Diesel Price Hike: 5 Ways Businesses and Startups Can Save Money & Prevent Shutting Down This Period


The impact of high fuel prices for diesel generators, which are very prevalent in Nigeria due to the lack of stable power supply can be damning. The lack of stable power supply created the overdependence of many Nigerian businesses on diesel generators – fair enough, diesel generators have high capacities too. Businesses and startups nationwide are now struggling to survive, many already shut down operations due to the new price hike. You see, lack of stable power is the first problem – but at this point, it seems not much can change in the power sector. 

As the price of diesel (AGO) climbs to an unprecedented high price of 650 naira (from N220 in January 2020) this March, it has become very necessary to take a look at how small businesses can quickly change a few things about their operations. It’s still alarming that diesel per litre cost just about N220 in January 2020. Anyway, let’s focus on what we can change.

With no end to this menace in sight, here are 5 areas that can be tweaked by your business/startup to save themselves a lot of money and prevent shutting down from the cold hands of this diesel fuel price hike.

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1. Work from home

A good option is to ask staff to stay home and work from there. This way, you get to shut down the physical centres and save money on fuel purchases. It’s a very straight-forward approach.

This cannot be overemphasised. Businesses that run brick-n-mortar service centres and, maybe, several branches are really getting the heat during this period – buying a few hundreds of litres of AGO (diesel) literally gulps millions of Naira that should have gone to profits.

As an entrepreneur and as much as you may like to always see your workplace record huge footfalls of staff and customers alike, now is not the time. Now is the time to focus on productivity only and instruct your staff to do everything necessary to stay home and work from there – virtually, of course. 

Just as Coronavirus taught us all, except for overly essential roles that are impossible to undertake from anywhere else, ensure that your staff stay away from coming to the workplace to work and save that fuel money.

Note: Carefully monitor productivity while this transition is being made. Be on the lookout for sections of your staff that may want to use this as an opportunity to relax and slow down on their productivity.

2. Provide power-banks and internet data to staff

Here’s another way your business can save money and prevent going under during this fuel price hike. Tough times call for tough measures. If you are asking your staff to stay at home to work, you also must be mindful of the current state of electricity in the country – it is nearly epileptic (although this is relative to their places of residences).

business fuel hike power bank

To enable your staff to join meetings, attend to work emails and customers online, you can provide power-banks and internet data for their use. This way, any excuse like “there’s no power in our area” or “I ran out of internet data” can be cut off by a huge percent.

This may also help boost your staff’s morale to embrace your new setting.

3. Meet online

Online meetings through proficient apps like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, and even WhatsApp can be as productive as the physical meetings. This is the time to enforce 100% online meetings in your organisation. Due to Coronavirus, most of us already have a hang of this. 

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To refresh your staff memory on how to handle the apps and avoid unethical practices while online, you can download the ‘how-to-use’ documentation of these apps and circulate these to them. This could be easier than you think.

Everything you can do in a physical meeting, you can also do in an online meeting. It’s another way to make your business totally avoid the dire fuel price hike.

4. Create more flexible work periods

If your staff work from home, make sure that they still have to stick with their peak and off-peak periods. This, of course, must be done in ways that protect the original cultures of your physical workplace.

To be honest, it’s a win-win for both the employer and the employed – The employer gets to call on their staff at almost any time since there’s no “closing” time while saving fortunes on diesel. The staff, on the other end, also gets to save on their transport fare expenses to-and-fro the office.

Note: Carefully monitor productivity while this transition is being made. Be on the lookout for sections of your staff that may want to use this as an opportunity to relax and slow down on their productivity.

5. Install solar power

For some businesses, it is simply unavoidable to be away from the offices – but not all roles. The business owner should do an analysis of the roles that must be performed in the service centres/workplace and keep them that way to ensure continuity of business.

Business owners may, however, choose a new power source – from being diesel (AGO) dependent to solar power. A lot of business owners tend to underrate the power of solar energy simply because they do not understand it.

banknaija solar system

What you need to do is approach an expert in the solar power field to make enquiries on what you need to set the panels up. Then you can do a cost-benefits analysis of the power source transition. Few things are certain: solar power has long-term benefits, it is easily upgradable (unlike diesel generators), solar power totally eradicates noise and air pollution, and is mostly cost-effective.

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It is now proven that you can save your business a lot of stress during this fuel price hike. This is the time for business owners to be innovative in their thinking and approach. A business may keep bearing power costs daily with this bad hike in prices, taking loans, patching up and recording losses here and there. Then one day it can’t anymore, and that is the day the business unavoidably folds up. 

The best thing you can do for your business is to make it move with the tides.

Tags: diesel price hike, diesel price, businesses shutting down due to diesel price, how to survive diesel high price

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