When it comes to finding success as an entrepreneur, the details are paramount. While you may have strong instincts regarding running a successful business in a small town, none of that will be for anything if you aren’t careful in the decisions you make. Everything from who you choose to lease commercial property from to the sorts of vendors you choose can make a big difference in your bottom line—as well as your company’s overall sustainability.
One area that many business owners don’t always consider is the price they pay for utilities. While smart business owners take a look at all of their inflows and outflows each month, truly savvy entrepreneurs look beyond the material costs of running their business to include factors like heating, cooling, Internet, and other utilities. If you’re looking to save on your business’ electricity provider, here are five things you absolutely have to consider.
1. How long have they been in business?
The first factor to consider as you’re weighing different electricity providers is how many years of experience they have in the business. A newer electric company may be able to offer you better deals, but you won’t know whether or not you can trust them with your company if you don’t have a history to judge them against. While it may seem unfair—after all, every company has to start somewhere—in the world of business, you have to look out for yourself. As such, it’s crucial that you put your company’s well-being first and find an electric provider with the years of experience necessary to keep you going.
2. Do they operate in your geographic area?
Sometimes you may get solicitations from an electrical company only to realize that they can’t service your area. Finding a local company will always be best since it means that they’re more likely to respond quickly to weather events that affect your service or other power outages. When it comes time to compare various electric providers, make sure to input your zip code to get the best options in your area.
3. Are their prices and plans competitive?
Obviously, a smart entrepreneur is going to look for cost-saving measures wherever possible, and utilities are certainly worth looking into! That being said, just because a price is lower with one provider than it is with another, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should automatically choose them. For example, a plan might be competitive but ultimately not have the features you need to ensure that you’re going to have the amount of power your business needs to run. Dig into the specifics of your utility contract beyond its pricing before you sign on the dotted line.
4. What’s their customer service like?
Determining whether or not an electric provider is right for you comes down to customer service many times. This is because energy companies will likely do everything in their power to stay competitive in terms of pricing, which can make it difficult to choose between a few good options. Looking up companies on Yelp and Google Reviews to see what customers are saying about them online is a great way of knowing whether or not the service they provide is as advertised. It’s also worth noting whether the electric provider responds to negative reviews or if they just let them sit.
5. Will they scale with your business?
Obviously, your business’ needs are going to change from year to year. It’s important to have utility providers that are willing to go through those changes with you. If you know that you have a goal of using eco-friendly energy options and going renewable in the future, it’s not a bad idea to find a provider capable of this sort of service today.