Double winners approaching the new year with great energy
PUBLISHED: 14:26 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:40 06 February 2020
Winning the Norfolk Business Awards’ Small & Medium Business category for the second time, Norfolk-based energy consultancy Indigo Swan is ready for a roaring 2020
James Groves is feeling confident about 2020. The managing director of energy consultancy Indigo Swan saw his company take top honours in the 2019 Norfolk Business Awards' Small & Medium Business category - for the second consecutive year.
"We have to try for the hat-trick," the Arsenal fan says. "We have ambitious plans for this year and if we can show the same rates of growth as we did in 2018 and 2019, we'll be in a good place to impress the judging panel."
Mr Groves describes Indigo Swan as, "A group of energy-contract enthusiasts". While 25pc of the business is traditional brokering and finding clients a good deal, he says 75pc is the aftercare: validating bills, helping with the transition to smart metering and navigating the other challenges of managing a complex portfolio of energy spending.
The energy market has changed dramatically since Indigo Swan was established 10 years ago. There has been a proliferation in energy suppliers - "As well as the big six, there are many smaller ones, many of whom have great offerings," notes Mr Groves - and there are now thousands of specialist intermediaries and brokers. It's an increasingly competitive market.
How can Indigo Swan continue its rate of growth in such a tough environment? "We know what works. We know our processes work and we know what works for our clients," says Mr Groves confidently. "We're looking for clients who buy into what we do, working with us so they get the full benefit from our services - both in terms of getting a good price and on the admin front, with the time we save them." The secret of Indigo Swan's success is the team. "For me, it is all about the people - the swans, as we like to call them," Mr Groves explains. "We hire ambitious people who are ready to innovate, to challenge themselves both personally and in business terms.
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"They're supported by good processes," he adds. "Quality of process is key when there are thousands of firms brokering energy - and we made sure we got that right when we started the business and we continue to innovate. And with our passionate staff, we're able to bring something extra to the table."
Indigo Swan puts a lot of effort into supporting its people. "Like all businesses we have an appraisal process," Mr Groves explains. "Everyone has ten goals - five performance-based, five career-growth focused - but we also ask people to set five extra, personal goals. These can be anything from buying a house to getting a dog, but they really help managers make connections and build relationships."
Indigo Swan triumphed as an organisation in the 2019 Norfolk Business awards and Mr Groves was also recognised as an individual, as a finalist in Director of the Year. "Like every director, I have my strengths and weaknesses, so I make sure I have a great team," he says. "We have a world-class marketing manager, a world-class finance director... all our managers are exceptional. We've shaped the team to allow me to do what I need to do, as managing director, to ensure the success of the company."
Will we see Indigo Swan at this year's Norfolk Business Awards? Mr Groves is optimistic: "By constantly innovating and constantly growing, we've made Indigo Swan into a business we can be proud of and Norfolk can be proud of," he concludes.
For more information about Indigo Swan's services, click here.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Indigo Swan clearly demonstrated to the judges how it has continued to deliver truly impressive growth in revenue and profit, with a clear plan for future growth. It has done this by investing heavily in its own staff, creating a highly motivated team working to a common aim, combined with desire to make a difference to the local community in which they work.
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