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British SMEs secure £511 million of supplier cost savings through the power of negotiation

BARTERING for the best deal from suppliers saved Britain’s SMEs hundreds of millions of pounds last year, according to a new study.
The striking research, commissioned by npower Business and conducted by YouGov, showed that nearly half (45%) of British SMEs surveyed saved £10,000 or less in the past year by negotiating. This potentially resulted in impressive overall savings of £511million across the sector in the past 12 months.
However, despite the financial benefits, the research went on to show that three quarters of SMEs say they don’t negotiate with their suppliers and, in particular, 70% don’t negotiate with their energy supplier before agreeing to a contract. But 93% of the SMEs that do take the time to negotiate energy contracts say they see value in doing so.
In a bid to encourage SMEs to harness the power of negotiation, npower Business is launching a new campaign, led by the winner of the first series of BBC's The Apprentice, Tim Campbell, to remind companies to negotiate their energy contracts and wider business costs to get the deals they deserve.
The campaign is offering a series of tips to businesses around how to get the most out of their negotiations, including the importance of research and planning ahead. More than half (59%) of decision makers surveyed that feel that their successful business negotiations have been due to being prepared and doing their research. Meanwhile, 46% believe this is because they are good at being flexible, allowing them to get a good deal.
Businessman and Apprentice winner Tim Campbell, who is fronting the campaign said: “Throughout my business career, I have always believed in the power of negotiation. It’s a vital skill that can make a huge difference to your business costs and importantly your profits. I am thrilled to be fronting this campaign to get across the message that polite, well-researched negotiation can help you get the perfect deal. Therefore, I’d recommend to pick up the phone today, and start negotiating.”
Philip Scholes, Head of npower Business, said: “This research shows that businesses across the UK are reaping the dividends of negotiating their supplier contracts. However, not all firms are entering discussions with their provider, which could prove to be a missed opportunity in the long term. That’s why we launched this campaign - we’d encourage all British businesses to look at their supplier costs, and particularly their annual energy costs, to help improve their bottom line.”
For more information and to view Tim Campbell’s top tips please visit here
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About the research
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1014 SME Decision Makers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd February - 1st March 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of SME business sizes.
About npower Business
npower Business is one of the leading energy suppliers to the UK business market, serving gas and electricity to approximately 200,000 small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs). 
Dedicated to helping UK SMEs, by helping our customers better understand and manage energy, we help them to reduce their energy costs and in turn improve their bottom line.
We’re in touch with approximately 1500 SMEs and through them, we hear what business owners want from their energy company and the issues they face when running a business.
npower Business is part of RWE Group.
About Tim Campbell
Tim Campbell first became known by the British public after being hired by Lord Alan Sugar in the first series of the BBC's The Apprentice.
Tim Campbell, who was awarded the MBE for Enterprise Culture in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List, is a speaker who is passionate about the power of business.  Whether it be creating wealth and employment or changing the world, Tim believes that business is the catalyst of modern change.