Are you ready for 2013?

Are you ready for 2013?

 Everyone wants to increase their turnover but in these uncertain times, a priority must also be to look at how you can reduce your running costs.  Make time in 2013 to examine how you can reduce your overheads without compromising on service delivery.

Here are a few ways I can help by introducing you to the right people without costing you anything.

 Capital Allowances

 Capital allowances are a valuable form of tax relief available to anyone incurring capital expenditure buying or building commercial properties. Yet many companies have not claimed their full allowances.

 As a business you can claim tax allowances, called capital allowances on certain purchases or investments, which means you can deduct a proportion of these costs from your taxable profits and reduce your tax bill. Capital allowances are available when a commercial property is acquired for use in the course of a trade or property investment business, or when commercial new-build, extension or fitting out/refurbishment works are undertaken.

 I work with a specialist capital allowance company who carry out retrospective, current year, and new build capital allowance claims, both for individuals and companies in relation to commercial properties.  Most retrospective capital allowance claims that they deal with lead to a significant tax refund for the client.

 There are no up front fees.

 Energy Auditing

 A worthwhile exercise for all business centres is auditing of past energy statements. By doing so you may be due a substantial rebate.

 On deregulation suppliers had obligations to meet in terms of recording metering.  In many cases they haven’t and still aren’t meeting them.  For this reason, refunds may be due.  Examples of some of the things that are looked at are: ·         

  •  Companies being charged for the wrong meter·       
  • Companies being charged for the wrong site address·       
  • A company’s meter being charged at the wrong profile rate·      
  • A company’s bills having the wrong configuration·       
  • VAT being charged at incorrect rates as a result of incorrect Climate Change Levy (CCL)
  • Clients in debit due to profile alterations and resultant back dated billing

Why not take advantage of this free service and save money?

 Energy Saving

 Saving on costs is one way of making your Business Centre more profitable yet many centres ignore savings that can be made on utilities

 I work with a national company who will broker your Electricity, Gas and Telecom to get you a better deal than you are currently on.

 There is no fee attached to getting competitive quotes

 Energy Saving – Voltage Power Optimisation

 Save up to 20% on electricity bills and carbon emissions

 Voltage Power Optimisation is not the same as Voltage Reduction – it is the dramatic imptovement that comes from your electricity being passed through ‘Perfected Physics’ that has proven itself over the last 18 years without a single failure. It is about getting your ‘at source’ power quality Optimised so all you equipment benefits. Only available if your annual electricity bill is £12000 or more.

 Energy Saving  – LED Lighting

 The cost saving benefits of  an LED Panel are such that they can achieve a payback period of 2.58 years, depending on the property

 Benefits of LED Lighting compared with conventional equivalents are:-

  •  Maintenance free for up to 100,000 hours, so no worrying about replacing tubes or bulbs
  • Low heat generation, so reduces air condition loads
  • Instant start-up, so ideal for use with sensors
  • Flicker free lighting, so better from a health & safety point of view
  • Closest to daylight spectrum
  • Power factor of >0.95
  • Colour rendition index of >80
  • Better image capture under CCTV
  • No hazardous components, so no disposal issues
  • Quick payback periods
  • Significantly lower energy bills
  • Reduces your carbon footprint

If you would like practical examples of this, I can provide details by email.

 A financial package is also available to install LED Lighting making it cost neutral during the loan payback period.

 Accounts Payable Cost Recovery and Service Charge Certification

 It is remarkible how many mistakes are made in paying invoices and how often Service Charges are incorrect. You can do something about this.

 I can put you in touch with a company who will be able to identify historic discrepancies between what has and what should be paid.

 All Service Charge accounts should be audited and this can be done by an independent expert to check what you can get back from your landlord.

 Fees are only paid on results

 Office Equipment

 It is believed that there is large scale fraud in the office equipment leasing sector but there is a solution to recovering costs.

 You may be being charged an over inflated price for the cost of goods or there are fees being paid to the equipment supplier by the leasing company inflating the price. Working with a specialist law company, you could get your money back from the old lease and get a new cheaper lease. There are no up front fees and it is based on a no win, no fee basis. There is therefore nothing to lose.

 Water Rates

 Most people and businesses assume nothing can be done about water charges but this is simply not the case.

 Would you like to obtain a reduction in your water bill of 8.3% and have the price frozen for 4 years?

 With water bills forecast to increase by over 5% per annum this could result in a considerable saving.

 I work with a company who, in the past three years have investigated 20,000 water bills and achieved direct savings for their clients.

 This is a totally free service and all you need to do is to provide me with copies of the past twelve months’ bills showing consumption and I will obtain a quote.

 How can they freeze the prices for 4 years?  They can do this by :-

  •  Looking at how businesses are billed for sewage and water
  • Looking to see where improvements can be made
  • Validating charges – Particularly useful for multi-sites
  • Checking for billing errors – This is their main area of expertise
  • Comparison with previous twelve months’ water charges
  • Monitoring of water billing – picking up irregular or unexpected spikes
  • Looking at Tariff anomalies
  • Obtaining Best Value Tariffs from the Regional Water Companies
  • Preventing Commercial Properties over-paying on water charges
  • Preventing Residential Properties over-paying on water charges
  • Auditing billing charges across all sectors of industry

Ideal for Business Centres, Hotels, Farming, Manufacturing, Sports, Food, Drink, Leisure, Commercial & Residential etc.

 Every Business Centre should take up the offer to reduce one of their substantial operating costs


 You can now offer your clients a discount on postage rates and still make your own mark up.

 It is clear that many business centres provide mail franking for their clients and charge a mark up for the service. There has been a very interesting discussion on Linked in showing that business centre operators charge a mark up from 0% up to 25% on the Post Office postage rates.

It is doubtful if business centres actually make any money on this with the lease cost of the franking machine, ink etc. Not to mention the time taken by staff.

 An alternative is offering your clients a digitalised mailing system.  At a cost of just 32p +VAT there is ample scope to add your mark up and save the client money. This price includes postage, printing, paper and enveloping. The business centre saves on hire charges, ink, staff time etc so it seems like a win win situation.

For details of all or any of these services, please contact me on                   07879 48 58 98 or email me at

About the business centre specialist

Tom Stokes is the UK's leading specialist in the development and management of Business Centres, Managed Workspace and Serviced Offices. A Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), with nearly 40 years experience in property and the majority of that experience in the flexible space market, he comes with a wealth of experience. Quite simply, there is nothing in this sector which he has not experienced. In 2000, he set up Evans Easyspace, retiring from the company at Easter 2011. He built up the company from scratch to having 58 business centres throughout the UK and was the leading provider of new, quality small offices, workshops and self storage units which were let on genuine easy in, easy out terms. The Evans Easyspace brand is highly respected and the company is also one of the most efficient in the sector. He is a firm believer that small businesses want flexibility and that is what he can advise on and deliver in a way which will help your business grow. He is also a past Chair of the Business Centre Association (bca), having joined the Board in 2003. He is a life member of the bca and still advises the bca on certain issues.
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