Negotiation is the key to slashing small business bills 

The power of negotiation cut the bills of Britain's small businesses by £511 million in the past year, research finds.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) surveyed saved £10,000 or less in the past year by negotiating, according to a study by npower Business.

This potentially resulted in overall savings of £511 million across the sector in the past 12 months.

Despite the financial benefits, the survey goes on to show that three quarters of SMEs say they don’t negotiate with their suppliers and, in particular, 70 per cent don’t negotiate with their energy supplier before agreeing to a contract.

However, some 93 per cent of the SMEs that do take the time to negotiate energy contracts say they see value in doing so.

More than half (59 per cent) of decision-makers surveyed feel that their successful business negotiations have been due to being prepared and doing their research. Meanwhile, 46 per cent believe this is because they are good at being flexible, allowing them to get a good deal.

Businessman and Apprentice winner Tim Campbell says, ‘Throughout my business career, I have always believed in the power of negotiation. It’s a vital skill that can make a huge difference to your business costs and importantly your profits.

‘I am thrilled to be fronting this campaign to get across the message that polite, well-researched negotiation can help you get the perfect deal. Therefore, I’d recommend to pick up the phone today, and start negotiating.’

Philip Scholes, head of npower Business adds, ‘This research shows that businesses across the UK are reaping the dividends of negotiating their supplier contracts. However, not all firms are entering discussions with their provider, which could prove to be a missed opportunity in the long term.’

Further reading on negotiation

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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