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A small business owner, a woman with dark hair in a pink top, going over her business finances on a laptop A small business owner, a woman with dark hair in a pink top, going over her business finances on a laptop

ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS THIS WINTER

The recent increases in energy prices coupled with the rise in the cost of living has meant many small business owners are viewing the next few months with serious concern. So, what can be done to keep costs down, and is there any positive news for small businesses out there?

First some good news. It turns out that even with cost-cutting being a fact of life for many, shopping locally remains a priority. In fact, of the 2000 people we surveyed, 78% said they thought it was important to shop locally this festive season. More than half of the people surveyed also said they are doing it to help put money back into their local economy.

Want more good news? 51% of people surveyed said they saw their local businesses as an important part of their community. With 67% saying they considered a local business owner as a friend.

What is worrying small business owners?

We also surveyed 500 small business owners about what worries them. It turns out their biggest concern is being able to afford their energy bills through the forthcoming winter.

In order to help, we’ve teamed up with entrepreneur and business advocate Deborah Meaden to look at what small businesses can do.

SWNS DEBORAH MEADEN 012

“It is clear that many small businesses are concerned about making enough sales over the Christmas period and managing other pressures, such as high energy bills. It is important that small businesses don’t suffer in silence and do look at what support is available to them.”

Deborah’s top tips for small business owners this winter:

1. Check your energy bills and ensure you only pay for what your business uses

This can help with cashflow and your budgeting.

Many smaller businesses are eligible for a smart meter, which will give you accurate bills, not estimates. Installations are happening now, so to find out if your business is eligible for a smart meter, go to your suppliers website by typing their name in the box below.

If your small business works with a Third Party Intermediary (TPI) or broker, please contact them directly to request your smart meter.

We believe that Octopus Energy is now responsible for Affect Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Octopus Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Yu Energy are responsible for Ampower UK customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Yu Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that Yu Energy PLC is now responsible for Bristol Energy Business customers. Therefore we will connect you with Yu Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Pozitive Energy is now responsible for Contract Natural Gas customers. Therefore we will connect you with Pozitive Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

You can continue your smart meter journey at your supplier's website. They will take your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that Haven Power has rebranded to Drax. Therefore we will connect you with their smart meter page. where you'll be able to take your request forward.

We believe that Shell Energy are responsible for Hudson customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Shell Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Smartest Energy is responsible for MA Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Smartest Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is responsible for PFP Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

To book your smart meter installation, please contact Pozitive Energy's Customer Care Team on 0333 370 9900. We will be taking you to their website now, where you can login for more information.

You can continue your smart meter journey at your supplier's website. They will take your request forward.

We believe that Yu Energy is now responsible for Xcel Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with Yu Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Yu Energy is now responsible for Whoop Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with Yu Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

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2. Seek help - don't suffer in silence

If your business is getting squeezed this winter, don’t suffer in silence, seek help. Speak to your bank, your accountant, the HMRC, your energy provider. Remember also if you attend a meeting with them make sure you take all the information you’ll need to ask for their help.

3. Focus on the most profitable parts of your business

Understand the parts of your business which generate the most profit and focus on them. There are a couple of things you can do to help promote yourself. Firstly, ensure you are promoting yourself locally online. Also, think about guerrilla marketing, which you can do at low to no cost using just your smart phone.

4. Communicate with your team

A few small changes can make a huge difference. Make the most of the team around you as everyone has ideas to bring to the table. Involving your staff at the start of the process helps them embrace any of the changes you want to make.

Want to find out more?

...or for all things small business see our small business hub.

FAQs

How long does installation take?

Installations normally take about two hours and are arranged in advance so that you can make any necessary arrangements beforehand to ensure minimal disruption to your normal business operations.

Is my smart meter accurate?

Smart meters are as accurate as traditional meters. By law, all smart meters have to be approved by and certified by the Office of Product Safety & Standards to prove their accuracy. If you believe that there's a fault with your smart meter you can report it to your energy supplier in the same way you do now.

Get a smart meter
Get a smart meter