The beauty of selling goods/services online is that you do not need to distribute your product to very store or outlet that would potentially stock your product; this of course keeps inventory costs low. By partnering with suppliers, you can have full automation of the ordering process and have a good pipeline of goods flowing between; the supplier, you, and the consumer.
Customers who buy online do not expect to be able to touch and feel a product in the flesh, in the early days of e-commerce this took sometime to sink in for consumers but now we take it as how we do business. They make an informed decision based on the information the company provides. What this does is open the door for a pre-sale. Thousands of goods are pre-sold on the web these days from books to video games to special offers on wine. The key is capture the customer before the product in question hits the shelves in the local mall, then you can beat your competition without even having the physical product.
Retail stores in comparison to the online world have a slow supply chain. They have to get the manufacturer to physically make the product then ship to a distributor, then the distributor ships the goods to the store and finally they have to get someone to make a display, price it and then put it on the shelf. You see the advantage now of getting your products online?
With a web business your main advantages are; as soon as the product is available you can sell it, (or before if available for pre-order) you do not even need to have it in stock.
If you are looking to adopt the above in your business you have to be aware that speeding up the supply chain will require effort and cooperation between your business first and foremost and the shipping company and supplier. So in other words you need to integrate your technology into your business to pull it off to its full potential.
Unlike household energy, business energy tariffs are bespoke and can vary greatly. This means that it’s very important to conduct a thorough comparison from the various suppliers in the market. The result of this process is a cost-effective contract aligned to your energy strategy.
Here’s a list of business energy comparison dos and don’ts as you face the daily challenge of implementing an effective energy policy:
Energy Comparison Dos
Shop around – an increasing number of energy suppliers means more competition in the market and more opportunities for a wide-ranging business energy comparison.
Get a breakdown of the per unit rates for gas and electricity, as well as the standing charges (the fixed cost of having an energy supply). Remember that a lower unit costs can be offset with a higher standing charge, and vice versa.
Ensure that if you get a fixed-term contract, this agreement refers to the amount of time that a deal is fixed for, rather than referring to the fixed cost of the energy tariff.
Check if your business qualified for exemption from the Climate Change Levy (CCL).
Remember that your business energy needs are unique – no two businesses are the same, which means that you need to compare business energy on a case-by-case basis.
Energy Comparison Don’ts
Don’t wait too late before shopping the market for a new business energy supplier. You can be placed in a new contract 120 days before the end of your current contract, but it can take up to 28 days to process the change, so don’t leave it until the last minute.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate – because the energy tariffs for businesses are bespoke, this gives you the opportunity to bargain for lower energy prices.
Don’t fall into the trap of auto-renewing your existing contract as this prevents you from switching and saving when your contract comes to an end.
Don’t worry about downtime – there should be no disruption to your gas and electricity when you switch suppliers.
Don’t rush the process – once you’ve signed a contract, you don’t normally have a ‘window period’ to cancel the contract. You are usually locked in for the full contract period once you have signed.
Leave it to the experts
The process of shopping around for business energy quotes can prove difficult and time-consuming for already-stretched SME teams. A quick call with an expert energy broker can not only fast-track the business energy comparison