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Visit Scotland | Alba

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How can I reduce the cost of running my business?

1. Our commitment to you

The coming months will be very hard for the tourism and events industry due to rising costs and less disposable income for our customers. 

Scotland's tourism and event industry has experienced considerable difficulty during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Now, it faces severe economic challenges. We know that the rise in the cost of doing business is having a significant impact.

With the increased cost of materials, staff and energy, combined with double digit inflation, this crisis is being felt by every business in Scotland.

We're committed to supporting you in the challenging times ahead. We will provide advice and guidance to help your business in the short term, and to allow you to build a more sustainable future. Along with our partners, we have a range of advice that could help your business.

2. Helping you reach the right support

Many tourism and event businesses are facing difficult decisions. You'll have to consider how to adapt your operations to manage the cost of doing business.

We have advice to help your tourism / event business. From cutting costs and improving efficiencies to attracting new customers, or changing the way you operate.

Sustainable practices

We have practical tips for business. These can help you save money while being more environmentally sustainable too. There are tangible savings to be had. With costs increasing and margins shrinking, any cost savings are welcome.

Benefits of being more sustainable include:

  • Reducing your food waste

    This can reduce your ingredient costs, labour costs and waste disposal costs. It will also increase your profile as a sustainable, responsible operator.

  • Saving hot water

    Wasting hot water amounts to throwing money down the drain. Make use of water efficient taps and showers to save money and water.

  • Saving on energy costs

    Use your heating and cooling setting wisely. Depending on which system you use, controlling your heating can save 5-15% of fuel consumption.

  • Energy efficient lighting

    Choosing the kind of lighting you use within your business is important. Think not only of how it looks, but also of the effect it can have on your bottom line. Consider low-energy lighting options like LED bulbs and controls and sensors.

  • Track your progress

    The first step to reducing energy and saving money is to monitor and measure it. This way, you know when and where you use it and how much you’re using.

Make digital work for you

We’re here to help you understand and make the most of digital operations and marketing options. We offer clear, practical advice on everything from search engine optimisation (SEO) to social media.


Further embracing digital tools for your business can help you: 

  • Grow your business by being discoverable and bookable online

  • Cater for our digital savvy consumers and engage more effectively with them

  • Improve productivity and the efficiency through digital processes

  • Save on material costs by bringing your operational activity online

  • Reduce margins of error

3. Find Business Support

The Find Business Support website gives access to wider business support. This isn't specific to tourism and events, although you can filter by sector if you want it a little more tailored. It hosts the latest free advice and support available from Scotland’s public sector business support network – all in one place.

Business Support Partnership (BSP) delivers the Find Business Support project. BSP incorporates Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies. VisitScotland is also a partner. 

The project gets regularly updated with information and signposts. Its aim is to support, advice and funding available across the public sector in Scotland.

This makes it quicker and easier for businesses to find the information, advice and support they need, when they need it.

There are currently support options listed, covering:

  • Online resources

  • Webinars

  • Funding applications

  • Information

Cost of doing business support includes:

  • Consultancy and advice

    Think of resource efficiency at work, encouraging your employees to save energy and the circular economy.

  • Funding

    Think of the Electric Vehicle loan and the Circular Economy Investment Fund.

  • Local and regional support

    Check with your local authority which support they offer.

Business Energy Scotland

Business Energy Scotland has added content to the Find Business Support website that we wanted to highlight. It provides free and impartial expertise to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) save energy, carbon and money.

Their on-demand webinar recordings are available for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint, energy bills and overall energy use. Webinar topics include:

  • how to calculate your business’s carbon footprint
  • how to write an environmental policy
  • how to motivate your workplace to save energy

You can watch its 10 no and low-cost ways to reduce your energy bill and carbon footprint webinar on the GoToStage website.

4. How can VisitScotland support my business?


Use research and insight to improve your business

Using insight and data allows you to remain competitive. In today’s ever-changing world, having an informed outlook is crucial to doing business. 

In challenging times, our tourism research can help you:

  • Understand what’s happening in the tourism marketplace

  • Identify the best customers to target

  • Understand what’s important to customers

You can use this knowledge to:

  • Target your marketing and communications with customers

  • Identify new opportunities for growth

  • Keep up-to-date on emerging markets and trends suited to your business.

Tip: build these into your business planning.

Planning an event

Are you involved in organising events? On top of the information already outlined on this page, we have a range of tools and resources that can help in your event planning. Think of:

  • Ways to set up sustainable and accessible events

  • Improving your food and drink offering at an event

  • Training and development opportunities

Tailor your marketing to reach new audiences

Make sure you are aware of our VisitScotland campaigns and marketing activities and use them to your benefit. We often add resources to our site to allow you to engage with our marketing campaigns as easily as possible. You can use these to increase customer awareness and engage with new audiences.

Our monthly spotlight themes and key messages reflect global seasonal trends


We have a range of free images and video to help you create engaging content. You can link to our content on our website or through our social media to increase your reach.


If you don't already have a web listing on then you can sign up for free. If you have a listing, ensure your description is up to date, accurate and relevant to your business,

Reach out for support

As businesses face ongoing challenges, it’s important that you look after your own mental health as well as supporting your team.

We’ve pulled together some information to help you, with links to further support available.

5. What UK and Scottish Government business support is there?


UK Government support

The UK Government unveiled new nationwide support for businesses facing rising energy bills (September 2022). It's hoped it will support growth, prevent unnecessary insolvencies, and protect jobs.

The government Energy Bill Relief Scheme provides a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices. The support is automatically applied to all eligible bills. You do not need to take action or apply to the scheme.

Read the UK Government guidance on the Energy Bill Relief SchemeIt details eligibility, how it works and how businesses will get the reduction. There are also case studies to show how it will work in practice.

The Government has announced (January 2023) a new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) from from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 for eligible non-domestic consumers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A guidance document has been published to explain:

  • what the new scheme is
  • how it differs from the previous one
  • case studies and further facts / background 

Read the Energy Bills Discount factsheet – 9 January 2023.

The current £18 billion scheme (Energy Bill Relief Scheme) announced in September comes to an end in March 2023. For more detail, see the Energy Bills Discount Scheme.


Scottish Government support

Limiting increases and reducing costs for businesses is a top priority for the Scottish Government. It has committed to consider all options within their powers for regulatory action.

So far, the Scottish Government, public sector agencies and local authorities have:

  • Put in place the lowest non-domestic rates poundage in the UK for 2022-23 for the fourth year in a row

  • Maintained a package of reliefs worth an estimated £801 million. This includes the UK’s Small Business Bonus Scheme NDR relief, which takes over 111,000 properties out of rates altogether

  • Announced £1.2 million of new funding to provide additional support to

  • advice services for vulnerable consumers. This includes £300,000 to enhance support for business through Business Energy Scotland

  • meet increasing demand for advice from small and medium enterprises

Take a look at the Scottish Government website for more information.

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