I’ve recently landed a number of larger/corporate clients where it was clear that they’d previously been “sold” on the advantages of going with a big broker. Then, after the contract has been signed and the honeymoon period has worn-off they have been frustrated and sometimes disappointed.

I find it interesting that large-scale users of energy or businesses with multi-site premises initially feel that they need to find a bigger broker.

What I’d like to highlight is that using a large broker can often be detrimental (financially) to a business rather than beneficial for the following reasons:

Economy – a large-scale brokerage could have:

400 staff salaries
400 pension contributions,
400 computers
Their own electric, gas and water for their trade premises to house their staff
spend large sums of money on digital advertising
financially incentivise staff to close deals
operate call centres where you never get the same person twice
These are just some of their overheads BEFORE they even make profit – and most brokerage businesses recover this by adding a hidden margin onto their customer’s energy contracts. Which means that the customer or client is paying for this.

Focus Business Consultancy has almost no overhead by comparison so we can offer more of the margin on our discounted prices back to our grateful clients.

Also, the commercial utility industry is often seen as pushy and sales-driven. Again, by comparison, my background is in professional advice and NOT in sales. I have a 30 year background in working for and with accountancy practices giving quality advice to business owners.

I now provide transparent, consultative energy advice, comparisons and quotations and offer industry insight to help businesses make a more informed decision on when and from who they buy their energy.

Our clients have just one point of contact – me:

(07966) 279866

I don’t hide from my clients and I have no call centre. Additionally, and unlike most of my competitors, I can also look at LPG and Oil.

The last 15 months has been very challenging for businesses. Now – more than ever – businesses should be looking to see where savings can be made for no drop in quantity or quality. Thankfully energy is an easy place to start – there is no “cheap” energy as in poor quality or sub-standard but there IS cheaper energy to be had.

I would like to highlight the main advantages which Focus Business Consultancy offer:

– Instant access to the Managing Director, no call centre delays or frustrations.

– A more personal service tailored to the needs of the individual business.

– Practical, consultative advice – not sales-driven.

– Access to all of the UK’s major/quality energy providers.

– Less overhead than competitors which ensures more competitive pricing.

– Editorials, blogs, and energy information/content for publications.

– Delighted to present at conferences or on webinars.

– Reviews and audits to spot anomalies or incorrect billing.

– Discussions of all available options to help narrow-down the final choice.

– Availability of invoice validation for multi-site premises.

Please get in touch for a no obligation chat on your energy needs.

ACCOUNTANTS/BUSINESS ADVISERS – here’s a story that may interest you:

I had a Fife-based business referred to me a couple of weeks ago who is a large user of electricity nearing the end of their contract.

I explained that, generally, their bill was made up as follows:

  • 40% – actual energy usage
  • 60% – Pass-through charges to government/supply networks

That said, I conducted a full review of their last 6 months of bills to truly understand their requirements and usage and look at their current contract.

I’m delighted to say that they on the wrong KVA level and I can (pretty-much ALWAYS!) beat their standing charges and unit costs for their electricity – the result is I can save them circa £70,000 PER YEAR for the same thing!

That’s a saving of over £200k over a 3 year contract at a fixed and very competitive rate.

Remember – there is not cheap energy (as is sub-standard or poor quality) – there IS cheaper energy to be had though.

Additionally, I can save them £2,000 per month for the remaining 3 months of their existing contract and provide them, going forwards, with monthly invoice validation and periodic energy audits.

What could I do to help YOUR clients?

The last  year has been particularly challenging for a lot of businesses.  Now, more than ever, companies should be looking at their business expenditure to see if/where savings can be made for no drop in quality/quantity. Thankfully, your energy costs are a very easy place to start:

  1. There are some surprising margins in business energy charges – generally the more you use, the bigger the savings IF you have a GOOD broker.
  2. There is no “cheap” energy – as in poor quality or sub-standard but there IS cheaper energy to be had.
  3. If you are a large user and your energy contract is up for renewal between the end of October and the beginning of March then you could be throwing good money away by buying when the price peaks annually over the Winter months (simple supply v’s demand) . Consider an 18 or 30 month contract so your contract ends in the warmer months where the prices are generally lower and THEN look at tying-in for a 3 year contract if a good price can be found.
  4. A good broker can take businesses with multi-site premises and roll them into a single bespoke contract for the following benefits:
    • Less chance of premises going out of contract and paying prejudicial rates
    • One electric or gas contract is easier to administer than 20+
    • Better price as a bespoke price can be negotiated due to buying power with ALL of the premises included.
  1. One simple, quick signature on our Letter of Authority lets us go and do the work and report back on available prices and direct comparisons with what a business is currently spending – also you will never go out of contract by accident as we will then be able to come back to you within the appropriate renewal time with your options.

Business utilities – Brokers and why you need a GOOD one:

Most businesses have premises – whether that’s a shop to sell from, a factory or workshop to manufacture or assemble, an office or facility to meet your customers or even a warehouse to store your product(s). Having business premises means that you have additional fixed overheads – so when it comes to things like electric, gas, water, oil and LPG why would you want to pay more to these suppliers for exactly the same thing?

I’m proud to say I’m what you’d class as a “Utilities Broker” – some people who don’t understand what we do and think we are a waste of time or a scourge. The fact of the matter is that unfortunately – for the time being at least – utility brokerages remain an unregulated industry and regrettably there are a few out there who are unethical, give a poor price or service and thus give the industry a bad name.

I’m Steve Wilson of Focus Business Consultancy and my background is in professional practise – I have 30 years of experience in advising everyday individuals or limited companies on law and debt-related issues usually working with Chartered Accountants. When I advise a business owner on their utilities, I’m doing it on a consultative basis – not as a salesperson out to “get my figures up” or to try to reach some financially-incentivised target which may prejudice my professional objectivity and the needs of the client.

As a business owner myself one thing I can assure you of is that your water, electric and gas prices are unlikely to plummet anytime soon. You will see from switching on your TV or opening a newspaper that between Brexit, the UK’s present political instability and the resultant uncertainty it brings (foreign manufacturers pulling out of the UK until they see how we come through this time of financial insecurity) things are going to be harder for all businesses in the foreseeable future which, again, means that reducing or fixing your costs affords you some stability.

Here are the main benefits of using a good broker who is professional and trustworthy:

· They will have a genuine interest in understanding your business

· They will work hard to source the best contracts for your business

· They should be able to provide transparent figures for comparison and consideration

· They should most ALWAYS be able to beat any renewal figure you are given

· They should NEVER charge you for providing quotes and comparisons

· They save you time and let you get back to doing what you do best – your business!

If you have already had a relationship with a broker for some time then you should still try to get a second quote to see how competitive (or complacent) your current broker still is – after all the only difference in prices should be the margin they charge you for their services. Especially if you are in Residential Health Care, Hotels, B&B’s or Engineering – typically the larger users of business .

If you are uncertain about how much to pay for your business utilities or would like to discuss a renewal price you have received or have lapsed into prejudicial out-of-contract rates, then please give me a call or send me an email for a free consultation. I am happy to provide testimonials from satisfied clients and, if you are local enough, I’m happy to drop in for a cuppa and a chat about your individual requirements.

Please contact me on (07966) 279866 or at

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