New npower research: Britain's SMEs struggle to plan

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We understand how hard it is for SMEs, especially when they’re just starting out. So we’ve been looking into the struggles Britain’s SMEs might face and have created an entertaining infographic to show that even mighty businesses like Amazon and Google had their problems at the very beginning.

Read on for our findings, and to learn how we could help you plan for your future…

SME struggles: our research

In December 2012, we asked more than 500 SMEs across the UK about their attitudes to business and energy planning. We found that:

  • Planning for the future was a problem for the majority (57%) of businesses and they could only manage to plan for the next 6-12 months.
  • 56% take a planned approach to their businesses’ energy consumption, but only 25% implement energy efficiency measures.
  • 42% complained that the day-to-day running of their business prevents them from making long-term plans.
  • 60% feel that being able to fix prices, such as their energy supply and other overheads, would help them to plan further ahead.

Plan for the future with our Fixed 123 tariff

Operating in an unpredictable economic climate with so many market variables and not much spare time, it’s easy to understand why you might struggle to think more than a year ahead.

But there is one thing you can make more stable to help you plan your future: your energy tariff.

With our Fixed 1 2 3 tariff, you can set your energy price for one, two or even three years in advance, so there are no surprises in store and you can take control of your own energy budget.

Our Business Consultants are also on hand to help to monitor and reduce your energy use, so just call one of the team on 0800 294 3616 if you’d like to find out more about Fixed 1 2 3 and how you can start saving.

Our infographic

From accidentally pressing the ‘go live’ button by sitting on it and launching a website too early to DIY desks made from doors to save money, even the world’s most established companies like Amazon, Google, MSN and Microsoft had their fair share of struggles and gaffes when they first started out as small businesses.

We’ve created an infographic for you, featuring a collection of some of the stories from their early years to highlight just how tough things can be — and that you’re not alone. Just click on the image below to view our full infographic.

Our references

Here’s where we sourced our facts from if you’d like to read more about the stories we featured:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/money/20-fun-facts-google-earliest-days-article-1.322575

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/money/20-fun-facts-google-earliest-days-article-1.322575

http://mba-interview.wikispaces.com/Google

http://www.landley.net/history/mirror/net/google-history.html

http://glinden.blogspot.co.uk/2006/01/early-amazon-door-desks.html

http://mashable.com/2011/07/22/facts-amazon-com/

http://blog.glennf.com/mtarchives/008652.html

http://glinden.blogspot.co.uk/2006/01/early-amazon-xmas-at-warehouse.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203914304576627102996831200.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/apples-first-ceo-michael-scott-2011-5

http://www.businessinsider.com/apples-first-ceo-michael-scott-2011-5

http://www.businessinsider.com/apples-first-ceo-michael-scott-2011-5

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/technology-gadgets/steve-jobs-book-reveals-a-genius-ndash-and-a-hippie-with-smelly-feet-16068439.html

http://www.microsoft.com/misc/features/features_flshbk.htm

http://www.businessinsider.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-bill-gates-2011-4?op=1

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-04-21/news/29459122_1_paul-allen-leg-password

http://gawker.com/284714/facebook-takes-over-palo-alto

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/the-boy-kings-13-uncomfor_n_1630954.html

http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/06/technology/facebook_excerpt_early.fortune/

http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/06/facebook-david-kirkpatrick/

http://worldtv.com/blog/facebook/the_house_where_facebook_started_in_palo_alto.php

Did you enjoy our infographic or recognise some of the scenarios? Do you find long-term planning a problem, and do you think npower’s Fixed 1 2 3 tariff could help?

Why not tell us what struggles you face as a small business, and how we can help by leaving us a comment or two below?

*The prices will be fixed for a 1,2, or 3 year contract period agreed with you and will remain fixed for the period unless information used to price your contract was incorrect or there are any legal, regulatory or third party changes or increases that occur.

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