What do we charge and How do we find savings?

Posted in Cost Detective, General by Marcus on November 27, 2013 No Comments yet


Cost Detective


Not surprisingly prospects ask us how we do what we do and what are the costs if they engage with us.


I thought it would be  worth writing a short blog, as our methods are transparent and  our costs are there for all to see.




After we have been appointed by a client the process usually runs like this;


1.  Meet with the boss for 45 minutes to understand the business and what its priorities are in terms of costs. Get introduced to finance team.

2.   Sit down with all the invoices etc for the last 12 months and gather information, just a desk and a photocopier/scanner are fine, no need for input from staff.

3.  Take the information away, get clarity from staff on a few items and then start reporting back savings that we have identified via email.

4. First savings are  usually identified  within 10 days, and once we have completed we will summarise all the savings in a nice short report.

5.  We will agree the savings with you the client.

6.  Done


How do we identify savings?  We take a 3 step approach  to each and every cost.

OK I could not find an image with 3 steps!


1.  Is that cost really necessary? Can we just get rid of it?

2.  How  can we get you to use less, to  be more efficient, whether that be energy or processes.

3.  Can we renegotiate with existing suppliers or suggest new ones?


Once we have applied these three questions to all costs we have always identified savings for every organisation we have worked for.


How much does all this cost?

It is very straight forward, remember number 5 in the process, We agree the savings with the client? Once those are agreed then our share of that is just 10%, so the client keeps 90% and does not pay any other fees. The 10% also only applies to the first 12 months worth of savings not for years to come like some of our competitors.


So there you have it the How and How Much questions answered.

By the way if you are a charity or know of one, we do not charge them even the 10%, so they get the service for free.


If you have any questions then just email me on Marcus@TheCostDetectives.co.uk



Is your business paying any of these prices? You are paying too much!

Posted in General by Marcus on July 16, 2013 No Comments yet

Is your business paying these prices for goods and services?

Markets change, wholesale prices move, relationships are important, we hear all of this but they always result in a price increase from the supplier, not so much a negotiation more of a take it or leave it.

We thought we would give you 10 prices for items that if you are paying in excess of then, it is probable that you are paying too much.

You should also check our other posting that showed 10 suppliers that we have made significant savings against recently to see if they are supplying you. Cost Detectives list of Shame. Or are you one of them?


Are you paying more than…..

1                    1pence per minute for national or local calls?

2                   5.5 pence per minute for mobile calls?

3                   £11 per collection for an 1100 litre waste bin?

4                   Zero to have your Merchant credit card bill sent to you?

5                   £15 for your PDQ machine?

6                   £3 per payslip all inclusive for outsourced payroll?

7                   £9 per collection for Feminine Hygiene Disposal?

8                   You did two years ago for print of any kind?

9                   £8.70 for a case of 200ml Coca Cola?

10              Zero for insurance charged via any of your lease agreements?


These are just a tiny fraction of prices that we have identified that are too high, if you are paying in excess of any of these then just drop me a line Marcus@TheCostDetectives.co.uk and we can help.

Equally if you would like to check a price for anything just email us a current invoice, any cost from A-Z; from Live Lobsters to a taxi to Heathrow!


10 Top Cost Saving Tips for any Business

Posted in Cost Detective, General by Marcus on November 10, 2012 2 Comments

Ten top tips for savings costs in any company or at home

 I Recently used this list as a basis for a presentation I did to 20 business women in North London, it was well received. Not only because all the tips are real ones that we have used with our clients, but because some of them can also be used a home.

              1.     Energy                        Make sure you know when your energy contracts are up for renewal. If you     don’t  you will be rolled over into a new contract at a higher than market rate and be paying too much for years to come.


                 2.   Energy Usage           A very simple tip, when you leave your business tonight take a reading of your electricity meter. When you come in tomorrow take another reading. He wonder what on earth have you left on all night that is costing you hundreds and hundreds of ££s a year!


3.  Fax Machines           Please tell me you do not still have one of these, they cost over £200 a year to run. You can now have a digital fax which means that any fax that is sent to you arrives as an email instead. No more worrying about ink or paper of that horrible squealing noise if your fax shares your phone line. We got rid of ours sometime ago and we now use this, http://bit.ly/MAsfQy  costs £2 a month.


4.   Print Costs                   These costs are still falling so you must ensure that you get more than one quote each and every time. We act as a print price checker for a number of organisations so if you need help with what can be a tricky area but full of significant savings then let us know.


5.    Telephony                    There are again huge savings still being made in telephony, but if you are a small company or a one man band then have you thought about getting rid of your landline altogether? You can still have a landline number and just point  it at your mobile or answering service and you can change the number it points to anytime.


6.    For the retailers amongst you.    You should all be taking credit cards as a payment method, but when was the last time you checked how much your Merchant Credit  Card Company is charging you? It is not all about the headline percentage charges did you now there are over 16 other charges that can appear on your statement? If you have lots of tourists buying your wares did you know there is a way of reducing your charges to zero, and we know companies who are actually being paid by their Merchant Credit card company.


7.      Business Rates                        There are still 41% of small companies in the UK who are not claiming the discounts and rebates available. Have a look at your business rates bill and look for the RV value. If it less than £25,500 if you are in Greater London then you should be getting rebates.


8.      Data Back ups                     Do you back up your data? Do you back up onto a drive that sits next to your computer? Thief will just take both. What about at home are you backing up those precious digital photos etc. A large percentage of companies fail within 2 years of a significant data loss, do not be one of them.  We use a service that charges £60 a year for a terabyte, incredibly good value, if you want the details then just let me know.


9.      Do you run a cafe or a restaurant?        Do you measure your waste food? This is a great way to answer questions like are  our portions too big? Do our customers like what we are serving today? If you simply scrape all the left overs into a bucket then weigh each day you will soon get a picture of what is working and what is changing.


10.      Telephony again.                Have a look at your business phone bill, I want you to look for 2 letters that will highlight the fact that you are paying too much. Those letters are “BT”.  95% of the clients that we work with have been paying too much if they have had BT as their Telephony supplier, are you one of the them?



I hope you have enjoyed these 10 tips, please do not hesitate to ask any questions or indeed add your own. Don’t forget to share this article  if you found it helpful. Just send me an email Marcus@TheCostDetectives.co.uk



Printing Costs: 3 Tips that tell you that you are paying too much for print.

Printing Costs ; 3 Tips that tell you that you are paying too much for print.


The print world is another area where firms are currently fighting over each other to try and get the next job. There are print firms closing every week as they battle each other as well as the inexorable rise of digital media.

Digital printing is now well established and can be a huge benefit if you need personalised print runs, the specialists can still be found but there does seem to be a growing gap between the big boys and the one man operations with less company’s found in the middle.

However we all know that in a lot of cases we just need to get something printed to a high standard and on time


So what tips can we give you to let you know if you are paying too much?


  1. If you have been with the same printer for a number of years. If this is true then you must benchmark your next print run, as mentioned prices have fallen.
  2. Are you printing on both sides? Think of the extra information you can put on the back the extra costs are not that much.
  3. Are you always printing at the last minute? If you are then you cannot ask for it to be printed on the same print runs as other jobs or during quiet periods for a discount.


If you would like another 3 tips on what you should be looking out or if you have any trouble trying to identify if you are paying too much then just send us a copy of your latest bill to Marcus@TheCostDetectives.co.uk and we can advise for you.


LBSN Meeting 27th January 2012

Posted in General by Marcus on January 28, 2012 No Comments yet

2nd Local Business Support Network  [LBSN]  27th January 2012

Had another great meeting this week at the Old Fold Manor Golf Club.

A great way to spend a Friday afternoon, with other businesses who are primed to help each other and learn about things that help our businesses.

We all introduced ourselves so that we knew who was in the room with some great interjections along the way.

We then had our education slot. Each week  one of the team volunteers to educate the rest of the team about something they think will be useful to everyone else, rules are you cannot mention your own business! In our first week I spoke on , “ 1st  3 things to do on  Linkedin”.

This week Ben Riley of Mister Geek taught us about two great free software packages. The first one was Dropbox where you can share files with yourself on other machines or with the outside world.

The second one was 1password, where you only ever have to remember one password and you get access to all those logins with their own passwords.

Lots of great questions from the businesses there for Ben. The flexibility of the meeting and the discussion meant that we went straight to our Business Forum section. I managed to get some help from two of the team members as I mentioned I was having an issue with finding a new eco light replacement company, and now have a couple of good contacts.

We also helped Ruth of The Perfect Team who was trying to fill a Marketing Role for a client of hers.

As the meeting closed we all agreed to provide our social media connections so that we all follow each other and increase our reach.

70% of people stayed on for further chats and those discussions then moved on to the bar facilities at the Golf Club, some of us were last to leave!

Overall a great 2nd Meeting and we accepted two new partners, Stuart Harris the Accountant and Terry Hall the Commercial Mortgage Broker.

Looking forward to the next meeting in two weeks time. Linkedin event link is http://linkd.in/AxVohF





1st 3 Things to do on Linkedin

LBSN Meeting 10th February


Rugby World Cup Semi Finals

Posted in General by Marcus on October 16, 2011 No Comments yet

The two semi finals are over and two contrasting feelings for the losers at the end of each game.

Wales consider themselves unlucky over the sending off when in actual fact they had a number of chances to win the game. The penalty that came within a whisker of going over should never have been a penalty in the first place.

Meanwhile the Aussies were content that they had been beaten by the much better team on the day, although twitter was full of blame for their own fly half who was actually a New Zealander!

So bring on the final!


Cost Detective asks have you been rolled over by your electricity company?

Posted in Cost Detective, General by Marcus on July 12, 2011 No Comments yet

Once again I have a business  client who thought they could just move electricity supplier to a cheaper one.

Unbeknown to them  in the very small print was a roll over term, this company was rolled  for two years!  The rate they are now locked into is about 30% too high!

The window for giving notice on your current contract is short, find out when it is to avoid being rolled over at a higher rate!

If you need any help with this or your other costs  just drop us a line at Save@thecostdetectives.co.uk.