Christine Hope, one of our seven expert retailer columnists, tells us five ways you can make and save money.

We look for little savings and gains wherever we can. Here are some ways we have succeeded.

1) Check your contracts

Are you getting what you pay for from your contracts? If you are not getting the service you agreed from a provider, ask for a discount, even if you are on direct debit.

Recently, we have saved more than £500 because a monthly contract has not been delivered as agreed.

2) Ask your staff about new lines

If you are unsure about what new products to buy ask your staff for their opinion. If they wouldn’t buy it, they won’t recommend it. Increased sales come from knowledgeable staff who buy the products you sell.

3) Do you really need a new phone?

I haven’t changed my mobile tariff in three years because my contract is just the one I wanted and it’s cheaper than anything else I can find. If you’re happy with your phone but not your contract, compare it on giffgaff.

4) Understand your shoppers

We consistently get customer feedback and track down products that fit solutions our customers want. Feedback creates a better understanding that leads to improved customer satisfaction.

5) Go shopping

One of the best ways to improve is to go shopping in someone else’s store and write down the three things you like and don’t like. Can you implement the top three things that you liked in your store? If not, why not?

Last month I did a shopping trip for 20 minutes and realised why some of our health and beauty lines had slowed down. They were £1 in two shops that previously didn’t have the brand that we have, so it was time for a change. If you can’t beat them on price, stop and switch to a product where you can.