📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

How Your Small Business Can Improve Fuel Efficiency And Beat The Petrol Pump Blues Here are some ways to counter petrol price increases.

By Sage

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Bigstock

From this month, the price of all grades of petrol has increased by 67c/litre, adding to the steep petrol price and fuel levy increases we have seen over the course of the year. The higher cost of petrol is likely to put Small & Medium businesses in South Africa under further pressure in a tight economic environment of rising inflation.

Depending on your business, the petrol price could have a significant impact on your profitability. If you run a fleet of vehicles for deliveries and collections, you'll feel the direct cost straightaway. If you outsource to a logistics company, you'll know that a price increase looms in the future.

There are also the indirect knock-on effects of the fuel price on your suppliers' operating expenses, your customers' disposable income and your team's living expenses.

Efficiency before increases

The knee-jerk reaction may be to pass higher costs on to customers and clients. In tough economic times, cheaper alternatives weaken loyalty and you could drive customers away. But smart thinking about fuel efficiency can help you contain costs, while achieving other goals such as reducing carbon emissions and improving overall business efficiencies.

Here are some ways to counter petrol price increases

1.Reassess your travel requirements

  • Adjust delivery and travel schedules to avoid traffic peak times.
  • Use a navigation app, such as Google Maps or Waze to find the fastest route.
  • Combine deliveries and errands into one trip. You'll deliver more products, faster.

2.Consider tele- and flexi-time

  • Host meetings via Skype. You'll buy time and, therefore, productivity.
  • If your business model allows, consider flexi-time and remote working arrangements for teams – if you use their time efficiently and respectfully, they'll be happier and more productive in their jobs.

3.Plan ahead

  • Use data to your advantage. An app like Fuelio tracks fuel-related expenses, helping you to know where to optimise and save costs.

4.Consider outsourcing

  • Partner with a company that already has the benefit of scale and resources to handle your deliveries.
  • Bonus: You'll save on vehicle maintenance costs and insurance. If outsourcing is not an option, negotiate better rates with suppliers.

5.Prioritise vehicle maintenance

  • Dirty air filters, underinflated and misaligned tyres, and irregularly serviced engines contribute to vehicle wear-and-tear and, therefore, higher fuel consumption. Maintained vehicles are also safer.

6.Adopt conscious driving habits

  • Fast acceleration, driving in low gears, heavy breaking, speeding and revving all increase fuel consumption.
  • Educate drivers and reward them for good driving behaviour.

7.Keep your tax affairs in order

  • As a small business, you can claim a tax deduction for all business-related travel expenses. However, SARS won't remind you about this. Consider keeping a logbook to note all your expenses. This will make the tax return process easier.
Leadership

How Mindset Plays a Role in Your Entrepreneurial Success

Don't overlook the importance of mindset when you're starting or growing a business.

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.

Entrepreneurs

26 Of The Richest People in South Africa

Here are 26 of South Africa's richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Entrepreneurs

Example of Tourism Business Ideas

Do you love showing travellers the unique and interesting aspects of South Africa? Tourism could be the industry for you. Before you get started here are some lessons from current businesses you can incorporate into your start-up.

Entrepreneurs

7 South African Self-Made Millionaires Who Started With Nothing

Humble beginnings aren't the only thing these seven successful business owners have in common, but simple childhoods led to abundance later in life.

Science & Technology

The 10 Weirdest Devices We Found at CES

Does anyone really need a 'smart belt'?