Focus Business Consultancy, the Fife-based new Preferred Supplier for utilities for members of Scottish Care, is looking forward to using its jargon-free consultative approach to help them accelerate their financial recovery from a particularly tough 15 months through better utility bill savings.
Scottish Care is the membership-based representative body for independent private and voluntary sector social care services in Scotland and represents more than 400 organisations delivering almost 1,000 individual services including residential care, nursing care, day care, care at home and housing support services. It represents 85% of independent sector care homes and more than 50% of independent sector care at home and housing support services in Scotland.
Downward profitability trend
The UK-wide Knight Frank Care Homes Trading Performance Review 2020 showed property costs, which include utilities, increased across the UK care home sector by 3.7%. Together with other cost rises, including higher staff costs, it resulted in a continuation of the sector profitability downward trend seen over the last decade - with average EBITDARM margins declining to 26.8% for Financial Year 2019-20 for all care sectors and 26.2% for Q2 2020.
Utilities broker Focus Business Consultancy, owned and run by Managing Director Steve Wilson form his base near Cupar, has been appointed Preferred Supplier to Scottish Care for two years. He plans to use his advice-based, transparent, jargon-free and bespoke approach developed over more than 30 years advising businesses of all sizes in a regulated environment to help members improve their profitability, financial stability and confidence to invest in their businesses by minimising their costs on electricity, gas, water, oil and LPG over multiple years.
Steve has previously been asked to present at national conferences on business energy and offers industry insight and advice to help business owners navigate the confusing landscape of commercial utilities and enable them to make a more informed decision on when and from whom to buy their energy.
Speaking about the appointment, Scottish Care said: “We are pleased to welcome Focus Business Consultancy as part of our Preferred Suppliers 2021 – 2023 listings.
“Our Preferred Suppliers are hand-selected by a panel of Scottish Care members, the National Team and the Executive. We believe the selected suppliers will provide the best support, benefits, products and services across a wide range of areas for our membership.
“We look forward to working with Focus Business Consultancy to offer Scottish Care members tailored business energy and utilities advice and management services.”
Steve Wilson, said, “We are delighted to be accepted on to Scottish Care’s panel of Preferred Suppliers and look forward to helping their members over the next two years.
“The care sector has been particularly impacted by the events of the last 15 months and all business owners, now more than ever, should be looking to see where reductions in overheads can be made, particularly where there is no drop in quantity or quality. Energy is an obvious place to start – any savings immediately improve profits, future financial stability and confidence.
“We celebrated our third year in business in February and have been steadily engaging new clients UK-wide who are looking for transparent, non-jargoned advice on their business utilities from a company like ours with less overhead than most of its competitors. This allows us to offer bigger savings, even while keeping the client with the same utility provider, if desired, and often far cheaper than the renewal rates they’ve been offered.
“We have an established track record of making real savings for our clients across a wide range of high-use sectors such as hotels and leisure, engineering, manufacturing and production but are especially interested in helping the care sector. We also help businesses with multiple sites make savings in both financial and admin terms and offer a tailored service.
“I’m confident that over the next two years we can help independent care homes find significant savings, recover profitability and improve financial stability for them and the security of their key stakeholders – the people they care for, their families and staff. Through that, Scotland and the UK as a whole will also benefit.”