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How Small Businesses Can Save Money

Apr 26, 2008
When it comes to small business banking, this can be a confusing issue for those just starting out. Some banks will use this situation to get the most out of those customers and independent advice on small business banking is always a good idea.

One of these issues regarding the finances of small businesses is the problem of staff. Offering staff enough incentive to stay with the smaller firm and not succumb to the added bonuses and attractions of a larger corporate firm is a hurdle to be overcome.

Small business banking dictates that large salaries and perks are not possible. However, there are some things that can be done. There are schemes that are currently running where small business managers can offer their staff the chance of private healthcare plans. These are discounted to the company and also have the added advantage of reducing time employees take off work sick. This is a bonus to small business banking as no money is lost through sick employees or having to find temporary staff and pay their wages too.

While some may think this wouldn't be enough to keep staff it has been found that eighty per cent of employees actually liked the idea of voluntary healthcare benefits. 'Voluntary' is always a good word to use for staff benefits as it is also widely known that employees feel happier about their jobs when they are in charge of decisions that affect themselves. In fact, a quarter of those employees polled stated the choice of healthcare benefits as a deciding factor when choosing an employer.

Staff are the most important asset to any small business and healthcare plans are just one aspect that small business banking would advise is on offer. Other choices encompass pension schemes, bonuses and gyms, depending on disposable income and numbers of staff as to whether or not it would be viable.

A choice of some benefits as well as good treatment of staff can be the deciding factor over whether or not a small business will retain staff or not and is just one of the issues they face.

Another necessary problem that small business banking advice would suggest is that of keeping an eye on your charges. If you think you have suffered unfair small business banking charges, then you must find the time to act to reclaim them and not just put up with it. Hundreds of thousands of people have done this successfully.

Despite claims for unfair personal banking charges being currently on hold, this is not the case for business banking. The difference is that business accounts are covered by Common Law rather that Consumer Law and to this end, need to be worded differently. Always make sure you keep accurate records in case you ever need to claim back unfair charges.

It also pays to direct all mail concerning overcharging to your local branch rather than head office as this will ensure that if your case makes it to court it will be a court local to you. Always make sure you read the small print before trying to claim back small business banking charges. There can be nothing worse than shouting about a discrepancy and finding you were in the wrong.

Be on the lookout for excessive charges. It is only lawful for the bank to charge a fee in relation to what the inconvenience has actually cost them. Charges over and above this are seen as penalties and are not enforceable. Go back over old statements and records and work out exactly what you are owed. Your first step should be to write to the bank and request your unfair charges back. This often has favourable consequences and can remove the need for lengthy and costly court proceedings.

Take a close look at the court action choices open to you. Listen to what the bank has to say and if you decide to proceed, inform the bank of your choice. You will often find that this is when they back down and repay your charges to avoid the bad publicity.

Above everything else, ensure you keep a close eye on your small business banking. Avoiding the charges in the first place saves a lot of time and hassle that most small businesses can ill afford.
About the Author
Banking expert Catherine Harvey looks at some of the advise offered surrounding small business banking and how it can help save money.
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