Whilst we continue to focus on and monitor the affect the hosepipe ban is having on the landscape and garden industry, one can't help thinking that we've taken our eyes of the rising cost of fuel.
Diesel and petrol is at record highs and there appears to be nothing on the horizon to thwart or reverse the rise. Supply and delivery worries have conspired to continue to drive prices up.
A business running a single van doing 14,000 miles per year (assuming some personal use) is now £1,189.00 worse off than it was in the same period in 2009.
Let's say a one person business doing approximately 2,000 hours a year at £14.00 per hour. That business is now shelling out an extra 4% of its income Since January 2009 just to get to and from its work. The business is spending 10% of its income (£1.46 per hour) just to put fuel in the tank.
Incomes have stagnated
One might argue that to combat the rise in fuel and to continue to make a profit, all one had to do is put up their hourly rate. Well in an ideal world that's a very simple solution but over three years of recession has actually put prices under pressure and the marketplace has become very competitive.
All business owners can do is think about ways of cutting costs. Staying local by targeting work within a short distance of ones base is one obvious way to reduce travel costs.
Reducing fuel consumption can also help. Not overloading a vehicle - i.e only carry the bare minimum - cuts down on fuel consumed, as also regular servicing, correct tyre pressures and maintaining a steady speed too.
Of course if you are yet to purchase a vehicle or you are about to trade in an old one then look to get the smallest most economical vehicle you can.
Let's face it, with the government needing to slash the country's costs and raise revenue to pay off the debts from years of
success excess, there's little chance that fuel tax will decrease.
What would you do to reduce fuel costs for your business?
More reading: The hidden cost of fuel
Data taken from Whatgas.com