In the energy management industry, a large pool of enterprises is vying for the attention of homeowners, while many other companies target large industrial and commercial energy customers.
This leaves the small and medium business (SMB) market forgotten, despite it being a potentially substantial market. While energy management providers expressed a desire to address SMBs, the market’s fragmented nature makes it difficult for interested players to determine a viable starting point.
A Promising Market
For first-time entrepreneurs looking to dive into the green energy industry, an energy management franchise is a good way to start.
Research commissioned by Accenture’s Retail and Business Services for Utilities found that stakeholders in the SMB market are much more likely to switch and are becoming more organized than ever. The report, published in the New Energy Consumer Handbook, moreover revealed that churn rate is high with about 35% of respondents claiming they would consider switching energy providers. The potential of the energy management industry for small businesses will boom in years, and the expansion will not be limited to utilities.
Cut through the Clutter
As experts predict that energy management for SMBs will be big in the years to come, it pays to establish a foothold for your business. Here are five ways you can help your energy management franchise win:
- Provide solid support.
The Accenture survey revealed that 87% of SMBs sought targeted solutions for their business concerns. Nearly half of the respondents said it doesn’t matter if these solutions are specific to their industry – what’s important is that they are designed especially for SMBs. Strengthening your customer support services and tailoring those services to the needs of your clients will help you gain the favor of your prospects.
- Offer incentives.
According to the survey participants, they seek the same things residential customers want such as plans and bill alerts that help them avoid unpleasant surprises during billing cycles. More than half of business owners said they are willing to pay more if it means getting tailored services.
- Know your Competition.
Many small enterprises took a blow from the recession and had a hard time getting back on their feet. It caused them to be extra careful about where the money goes as well as finding ways to save. The study shows that while SMBs trust their utility, they do not have qualms about taking energy management services from other providers including energy brokers and retailers, among others if it means saving money. By knowing your competition, it’s easier to form a strategy that will let you stay ahead of the curb.
Partnering with a franchisor that provides substantial support for new franchisees, as well as relevant information about the business is essential. It also pays to do research, so you know whether your franchisor of choice provides services that can match those offered by your competitors.
As early as now, more than half of the business owners reported having energy audits while some 41% are looking into investing in devices that will help them manage their energy consumption. These numbers show that energy management targeting services SMBs is a robust opportunity, and it pays to harness the potential early on.