Many businesses and households alike are on the path to recovery following the financial havoc that COVID-19 wreaked on the economy. The country is currently on lockdown alert level 1, and the majority of industries have resumed operations to facilitate the much-needed economic recovery. Amid existing financial struggles caused by the global pandemic, South African motorists and businesses are also getting hit with a petrol price hike, which took effect from the 3rd of March. The fuel hike undoubtedly means that small and medium enterprises face a prolonged path to recovery. Petrol price increases have far-reaching effects on businesses because it impacts your suppliers, operating costs and your customer’s disposable income. The troubles don’t stop there because there is also an expected increase in the fuel levy and Road Accident Fund levy coming to effect in April 2021.
We’ll be discussing the new petrol prices per litre and how you, as a business, can combat these hikes and stay on the right track to financial recovery. Firstly, let’s see what the actual petrol price hikes are, here are the official petrol prices for March according to Businesstech.co.za:
|Fuel||February 2021 Price||March 2021 Price (New Price)|
|95 Petrol||R15.67||R16.32 (R15.84 March 2020)
|93 Petrol||R15.50||R16.15 (R15.52)
|0.05% Diesel (wholesale)||R13.58||R14.12 (R14.03)
|0.005% Diesel (wholesale) ||R13.61 ||R14.17 (R14.08 )
|Illuminating Paraffin ||R7.99||R8.46 (R8.56)
How Your Business Can Save Money
Business owners need to take extra care not to make customers pay more by hiking their prices. In these economic times, increasing your prices may lead to losing customers. We propose taking a more challenging route that will ensure customer retention and loyalty.
Here are five tips to save money during a petrol price hike in South Africa:
1. Dodge the Petrol Price Hike, Work Remotely
If you haven’t gotten rid of your office premises yet, consider moving your operations remotely. The majority of the South African workforce resorted to working from home during the stricter lockdown regulations, and studies show that people who work from home are more productive. In addition to saving on travel expenses and rent, your team can work more efficiently from the comfort of their homes.
The key to working remotely is having all the necessary productivity tools. Our Business Email features team workspaces and video conferencing capabilities plus, it’s scalable, meaning you only pay for the mailboxes needed.
2. Get Online
Businesses that don’t have an online presence in 2021 are going to get left behind. No matter what industry you are in, having an online presence makes your business easily accessible and can save you a lot of money. If you are in the business of selling goods, consider eliminating your brick and mortar store and rather sell online exclusively. In the age of social distancing and the world becoming smaller thanks to the internet, your business can grow exponentially if you invest time in your online presence.
Starting an e-commerce website is not as complicated as it may seem, and you don’t need advanced technical knowledge. Our Medium and Large Online Store web builders allow you to build a fully functional e-commerce store with safe payment methods and beautiful product displays in ten minutes. Being online will allow you to conduct business from wherever and whenever.
3. Outsource Delivery
Outsourcing delivery to an established delivery company allows you to save on operational costs and increase reliability. Hiring a delivery service will reduce your transport costs, and you get value for money because the courier company will cater to your business’s unique needs. Another added benefit is that you’ll have more time to focus on other aspects of your business because delivery specialists will be handling the logistics on your behalf.
4. Drive Efficiently During The Petrol Price Hike
If your business requires you to drive a lot, then ensure that you are doing so efficiently. Research the fastest routes to your destination, and keep in mind that the shortest paths don’t always equate to saving fuel; stop-and-go routes in urban areas may take up more petrol than driving on freeways.
Also, try and avoid peak traffic hours and do your drives during off-peak times whenever possible. Being stuck in heavy traffic burns more petrol and you want to avoid these instances as much as possible. Plan your routes thoroughly by getting traffic optimised apps and listening to local radio stations for traffic updates.
5. Prioritise Vehicle Maintenance
Ensure your vehicle wheels are aligned, check that the tire pressure is right and service your vehicle regularly. Poorly maintained cars contribute to wear-and-tear and could lead to higher fuel consumption.
Times are tough, and if the budget speech is any indicator, we will still feel the lasting effects of COVID-19 for years to come. But all’s not lost, and with patience and ingenuity on small business owners’ parts, SMEs can survive the pandemic and go from strength to strength.