grime.

Can any of these issues be fixed before getting a new pump?

Sometimes issues can be fixed within minutes – it may be that your pump is simply clogged and needs cleaning free of debris. Or a fuse has blown and the system needs resetting.

If the pump is rattling it is worth checking that it is fitted secure before you order yourself a Grundfos heating pump as it may simply be a case of not being fixed in place correctly.

What should I do if I suspect my pump is faulty?

Firstly, if you attempt to carry out any repairs yourself then always ensure you turn off all electric and be prepared for water spillage. Ensure you read all the instructions you have available to you and do not carry out anything you are not confident to do so – always enlist the help of professionals if you have any doubts.

Only a few problems will be able to fixed and most of the time you will most likely have to invest in a quality replacement.

 

How to Equip and Operate a Commercial Kitchen for Maximum Energy Saving

The energy bill for commercial kitchens is typically around 6% of operating costs, which is close to the profit margin for many establishments. Reducing the energy usage will soon see a direct increase in profit.

A survey revealed that energy usage was divided into: cooking 24%, space heating 17%, refrigeration 16%, water heating 16%, lighting 10%, air conditioning 6%, ventilation 6% and the last 5% for minor appliances and office equipment.

Having the correct equipment will make a major contribution to how energy is used. If you are setting up a new kitchen or replacing equipment, then follow these top tips to help cut your costs:

Equipment should be considered for replacement at around 15 years old.

Cooking is the largest energy consumer but offers plenty of opportunity for savings. The most efficient hobs are induction ones. These are 15-50% better than conventional gas or electric ones and require less ventilation. If specifying gas, ensure they are easy to turn on to encourage an only-on-when-needed approach. Gas is generally better than electric when it comes to ovens as well – combi-steam and convection ovens use far less energy than conventional ovens.

An area often overlooked is the use of efficient pumps, such as Grundfos commercial pumps, in water and space heating systems, along with thermostat valves on radiators. You should also look for additional features that further help such as fans that are braked when the door opens, triple-glazed viewing windows and exhaust-gas heat exchangers. Microwave ovens offer the best performance, so should be considered for small reheating requirements.

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If your kitchen is equipped, savings can be immediately found by using some simple energy-saving operating practices.

Many kitchens turn on everything at the start of service, but adopting an only on-when-needed approach will help to bring costs down. Not placing hot food in a fridge or freezer is a health and energy concern – you should ensure all items have been cooled before placing them in the fridge or freezer. Don’t leave fridge or freezer doors open – consider fitting an alarm that sounds after 30 seconds to help to combat this. Turn off cooker rings or ovens before the required cooking time to allow the residual heat to complete the cooking process.

Overfilling kettles or boiling in too-deep water also wastes energy. Using of the correct size of pan will reduce the energy required to reach cooking temperature and placing pans in the centre of the correct size ring will also help.

You should also keep ventilation systems set to the minimum required. Set air-conditioner fans and the temperature correctly.

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Maintaining your equipment can also help energy utilisation.

Dust the rear of fridges and freezes to ensure the element is clean and that air can flow freely, therefore minimising the power required. Cleaning of filters in ventilation systems can help reduce energy usage, as lower settings can be used. It’s also important to set fridges and freezers to the correct operating temperature – the recommended temperature for fridges is between 3 and 5 degrees C and freezers to minus 18 C.

If you can stick to these good practices you could save up to 15% on the energy bills, which is always a much appreciate boost to your profit margins!