Malcolm Porter talks to James Hickling
Malcolm Porter talks to James Hickling, Franchise Support Manager at Energy & Carbon Management Ltd.
Malcolm Porter: How would you describe the Energy & Carbon Management franchise opportunity?
James Hickling: With more than 20 years’ industry experience, Energy & Carbon Management is a leading UK energy management consultant for the gas and electricity market. We provide high-value services to mid-sized organisations to enable them to manage and purchase energy and water efficiently, and we are an established player in the fast growing business of carbon emission reduction and monitoring.
We offer a unique opportunity for individuals to build their own professional service business, in a fast-growing, recession-proof market, backed by a top quality team of experts and a 20-year profitable track record.
Malcolm Porter: Describe your target market and the potential for your business across the UK?
James Hickling: Our target market is mid-sized commercial users spending £50,000 to £5 million on energy per annum. All commercial organisations can take advantage of our services.
Malcolm Porter: Has the current economic uncertainty affected your business?
James Hickling: Yes – in a positive way! More clients understand and appreciate the value our services offer to their businesses in controlling the energy costs. Energy consumption is a key business overhead. Its price volatility and high cost make it increasingly important for organisations to procure and manage their energy needs cost-effectively.
Renewing energy contracts at the wrong moment, or failing to spot irregularities in billings or consumption patterns can significantly increase energy bills, eating into profits.
The analytical skills and market knowledge of Energy & Carbon Management’s team of professional energy specialists ensure that our clients effectively control their energy costs.
Malcolm Porter: What differentiates Energy & Carbon Management from its competition?
James Hickling: Many of the services we provide to our mid-sized clients are normally only available to large corporate users. We are able to supply these services because of our long-standing supplier relationships, in-depth technical knowledge and state-of-the-art management information systems.
Malcolm Porter: What support do you provide to your franchise owners?
James Hickling: All of our franchise owners receive comprehensive initial and ongoing professional training as well as an experienced personal sales mentor for the first 12 months to help them build their own profitable professional services business.
Energy & Carbon Management franchise owners have full access to the company’s 20 years of experience in energy procurement and management.
All franchise owners are trained to offer their clients a full range of management and procurement services in electricity and gas, and analysis services for water and carbon all provided by our top quality back-office team.
Malcolm Porter: What are the most important characteristics you look for in potential franchise owners?
James Hickling: A passion for customer service – maintaining our historic 95 per cent client retention rate is one of the keys to building a strong portfolio of recurrent revenues.
Energy and enthusiasm – we provide our clients with very high value services, a franchise owner’s role will be to communicate that value, both initially and over the lifetime of the relationship.
Desire to learn – we are excited about the prospect of transmitting over 20 years’ experience to all franchise owners and we know how to do so in terms that both they and their clients will readily understand.
Malcolm Porter: What are Energy & Carbon Management’s goals for the next 12 months?
James Hickling: To grow the business and client base through making our proven business model available to motivated entrepreneurs who want to build their own profitable professional services business.
We aim to attract at least another 12 franchise associates and offer the right individuals the opportunity to be part of our growth while they build their own six-figure professional services business.