17 Sep How to Craft a Perfect Retail Energy Business Plan: Five Novel & Effective Solutions
By Melanie Sovann
With the retail energy provider industry facing fierce competition, it’s pivotal for businesses to differentiate from other brands on the market. According to Ofgem, for the 12 months up to May 2020, there were 5.7 million switches in electricity and 4.7 million in gas energy providers. The proportionate net gain in switching away from largest to smaller suppliers made up 21% of total switches in gas and electricity combined.
In practice, this means that small retail energy businesses with competitive pricing structure and loyalty incentives have a great fighting chance against global energy conglomerates. While organic business growth can be challenging, writing a good retail energy business plan can mitigate much of that difficulty. That being said, what are some novel and effective solutions you can try and implement into your retail energy business plan in 2020?
The Role of Retail Energy Business Plan Writing
Before we address the ideation and writing of a retail energy business plan, let’s discuss its practical role. Having a solid business plan as foundation for future company growth is extremely important for several reasons. As with any business, a retail energy company operates with limited resources and has to maintain positive brand image.
Once you acquire supply licenses in your target territories, you should approach the business plan writing process before attracting clients to your services. This will enable you to implement an agile methodology to your continued growth and help shape your energy business for years to come. In practical terms, the benefits of writing a business plan early on include:
- Clearly defined role, goals and long-term vision for your energy business
- Informed, accurate decision-making in regards to future business development
- Streamlined servicing and contract management with new and recurring clients
- Professional and transparent business conduct which will improve brand loyalty
Novel & Effective Solutions for Retail Energy Business Plan Writing
- Audit your Competition
The retail energy business sector is as competitive as any other industry on the market. As such, it’s important to be aware of what type of competition you are up against before writing your business plan. Audit your competitions’ website, business portfolio, social proof and other publically available content. Differentiate your brand and offer something disruptive to potential clients to garner public attention early on.
- Establish your Brand Image
Marketing plays a pivotal role in the retail energy business industry, which is why branding matters quite a bit. Hire a design agency or a third-party professional who will ensure that your visual identity and brand standards are up to date with 2020. Play off of the notion of sustainable living, family values and nature preservation as these elements work well with modern clientele. Set up a brand image which reflects your company’s core values to help clients identify with what you have to offer – clean, reliable retail energy.
- Start Low, Raise over Time
Depending on your past reputation in the retail energy industry, you might want to consider starting with low prices and short contractual obligations. Set up loyalty programs which will encourage long-term investment with your company but don’t force clients into signing multi-year contracts right out of the gate. Offer low-commitment trial periods for the first year or two to build up confidence and trust with your business before raising the bar.
- Market through Online Channels
Regardless of the scale or territories in which you plan to operate your retail energy business, marketing your services through the adequate channels matters. According to HubSpot, 78% of companies have teams of one-to-three content specialists in-house at all times, with 70% of them actively investing into content marketing. You can make good use of email marketing, social media platforms, as well as search engine optimization (SEO) which will increase your brand’s appeal online.
- Showcase your Satisfied Clientele
Lastly, choosing a good retail energy provider is a high-risk endeavor for most clients. As such, social proof content in the form of quotes, reviews and interviews with satisfied clients is extremely helpful. You can reach out to current and past clients, as well as B2B stakeholders for comments and positive word of mouth. That way, future clients will have a much easier time committing to your retail energy provision plans without the worry of poor quality of service.
Entering a global retail energy business market can be difficult even with monetary and logistical resources to back you up. However, writing a solid plan which will help differentiate and elevate your brand from the competition can be of tremendous help.
Make sure to also take client servicing and energy billing into consideration when you write your business plan. Take time to define your business model and showcase what makes your business a unique choice when it comes to retail energy provision. Once you are content with the business plan solutions you’ve defined, you can launch your marketing efforts and analyze and reevaluate public interest more precisely.
Melanie Sovann is a professional writer, editor and business advisor who collaborates and contributes to best dissertation writing services frequently. Her career portfolio is centered on research, writing and publishing of content in a plethora of fields including business development, sales and digital marketing respectively. Melanie enjoys writing a good thesis paper or case study for her clients. She spends free time improving her writing skills.
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