Resources to help you become more profitable

Rachel Westerman, Byworth’s Financial Director, reports:

2016 was quite a tumultuous time in the financial markets. Who would have thought that Brexit would happen? However, there are some things that are worth considering and making use of them now.

In July 2015, Brent oil was trading at over $100 a barrel and had been trading at that level for some time.  With the current prices having significantly dropped since then, it’s had a huge impact on the overall energy market. This forced me to analyse our energy contracts, reviewing what we had spent earlier this year and more importantly, could we benefit from market changes.
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Reduced Energy Bills & Byworth

As a medium business with 12 gas and electric meters in various locations and with very different usages, pricing can be complicated and often too time consuming when researching how to get the right deal.

Recently, you may have seen articles about how householders have been saving large amounts on their energy bills through switching to specialised energy brokers, the same also applies to businesses.

Dedicating time to this project has really paid off for us… 20% reduction in our gas bill and 6% reduction in electricity.

So how did we manage these savings?

After trawling through various utility sites and having many fruitless conversations I was introduced to Businesswise Energy Solutions.

Offering a dedicated service to businesses they attract ‘best in market’ energy prices for long-term energy savings.

Part of a simple and quick process, they presented immediate energy savings with long-term guarantees. We now benefit from one provider, easy access to all energy usage and an independent regular review to ensure we continue to get the ‘best market price’ on our energy usage.

These great savings got me thinking about how we could bring further energy savings to our customers – as most of them are high gas users.

So we talked further with Businesswise Energy Solutions to see if they could help our customers the same way they had us, and they confirmed that yes they could.

Byworth’s customers can benefit from reduced bills as a result of our energy efficient equipment BUT also get further assistance with ‘best in market’ deals in gas and electric.
We experienced dramatic savings on our energy bills making it sustainable to invest these savings in other areas of our business. Now you can too.

I’d really encourage you to consider having an energy usage review with Businesswise… giving you not only immediate savings but an opportunity to spend savings elsewhere in your business… maybe an investment you couldn’t afford before?..

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Exchange rates

Although bad news for some, it’s great news for others. The current exchange rates mean that if you got a price for a boiler in euros from us at the end of 2015 (when the rate was around 1.45) you could now be looking at 0.80 which equates to a significant saving of 45%.

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Maybe it is time to revisit that quote you put to one side when the budget would not stretch that far. We welcome working with you to get the best value price for your new capital investment.

Finance, Interest Rates & Funding Opportunities

Having low interest rates is bad for savers but great news for those people with variable mortgages. Likewise, it’s a great time to get that piece of equipment your company needs by means of finance.  With rates as low at 2-3% being charged, compared to 7-8% of past finance deal rates – it is well worth taking the plunge and locking in those low rates now.  I would advise anyone that has been putting off spending due to lack of cash flow to look at getting equipment through finance, as the right time to do it is now.


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are also finding growth potential through investment funding.

A funding example – SMEs & Breweries:

The increased popularity of traditional ales and craft beer has led to the growth of many exciting brewing businesses across the UK and Ireland.

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Gaining investment to a brewer’s facilities means they are able to increase their brewing capacity. If a brewery has a core range of beers and developed a strong customer following for its products, they may be contemplating what their next step would be to expanding capacity or driving export sales… Well – a finance company just needs to see the credentials of a growing business to be convinced of providing them with that investment.

The barrier for most companies looking to invest is often the access to finance. But Finance Yorkshire, for example, state that support is available!

Having already supported several breweries financially, it was not a difficult decision for Finance Yorkshire to help a Leeds based brewery achieve their growth potential back in early 2016…

The brewery was set to gain an additional two tanks to its brew house following their investment, meaning it could triple its weekly production capacity. This would help meet the increased demand for keg beers and assure the business’ long-term growth. The Brewery’s new equipment meant their production would go from 70,000 to more than 200,000 pints a week.

Finance Yorkshire can provide business loans of up to £250,000 (depending on how profitable or established the business is). Their investments help companies who have identified a gap in funding for capital expenditure where traditional sources of finance are unavailable or insufficient.

This type of funding can be used for: working capital, expansion project, commercial premises and asset acquisitions. And what that means for breweries is they can concentrate on what they do best – producing the top quality beers that we all like to drink!

Where to start from here…

Check out this guide to how investment companies work.

union-jack-1027893_960_720   UK: 

You can start your search for options of business finance and support companies on the government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support-finder/search It lists hundreds of schemes tailored to your needs and geographical locations.

scottish flaaag   Scotland: 

When you decide to locate or expand in Scotland, Scottish Development International can provide grants to support capital or salary costs in selective areas of the country:

http://www.sdi.co.uk/invest/investment-services/financial-assistance

ireland_grunge_flag_by_think0   Ireland: 

Did you know that back in July 2016, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, Ian Talbot welcomed the increased commitment to capital expenditure:”We welcome the increased allocation of €1 billion to the capital investment programme over the coming years and the commitment to bring levels of capital expenditure up to 3.8% of GNP by 2021.” Visit Chambers Ireland for more information.


The British Business Bank launched the initial phase of “Help to Grow” on 22 May 2016.

Loans of up to £2 million will support the development of new products and processes, stimulate research and innovation and help businesses target new export markets.

The lending will be available to businesses across all sectors and is expected to benefit mostly those with high levels of innovation and growth ambition – such as manufacturing businesses, creative industries and the technology sector.

The initial phase of Help to Grow was increased from £100m to £200m in the Chancellor’s Budget in March 2016.

Enterprise Capital Funds are funds that combine private and public money in order to make equity investments in high growth businesses. For more information, please visit:

http://british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/enterprise-capital-funds/