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What you should look out for in choosing the right business energy supplier

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What you should look out for in choosing the right business energy supplier

From small businesses that are trying to grow their business to large businesses seeking more cost-effective changes, finding the right business energy supplier can have a significant impact on the success of their operations. However, there is more to it than just searching price lists and choosing the cheapest energy supplier. There are many factors that you should weigh up first. This includes value for money, reliability, and quality of service.

Remember that a business energy supplier is also representative of your business. If you choose an unreliable business energy supplier or they offer poor customer service, then your business can struggle to provide a proper service to your customers. This article discusses what you should look out for in the right business energy supplier.

 

A strategic approach to choosing a business energy supplier

Firstly, before you decide to choose a business energy supplier, you need to consider the business needs and what you desire to achieve by working with the supplier. Any business energy supplier can be pleased to offer you their services, but the best ones are those that offer services that meet the needs of your business.

You should also figure out how many business energy suppliers you want. You should note that you can get a business energy supplier for electricity while the other one can provide business gas. You can also find business energy suppliers who offer dual-fuel contracts, meaning that the same energy supplier can provide your business with both electricity and gas.

Sometimes, it may not be a good idea to work with one energy supplier. After all, if your business energy supplier runs into problems, especially with this energy crisis, you need to have the chance to at least use the other energy supplier. If you intend to switch energy suppliers, you can visit www.utilitybidder.co.uk

There are a few things you need to consider before you choose a business energy supplier. A good business energy supplier needs to be reliable. This means that they should offer the services that they promised so that you should not let down your customers. Also, their services should be consistent. Remember that customers usually relate poor products with you instead of your supplier.

It’s also a good idea to think locally before you choose an energy supplier. Local energy suppliers tend to be more flexible and affordable and can improve the sustainability of your business. Energy suppliers who operate nationally may mean extra charges on your energy bills.

There are many competitively priced energy suppliers on the market, but the cheapest may not always be good for your business. Buying cheap can usually mean purchasing twice. But if you are after the quality of services and reliability, then you should weigh up the amount of money you are ready to pay. This is especially if you want to avoid damaging your reputation.

The best business energy suppliers can often keep their communication lines open and offer warnings when situations change. Delayed, dishonest, and unresponsive communication can indicate that you need to look for another business energy supplier.

You should also do due diligence into the financial background of the potential business energy supplier. If their cash flow is good, then they can match your business needs. Therefore, make sure that you do a credit check to rest assured that their business cannot close unexpectedly.

Lastly, the ethics and values of your business energy supplier should match yours. This ensures that there can be a good relationship in the long run. If you are happy with your green credential, then you need to find out the business energy supplier’s stance from a sustainable or environmental perspective. You can search their business website to check their values. For example, you can find some energy suppliers that help their customers understand their commitment to the environment and the planet.

 

Finding potential business energy suppliers

There are different channels that you can use to find potential business energy suppliers. Some of them include recommendations from business acquaintances and friends, directories, business advisors, networking exhibitions and events, and trade presses.

Once you have identified a couple of potential business energy suppliers, you can create a shortlist. You need to make sure that the potential energy supplier can deliver the services you want, are financially secure, is well established, is certified, and many more.

When the shortlist is ready, you can now approach your potential energy suppliers. You can brief them on what you want from them and give them an idea of your business model. Aside from these, you need to tell the business energy supplier the location of your business, the number of employees, and many more.

When interacting with potential energy suppliers, you need to negotiate and determine the right one you desire to work with. Here, you should be careful, so you should prepare well before you discuss this with the potential supplier. You can have a list of things that are crucial for your business, such as energy prices and payment terms. After doing this, you can now know what you want to compromise on and what you are not ready to compromise.

You need forward planning so that you can have a strategy in place. This allows you to know the time to walk away from an energy deal, especially the one that doesn’t fit your business model. Both you and the potential business energy provider should be transparent on the parts of the energy deal you are pleased with, and which areas you want to discuss further.

When it comes to energy prices, you need to investigate further if the business energy supplier is offering a lower energy price than the average price. This is because an energy supplier may not reveal that there are some charges and fees that can come up on your energy bill. In most cases, providing a very low price may mean that the energy supplier intends to reduce some costs in customer service. Unfortunately, your business reputation can be affected, especially if there is a power cut and there is no customer service for help.

 

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To rent or buy? What's in store for the clothing rental industry in Canada – CP24

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A few weeks ago, Carly Soares needed a dress for a wedding and fast.

“I tried going shopping at the mall, but noticed there was a scarce collection of formal dresses,” the 30-year-old said. “It was actually very surprising. It’s still the pandemic-loungewear kind of vibe throughout a lot of retail stores.”

The dresses she did come across were either too casual or too expensive, so she decided to rent one from a dress rental boutique, something she had never tried before.

And after a positive first experience, Soares said she would definitely do it again.

Clothing rental has become more mainstream over the last decade with the rise of the sharing economy, but the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t kind to these types of retailers.

As pandemic restrictions lifted, however, some Canadian rental businesses saw a boost in traffic.

While experts believe there is still more opportunity in the space, they are warning that growth might be subdued as Canadians change their shopping habits and priorities in an environment of hot inflation and rising interest rates.

There are other challenges as well, including getting more people on board with the idea of essentially sharing clothes, people’s mindset around the type of clothing suitable for rewear, environmentally-conscious consumers questioning how environmentally-friendly fashion rental truly is, and the logistics of inventory.

“We’ve been conditioned to purchase something, wear it, throw it out. Changing that to appreciate that rental opportunity is something that does take quite a lot of time,” said Daniel Drak, assistant professor at the Parsons School of Design.

One of the most prominent clothing rental businesses, if not the most, is U.S.-based Rent the Runway, founded in 2009, which quickly became a hit with women who wanted access to designer clothing but didn’t want to spend tons of money on outfits they might wear once or twice.

In Canada, a rush of new clothing rental businesses began popping up in the years leading up to the pandemic, offering everything from special occasion wear to workwear to maternity wear to everyday wear, but like many companies in the small business retail sector, getting through the last two years was a challenge.

Canadian companies like Rent Frock Repeat, workwear rental business Dresst and Montreal’s Station Service have all ended their run over the last couple of years.

It’s a “very challenging” market to be in, said Julie Kalinowski CEO of Toronto-based The Fitzroy, which offers special occasion dress rentals at a more affordable price.

According to Drak, Gen Z will be the generation that really moves the industry forward because of their excitement around shopping resale, whether it’s for economic reasons, aiming to reduce clothing waste or to find one-of-a-kind pieces.

He said now is the time for existing and emerging Canadian clothing rental businesses to lean into that popularity and make resale a part of their business model, which some have started to do.

The global resale apparel market was valued at US$14 billion last year, according to Statista, and is projected to grow to US$51 billion by 2026.

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) assistant professor Anika Kozlowski said making genuine efforts to reduce clothing waste and reduce emissions stemming from clothing production, and operating as a local business in order to do so, might also be a good strategy, especially considering Canada’s smaller population.

This would involve a strong understanding of the community the business operates in, the use of high-quality Canada-made items from ethical brands, finding ways to clean and repair clothes in a way that isn’t harmful to the environment, and avoiding long-distance shipping.

That’s something Blyth Gill is working on with Vancouver-based Tradle, an e-commerce baby clothing subscription business that allows parents to rent and exchange clothes for each growth spurt.

“Because babies outgrow clothes quickly, the need to have and exchange clothes has a really short cycle,” he said.

Tradle works with local, high-quality brands, avoiding fast fashion brands. And when the clothes can no longer be reused, they won’t be thrown away, but instead recycled or broken down.

The company launched right before the pandemic, which Gill said was definitely a learning experience.

“Naturally, when we didn’t know as much about COVID-19, people were probably thinking, ‘sharing clothes? I don’t know,'” he said.

But Gill said he’s happy that phase is now behind them and is excited for the next stage of the business’ growth.

The Fitzroy’s Kalinowski is quite optimistic as well.

“Since the last reopening, it’s been crazy, it’s been a boom, it’s been probably our best sales yet. It’s been a big year for weddings, all the events are back on, all the galas are back on. We just had the Toronto International Film Festival, one of our busiest weeks. So it’s been crazy busy.”

Gabriella Iamundo, 31, uses fashion rental for special occasion wear, but doesn’t really see herself using it for everyday clothing, athleisure wear or workwear, or subscribing to a service, a sentiment TMU’s Kozlowski said is likely pretty common across the board.

“I rented (special occasion wear) for the first time probably four or five years ago, maybe a little bit longer than that, and it just became something I thought was good for events,” Iamundo said.

“To be honest, it’s pretty common in my circle of friends to check (rental services) out to at least see what the options are, especially before having to go buy something.”

When looking further ahead, Parsons’ Drak sees bigger, traditional brands starting their own rental segments – which U.S.-founded Urban Outfitters has done – or acquiring existing businesses in the space, which would shake up the market.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2022.

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What is the Fed Doing? – A Wealth of Common Sense

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Don’t fight the Fed used to be a positive slogan.

That’s not the case anymore.

If anything, it feels like the Fed wants to fight us, all of us, including the stock market and the economy.

The Fed is actively trying to crash the stock market, break the housing market and push the economy into a recession.

How do I know this?

Because Fed officials are literally telling us this every time they speak.

In fact, this week Fed chair Jerome Powell basically said people need to lose their job to slow inflation:

We’re never going to say that are too many people working, but the real point is this, inflation, what we hear from people when we meet with them is that they really are suffering from inflation. And if we want to set ourselves up really light the way to another period of a very strong labor market, we have got to get inflation behind us. I wish there were a painless way to do that, there isn’t.

We’re not saying there are too many people working but we’re also not not saying that.

When asked how long Americans should be prepared to experience economic pain, Powell said he wants wages to fall:

How long? I mean it really depends on how long it takes for wages and more than that, prices, to come down for inflation to come down. And so what you see in our projections today is that inflation moves down significantly over the course of next year and then more the next year after that. And I think once you’re on that path, that’s a good thing, and things will start to feel better to people, they’ll feel lower inflation, they’ll feel the economy is improving, and also, if our projections are close to right, you’ll see that the costs in unemployment are, they’re meaningful, and they’re certainly very meaningful to the people who lose their jobs, and we talk about that in our meetings quite a lot.

And will this pain lead to a recession? Powell says he doesn’t know:

We have always understood that restoring price stability while achieving a relatively modest decline, or rather increase, in unemployment and a soft landing would be very challenging and we don’t know, no one knows whether this process will lead to a recession or if so, how significant that recession would be.

Please allow me to translate each of these statements:

  • The Fed wants the unemployment rate to rise to slow inflation.
  • They want wages to fall to slow inflation.
  • They are willing to throw us into a recession to slow inflation.

In some ways, I understand why the Fed is so hell-bent on slowing rising prices. People REALLY don’t like sky-high inflation.

But in other ways, I think what the Fed is doing is INSANE.

What are they doing?!

The pandemic seriously messed up the economy and markets in a multitude of ways. The Fed was responsible for some of those problems but there were also extenuating circumstances.

They don’t dictate how the different waves of Covid will impact the global economy. They don’t control government spending. The Fed can’t produce more cars. They can’t fix supply chains. They cannot control the actions of a madman in Russia who continues to fight a cruel war against an innocent nation.

I appreciate how the Fed must feel somewhat responsible for the highest inflation reading in 40 some odd years because they kept rates at 0% for a long time and gobbled up bonds like people at Costco eating free samples.

I get it.

The Fed was behind the eightball in terms of seeing this inflation coming. It was supposed to be transitory and it wasn’t.

But the Fed has already moved ridiculously fast with their tightening.

Kathy Jones from Charles Schwab looked at the change in Fed Funds Rate during the last 40 years or so of tightening cycles:

It took them a while to get going but once they realized inflation was an actual problem they’ve now overcorrected and raised rates at a faster clip than just about every Federal Reserve in history.

They want the stock market to go down. They want people to lose their jobs and make less money. They will take the economy down if they have to so prices will stop rising.

The Fed is more or less telling us they are willing to raise interest rates high enough to crush the economy.

Should we believe them?

For now I guess.

I think Fed officials are so embarrassed they missed inflation getting this high that they’re willing to overcorrect to the other side and force us into a recession to prove a point.

On the other hand, the Fed’s forecasting ability leaves a lot to be desired.

In September 2020 the Fed predicted it would take until 2023 for the unemployment rate to get to 4%. That seemed reasonable at the time considering how long it’s taken for jobs to come back during previous recoveries.

Instead, the unemployment rate was already under 4% by December 2021, years ahead of schedule:

Ok fine, we had the fastest jobs recovery in history from a double-digit unemployment rate. Let’s give them a mulligan for that one. It was easy to be pessimistic in 2020 before the vaccine was here.

But how did the Fed do with their predictions once it became apparent the economic recovery was already underway?

Well…

The Fed provided a similar forecast in June of 2021 when it was clear markets and the economy were already recovering:

I’ve highlighted here the Fed’s forecast for short-term interest rates here. They were figuring 0% through the end of 2022 with a 50 basis point hike in 2023.

Obviously, the Fed did not assume we would see inflation rise to 9% this year (neither did I).

But the Fed Funds Rate is now at 3.25%. They have raised rates 75 basis points at the last two meetings. Those two rate hikes are higher than the forecast for rates to rise for the entirety of 2023!

I’m not going to fault anyone for being just a bit outside on their forecast of the economy since the start of the pandemic.

This is clearly one of the most difficult economic environments we’ve ever experienced. There are no historical precedents for what we’ve lived through.

It feels like we’ve been through 7 economic cycles in the past 3 years.

My problem with the Fed is they don’t seem to have the humility to admit how difficult of an environment we find ourselves in.

They’ve already tightened considerably.

The stock market is crashing. The housing market is screeching to a halt. Gas prices are down. Commodity prices are down. Mortgage rates have more than doubled.

Why not give it some time to see how things shake out from here?

Why don’t we let the economy breath for a hot minute before trying to get people fired from their job?

I’m not worried about the stock market or the bond market. It’s no fun to deal with losses but losses are part of the deal with risk assets.

They’ll recover eventually.

It’s much easier to recover from a bear market than a job loss. Just think of the millions of people who lost their jobs in 2020 from the pandemic. We really want to put people through that again so soon?

I realize recessions are a feature of this system in which we operate. Downturns are impossible to avoid.

But why would we choose to create one if we can help it?

Why not allow people to see their wages rise for a little longer and have a little patience to see if the pandemic-related inflation stuff will subside on its own?

There are two types of risks when it comes to financial markets — (1) avoidable and (2) unavoidable.

If the Fed sends us into a recession that seems like an avoidable risk to me.

I don’t understand what Jerome Powell and company are doing right now.

The good news is the Fed is constantly changing its mind because they’re just as bad at predicting the future as everyone else.

Hopefully they come to their senses before they break something.

Further Reading:
How to Prepare For a Recession

 

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Atlanta Fed President Bostic expects job losses but says there’s a really good chance to get to 2% inflation without killing the economy – CNBC

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President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Raphael W. Bostic speaks at a European Financial Forum event in Dublin, Ireland February 13, 2019.
Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

Raphael Bostic, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, appeared on CBS’ “Face The Nation” Sunday morning with a continued commitment to the 2% inflation target and a cautiously optimistic outlook on the path to get there.

The nation’s central bank hiked the targeted federal funds rate by 75 basis points to between 3 and 3 1/4 Wednesday. Bostic believes that the Federal Reserve can achieve its goal of 2% inflation without severely damaging the economy.

“I do think that we’re going to do all that we can at the Federal Reserve to avoid deep, deep pain.” Bostic told “Face the Nation.”

The most recent report clocked inflation at 8.3% through the past year. The Fed is aiming to temper demand in the economy so prices can stabilize, but some fear that the strict policies might initiate further economic turmoil.

Bostic recognized that there will likely be job losses as a result of the Fed’s actions. However, compared to prior Fed tightening, Bostic believes that “there is a really good chance that if we have job losses it will be smaller than what we’ve seen in other situations,” he said on “Face the Nation.”

Bostic sees “positive momentum” in the economy despite two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, a signifier used by some to identify a recession.

“We’re still creating lots of jobs on a monthly basis. And so I actually think that there is some ability for the economy to absorb our actions,” Bostic said, noting “considerable job growth” in his bank’s hometown of Atlanta. “My expectation is that as we move along and we start to get inflation more under control.”

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