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RDGUK Archives - Reading Business Centre

Exforces Energy: ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’

By | Reading Business Centre Blog

Hi Nick, great to have you on the blog! Tell us- what is Exforces Energy?

Hi! So people call us energy brokers, but to be honest, we’re not. We’re more third party intermediaries. We work across the UK, helping small to medium sized businesses with their energy costs. The average business spends around 20-30% of their income on their energy, so our job is to reduce that and help the business understand what it could gain from saving. Here’s a diagram to help explain the idea:

Current energy supplier (1)

What’s the idea behind Ex Forces staff?

Well I was in the military myself for 8 years actually, and as people know, ex forces personnel are regarded highly for their skills such as integrity, loyalty, and performance. Also, having the ability to absorb information and regurgitate it effectively.

The business’ staff is all ex military, and I suppose our main task is to find a problem and find a solution. We refer to the ‘KISS’ term a lot, which some may know is short for ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’. That’s what it’s all about really, making things run as smoothly as possible.

If a business has four different energy suppliers providing different services, and they have varied expiry dates, then this isn’t going to be clean and organized compared to if you had one supplier charging you a rate for the whole package. It makes things easier for your business to succeed. When there are more parts to something, there are more chances that something can go wrong, so remember ‘KISS’; it’s important.

We like that term; we’re going to use that in the future! So you work all over the UK, but what markets are most popular with this kind of service?

Actually, manufacturing is the most popular. There’s around 8,500 SME’s providing for the forces, because no big project in the forces is built from one supplier.

We were talking with a business just last week that craft widgets, that go into other pieces of machinery that then go into an aircraft carrier. Due to there being time penalties and financial penalties, lack of delivery, late delivery, the fines can be punitive. This can mitigate the profit made, and so the business needs to work 24/7, 365 days a year.

Manufacturing is one of the biggest users of energy, and a lot of these SME’s have a connection to the military. Quite a few of them are ex forces personnel, and they’re in fairly senior roles in the facilities management. The sole reason of this is that they can come up with a plan; they’ll follow it through and won’t deviate from it. If they need to deviate, a plan B is always ready to put into use.

We’re glad you’re here at the Business Centre, how are you finding it?

It’s fantastic. The view could sell it before you’ve even seen the space, but when you do see the space and meet the people working in here, you realise how it’s got its own community up here. When you’re sat out in the coworking area, you can hear laughter, business introductions, a real sense of growth comes from this place, everyone knows everyone.

I love the diverse range of businesses working in here as well, we’ve got designers, printers, solar power providers, consultants, PR people; the list goes on. It’s an enjoyable place to work.

 

If you’d like to find out more about Exforces Energy you can check out the website here: www.exforcesenergy.co.uk

Give them a follow on Twitter as well! @exforcesenergy

 

 

It won’t come to you

By | Reading Business Centre Blog

Start-up advice

This week’s blog is around a bit of a hard truth that all start-up businesses should know from day 1. To put it simply, it’s not going to be handed to you on a plate.

In our coworking space, we have a lot of start-up businesses, and one of the main conversation starters we hear is “How is business going?”. This is usually followed by something along the lines of “Business is going okay, but you know we just need more people through the door at the moment. We’re getting there but we just need those sales in order to grow.”

It’s a typical issue every start-up will face, and it’s not going to happen over night. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until it comes to you, you should be actively improving your chances of finding

So how are you going to get more business?

  • Get out there.

You need to get in front of people, and there’s no better way than designing yourself some top business cards, and heading down to the next networking event in your area. If you’re based in Reading, we run our monthly RG1 Networking event which we’d love for you to come along to – Join the group

  • Ensure you’re looking as good as you can online

Remember we mentioned business isn’t going to come to you? Well, it can, but don’t call us out for lying to you just yet, because it still requires input from you! You could have the most amazing, interactive website that nobody’s ever seen. See what we did there? Search Engine Optimisation is incredibly important to get new business. For example, you’re a business consultant based in Reading. Someone might search “Business Consultancy in Reading”, and they’ll be faced with 5 and a half million results. You can take a look HERE for more info on SEO.

It’s not just SEO you should be thinking about however, it’s 2015. We live and work in a social world. Therefore, your business should be on social media. Don’t think that Facebook is just about posting what you’ve been up to at the weekend, it’s a great tool for businesses in terms of creating more of an online presence. Posting links to your site, ‘behind the scenes’ images about what you’re up to within the business, sharable content (motivational photos/helpful videos, articles that interest you) are all useful for getting your business further online.

  • Blog

This sort of links in with the bits we mentioned above, however a blog gives you the ability to share your site in a less ‘salesy’ way. You can link to articles you’ve written when engaging with new people online, as a way to drive traffic to your site, without immediately shouting buy, buy buy.

  • Be friendly

We’re sure you’re all a friendly bunch, so this should be easy for you. Starting the conversation, breaking the ice with new people in your office space can be extremely rewarding. Not just in terms of increasing your LinkedIn connections, but increasing your chances of being mentioned as a potential business contact. You need 2 more clients to meet your targets this month? There could be someone making a coffee in the other room that needs what you have to offer, and could put you in touch with their friend that requires the same service. Don’t be afraid to offer a tea or coffee to the people you’re sat with. It could be the spark of a great business partnership.

There’s plenty of other methods to grow your start-up business, these are just to name a few. If you have any other suggestions from your own experience, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. You might even make a new contact on here! It’s just about breaking the ice.