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Visit Scotland | Alba

Guidance to help your business in the short term

The rise in the cost of doing business is having a significant impact on Scotland's tourism and event industry. This is not only true for business operations, but also on our customers who have less disposable income.

There's an increased cost of materials, staff, and energy, combined with double digit inflation. This means that this crisis is being felt by every business in Scotland.

We're committed to supporting you in the challenging times ahead. We’ll provide advice and guidance to help your business in the short term and allow you to build a more sustainable future.

Along with our partners, we have a range of advice that could help your business.

1. Using sustainable practices to reduce costs

Implementing sustainable practices does not just make you more environmentally sustainable. It can help you find ways to increase efficiency with a view to reducing your cost of business.

Improving your energy, waste and water-saving efficiency can all help you reduce your usage and costs. With costs increasing and margins shrinking, any savings are welcome.

Top tips to become more sustainable

  • 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, controls, and sensors.

  • Track your progress

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

2. Make digital work harder for your business

Digital channels play a huge role, not only in the visitor experience but also in the cost of running a business. It’s good to have a firm grasp of technology. Being able to use digital tools is a powerful way to reach more customers, save precious time, increase efficiency and, all importantly, grow revenue by making better informed decisions.

Embracing digital tools for your business can help

  • Grow your business

    Being discoverable and bookable online allows you to engage more effectively with customers.

    You can list your business on free of charge to be seen by millions of visitors every year.

  • Be more cost effective

    Digital marketing techniques are often more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods. This could include search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing. By using digital marketing tools, you can reach a wider audience at a lower cost and reduce the need for physical materials and associated costs.

  • Improve productivity

    Digital tools enable you to automate and streamline various business processes. This can include tasks such as data entry, inventory management, invoicing, and customer support. Reducing manual labour and optimising workflows can increase efficiency and save both time and money.

  • Make better-informed decisions

    Analytics tools allow you to collect, analyse, and interpret data. You can use tools like spreadsheets, data visualisation software, and analytic platforms. By making data-driven decisions, you can optimise your operations, identify cost-saving opportunities, and minimise financial risks.

3. How can VisitScotland support my business?

We have a number of other tools and resources available to you that can help you expand your business and make savings.

Further support:

  • 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

    Using this knowledge can help to make your customer marketing and communications more targeted. It will also help you identify new opportunities for growth through emerging markets and trends suited to your business.

    Discover our wealth of industry research and insight.

  • Tailor your marketing to reach new audiences

    Make sure you’re aware of our marketing campaigns and activities and use them to your benefit. We often add resources to our website to allow you to engage with our marketing 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.

    View our marketing calendar for 2023.

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

    Check out our digital media toolkit.

    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.

    Tips to manage your web listing.

4. Other resources for business support

Find Business Support and Business Energy Scotland are two examples of great resources for those looking for more free and impartial advice and support.

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.

The website has up to date information on business support, advice, and funding available across the public sector in Scotland. This makes it quicker and easier for businesses to find the advice and support they need when they need it, including:

  • funding to help businesses adopt green ways of working and more efficient processes
  • financial advice and consultancy
  • specific support for your region
  • advice on sustainable practices

The Business Support Partnership delivers the Find Business Support project. It incorporates Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies. VisitScotland is a partner. 

Browse the Find Business Support website

Business Energy Scotland

Business Energy Scotland provides free and impartial expertise to help small and medium-sized enterprises save energy, carbon, and money.

Watch "10 no and low-cost ways to reduce your energy bill and carbon footprint" webinar on the GoToStage website.

Are you looking to reduce your carbon footprint, energy bills and energy use? Business Energy Scotland has recorded webinars that cover:

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

Whether you're just starting out on your energy-saving journey and need some pointers or you're looking for expertise and funding to support current plans, Business Energy Scotland’s team of business advisors and energy-saving consultants are here to help.

Go to the Business Energy Scotland website

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