Managing financial flow in an uncertain business world


The UK economy has been showing some positive signs of economic growth recently, with Purchasing Managers Indexes, Gross Domestic Product Figures and the Bank of England all stating that things are moving in the right direction.

However, that does not mean the UK is out of the woods yet. New Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said the outlook is increasingly upbeat, but the positive momentum is yet to reach the “escape velocity” required for the recovery to be certain. He warned there are a number of factors that could hold the recovery back.

Those familiar with the recent world economic crisis will know just what these are. There is the eurozone crisis and the ongoing weakness of many European national economies, a slowdown in some of the emerging boom economies, such as India and China, plus the risk that commodity or oil prices will continue to push up inflation, reducing consumer spending power.

With these and other factors around, the road to recovery may yet be strewn with bumps and potholes, so it is important that businesses continue to be as financially disciplined as possible, forever seeking ways to be better at this than competitors in order to secure their future.

Cost effectiveness in the office is, in every sense a no-brainer. Even in good economic times, a company will undermine its capacity to make the most of its opportunities if it wastes money on excess energy use  or fails to use other assets such as its physical space by cluttering the premises. Therefore, when the outlook is poor or uncertain, it is even more important to make the most of every opportunity.

Using the best printing technology is certainly one way forward. Black and white business printing may not seem the most obvious issue to think of when financial strategies are being worked out, marketing budgets considered, staffing decisions taken and new projects developed, but equipment is one of those areas of basic cost that impact on the running of a business whatever activities it is involved in. Quite simply, a cost-effective printer means lower electricity bills and also keeps the expense of ink down.

Indeed, this principle can be extended much further. Recycling, for example, can help lower waste and encourage energy efficiency, with the latter being a key issue for small businesses in particular. Simply turning off appliances that do not need to be left on standby, for instance, can help.

Other cost savings can be made by shopping around for stationary. Again, this might be overlooked by some, but by seeking the best deals firms can make an impact on their bottom line.

Another potential efficiency saving is the cutting down of space.  A firm undergoing expansion may need more room, but many businesses – particularly those seeking to steer through the choppy waters of an uncertain economic situation – could benefit from saving room through removing clutter and having compact machinery.

This approach could save a company rent costs by ensuring it can stay in a small office, rather than making a move to larger premises .

Rather than being treated as separate issues, these initiatives should be regarded as part of a holistic approach to efficiency – one that creates a culture that enables a firm to make the most of its resources and therefore look after the bottom line better.