Powering the startup recovery
When it comes to punching above your weight, the UK’s startups know all there is to know. These ambitious and entrepreneurial small businesses are vital to the overall health of the UK economy, contributing some £196 billion each year.
Nobody foresaw the challenges of 2020. However, far from destabilising the startup community, the pandemic has in fact had the opposite effect. Recent research based on data from Companies House revealed that almost 500,000 startups were registered in the UK in 2020. The report states that "owing to the unpredictable impact of COVID-19, a reported 9.9million UK jobs were furloughed between April and December last year, resulting in many UK adults pivoting their careers, starting completely afresh”.
Whether established or newly founded, there is no doubt that the next 6-12 months represents a crucial time for businesses of every size. For smaller firms, taking on the UK’s established business Goliaths is always challenging – but never more so than now. The pandemic has focused minds and sharpened business strategies, leading many to question legacy ways of working and to flex to new ideas, new models and new suppliers.
Valda Energy is an energy supplier specialising in supplying the SME and startup market. Steve James, CEO of Valda Energy, explains further: “We are an SME ourselves, so we know and understand what small businesses are looking for. Everything we do is for the benefit of our customers, like common-sense communications, streamlined processes, competitive prices and customer-friendly technology.”
Businesses across all sectors are turning to suppliers that can offer more flexibility and transparency. Such businesses may be seasonal or may have to close on certain days or might require room to negotiate cash-flow bottlenecks – are suppliers able to accommodate these ways of working? Indeed, cash-flow is a perennial problem. A recent study conducted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy found that 78% of UK SMEs are forced to wait at least one month beyond their agreement terms before being paid.
Valda Energy’s solution to these challenges is SmartChoice, a new energy proposition for the small business market which enables customers to purchase as little or as much energy in advance as they require and to only pay for what is used. The solution serves an immediate need by providing businesses who might be struggling to find sensible energy deals right now with access to competitively priced, 100% renewable energy. But additionally, SmartChoice enables every SME to take back control of its energy spend, enabling these businesses to pay when their balance is running low and avoiding any surprises that can arise from automatic monthly bills in arrears.
Reviewing energy provision may not be first on the list as businesses look to emerge from lockdown with confidence. But it is one of several key operational decisions that will ultimately impact business stability and success over the crucial next few months and into the future. Fixed and inflexible legacy processes are living on borrowed time. These old ways of working were exposed by the pandemic, and there are plenty of alternative solutions and suppliers ready to assist forward-thinking businesses.
Valda Energy is one such supplier. By tailoring offerings specifically for the startup and SME markets they are supporting through today’s immediate challenges and providing the flexible foundations for post-lockdown take off.