With customers to please, teams to manage and contracts to win, often internal tasks and housekeeping are the last things on your mind. However, all small businesses are likely to reap the rewards and savings by simple tasks such as switching energy suppliers. Finding the best energy supplier for small business is not as tricky and as tiresome as it may seem. Just follow these seven steps to find the best energy supplier for your small business.
Find a supplier that matches your brand
The suppliers you choose and the partners you conduct business with shows a lot about your business. Despite 80% of people in the UK opting to pick one the big six energy suppliers, there are lots of other energy suppliers on the market that may be better suited to your needs.
While cost may be an overriding factor, you may also want an energy firm that focuses on renewable energy especially if your business objectives include concentrating on your green credentials. For technology start-ups, energy suppliers with a digital focus may be more suitable. Another focus could be how local the supplier is to you if local business support is an essential aspect of your brand.
With so many energy suppliers available, all have different unique selling points that may be ideally suited to your business. You simply need to decide what characteristics you are looking for.
40% of business customers never switch their energy supplier. One reason for this is that many suppliers do not make switching easy. Unlike domestic energy customers, businesses will often be locked into longer and more stringent energy contracts, meaning there is usually only a short window for contract renewal. With this time not made clear, many businesses forget, or do not even realise they have a window of opportunity to save money and find a better contract.
It essential that small businesses find an energy contract that suits their needs. Some companies may prefer a more extended deal with a low fixed-rate fee. However, other small businesses may need more flexibility and prefer contract-free or short-term contracts. This allows the firm’s energy supply contracts to evolve alongside the company.
Undoubtedly your energy supply will be vital for your business. With this in mind, you need an energy supplier that you can trust. This may be a reason to opt for one of the more prominent energy companies, as these large corporations may appear more reliable as they are well-known. However, smaller firms may be just as reliable and could be cheaper too.
Guides to energy suppliers as well as understanding their fuel mix can help you to assess whether an energy company is reliable. It is worth considering that when small energy suppliers take on lots of customers because of their favourable cheaper rates, they may not have the capacity to cope which could hamper reliability.
Ways to check for reliability include checking when the energy supplier was established, a brief background check for any horror stories or awards won and using trusted independent review sites for customer experiences.
As a busy small business, the last thing you have time for is chasing your suppliers. This is why it is essential that your suppliers are accessible and easy to talk to. Communication is critical. You do not want to have a problem with your energy occur and then find that your supplier is unreachable.
Many energy suppliers will offer a variety of ways to get in touch, so it is a good idea to assess the methods you prefer and find a supplier that works for your business. For example, if your company operates at night, you may need a supplier that offers 24-hour customer service.
If you prefer real-time digital, then having an instant messaging service may be ideal. Some providers do not offer phone calls anymore, but if this is the way you like to conduct business, with a personal account manager, then it is best to check that your communication requirements can be fulfilled.
Unsurprisingly, greener energy is an important decision factor for eco-conscious businesses, and more and more people are looking for energy suppliers who put renewable energy to the forefront of their industry.
It is important to consider that renewable energy is still an up and coming industry. However, more and more companies are offering renewable energy as an option which means the price is starting to fall, having previously been quite expensive and unachievable for many businesses.
The essential factor to note with renewable energy is that it often relies on the weather to achieve results. If it is a windless and cloudy day, then solar panels and wind turbines will mean there will not be a considerable surplus of energy. Should adverse weather events be persistent, then this could cause an increase in energy prices.
Almost half of the UK energy is now from renewable sources and is continuing to grow, meaning now is an excellent time to secure a competitive renewable energy deal.
Value and recognition
Another focus for businesses when searching for and comparing energy suppliers should be how your energy company will treat you as a customer. Some suppliers will offer money to switch or have a loyalty and reward scheme for continued service.
Other ways that suppliers can help you to feel rewarded is through offering a dedicated account manager, such as Utility Warehouse, while firms such as British Gas will try to help you save money by installing smart meters and combining bills across multiple sites to save you money. Communication can help to show value and firms such as Opus claim that 85% of their phone calls are answered within thirty seconds.
Using a broker to compare business energy suppliers will often be able to secure the best deal for you and may find promotions and offers available to increase the value when making a switch.
Finally, a vital aspect of your small business is making sure you receive a competitive price and a fair deal for your energy. The best way to scour the market for the best prices is to use energy comparison sites and brokers that know the business energy market.
By assessing your current supplier, consumption and cost (usually your last bill will have the necessary information) price comparison sites can search the market to ensure you find the best deal possible. You can tell the broker your requirements from the steps above, such as renewable energy, communication and reliability so that they can discover the ideal provider for your needs.
It is also worth bearing in mind that unlike domestic energy suppliers, it is much easier to negotiate for business energy contracts. Once you have filtered your favourite energy suppliers, you can ask for a bespoke quote. If you have other quotes from other suppliers, it is a great tool to haggle with as energy firms will be keen to beat other quotes and may offer rewards if you find a low price elsewhere.
Comparing quotes and not just prices is an essential step in finding the best energy supplier for your small business. It can help you to discover energy suppliers you may not have heard of Bulb who have excellent customer feedback and highly competitive rates or Yü, who also have excellent customer service and over 99% of the energy they generate is renewable.
As small businesses usually suffer the most when it comes to energy prices, comparing and switching using these seven steps may be a vital improvement to your bottom line. With brokers available to conduct the search and negotiations for you, it has never been easier to get your business a better deal.Get a quote