This month SME Today have been able to meet CEO of Quote4Energy Lynsey Jones. Lynsey has been in the energy industry for more than 2 decades. She has experience managing both SME and Strategic Brokers, covering private and public-sector customers from the SME and Industrial and Commercial sectors.
She came to understand that business owners don’t want to spend hours dealing with suppliers, and the pricing complexity related to energy contracts. They just want to focus on running their business.
Lynsey you are an established and successful entrepreneur – please tell us about your background……
Having personally managed more than 30 different energy brokers – including some of the largest in the industry – I knows exactly what it takes to run a successful energy consultancy and always looks at everything from the eyes of the customer. I have inspired and lead large teams to provide industry-leading customer service and takes immense pride in SLA compliance, customer management and customer communication.
My Energy Market expertise is second to none with extensive pricing and contract knowledge
Please tell us about your first entrepreneurial experience.
My first experience was an opportunity to start Quote4Energy back in 2017, having worked in a male dominated Corporate world for most of my working life it was definitely an experience, it’s been hard work with lots of changes in direction but I love what we do.
What do you think makes an entrepreneur?
I believe an entrepreneur is an individual who an idea for a business ( or multiple businesses) and takes the necessary risks to make it happen
What originally made you decide to launch your own business?
I previously worked for one of the Big 6 energy suppliers looking after Energy Consultants, I was continuously frustrated seeing how much commission customers where paying in their energy contracts without fully understanding the market. I launched Quote4Energy so that we could make sure customers where getting the best deal for their business whilst fully understanding what they are paying for our service
How did you get into your industry?
I started back in 1995, initially I worked in the call centre for a Big 6 supplier answering calls in the residential market. Over the years I then moved through SME and I&C (Industrial and Commercial), I have even done a stint in the Site Services department working on the closure and refurbishment of offices. When I started in the industry it was seen a job for life.
What makes your business different from your competitors?
We are quite unique in our industry, we don’t cold call and we disclose our commission to the customer so they know exactly how much they are paying us for our services. A lot of our competitors advertise that they either do it for free or say they get paid by the supplier, well yes they do but their commission is included in the customer’s rates.
What are you most proud of since setting up your company?
I am proud that we are still going 3 years on, it is a difficult and competitive market. I am proud of how transparent we are with our customers and the service we provide them.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
Honestly, we have struggled. With businesses being closed and the ones who were open had other priorities, getting their businesses COVID safe. For new business we were closed but we remained available for any queries for our current customers, thankfully we had helped all our businesses with their renewal contracts prior to the pandemic.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Our biggest challenge is gaining new customers, because we don’t cold call and are trying to gain customers on trust by educating them about the market and how Consultants work, it is a slow process for us to gain customers but that is a conscious decision. We don’t want to be bombarding customers with calls, we want to educate them so they fully understand what is happening throughout the process. We have come across some customers who don’t even know they have entered a contract, or think they have entered a 12-month contract and it is in fact three years.
What do you love most about your job?
I love speaking to customers, I love educating them because that then equips them to make the best decision for their business. If we can help them save money, then that’s a bonus
What is the most rewarding aspect?
Two things I guess, the education piece, I love helping customers understand how the market works and how their prices are built up. You can’t guarantee that you will save every customer money because it depends when they bought their original contract but it’s great when you do.
If you had to sum up your business in five words what would you say?
Energy Made Simple and Transparent
What skills do you think someone needs when starting their own business?
Honestly, to be able to juggle! I think you have to be organised, you’ve got to be prepared to take risks, you’ve got to make decisions – it might not always be the right decision but a decision is better than no decision
What has been the most significant challenges that you have overcome?
Where to start, there have been lots of challenges over the last three years. Initially, I set the business up with two other people, one from the Industry, the other a relation of theirs. That didn’t work out for a number of reasons and both resigned, the first one within the first year and the second within the first 18 months. I went from a business where I had support in areas I lacked the skills to being on my own, but I have to say it turned out to be a good thing and I have learnt the skills I lacked previously.
What is the constant in your life that keeps you motivated?
My family is the constant that keeps me motivated, 10 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I was 34 and pregnant with my youngest, Olivia. At the time I was told that without surgery I only had a 15% chance of survival, I was determined to be around for my husband and children. I’m motivated to work as hard as I can so I can spend quality time with them
What do you value most, price or service?
Personally I value service, I believe that you get what you pay for, I would rather pay a higher price but get a great service. Unfortunately in this industry, this isn’t always the case, customers could be paying a high p/kWh without knowing and getting no service to back it up.
What book(s) changed your life or perspective the most?
On a personal level, it would have to be Lindsey Hunter’s autobiography, she was the wife of Paul Hunter the snooker player who died from cancer at the age of just 27. On a business level, it would have to be Who Moved my Cheese, it’s all about change. Something you have to be able to deal with in Business.
What would you say is the single biggest way you impact the world?
I give back where I can, I donate to charities that mean a lot to me, hold or attend fundraising coffee mornings, take part in Race for Life, my husband does the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride in aid of The Christie where I was treated.
What is your next BIG thing, your next BIG goal?
Well, I have just written an e-book about my journey over the last 10 years since being diagnosed, hopefully, the book with help others going through a big life event not necessarily cancer. Alongside that, I am launching a Facebook group where people can come for support or share their stories, again not just cancer related it could be anything from a divorce to depression or anxiety.
If you are interested in having an energy quote please visit:
Why not download Lynsey’s latest EBook “15% Chance of Survival 10yrs On” : https://www.quote4energy.com/a-15-chance-of-survival/