How do I scale my product innovation business in the energy and utilities markets?

Correla talks about how the collaboration between great tech start-ups and operational and customer support services can help a business grow at pace.

The key to scaling start-ups is ensuring the right people focus on the right things. Founders and their teams need to focus on their ‘superpowers’, market knowledge, and product development, finding the most effective way to manage the operational growing pains associated with scaling.

The most successful businesses are those where the founders and their teams establish skills and where there might be gaps, and get help from experts. To be successful, companies must address these operational challenges, as ignoring them is simply not an option to grow at pace.

Challenges of scaling in the UK energy market

Companies trying to scale face several challenges, some unique to the UK energy market and others common to all businesses.

  1. Balancing sales & customer success: A start-up’s first customers are incredibly important – kickstarting commercial traction and providing clear proof points and references to support future customer growth. These early adopters are naturally champions and advocates for your product and company and deserve a high level of customer service; the challenge as a small company is delivering for those VIP customers whilst attracting and onboarding new clients at pace.
  2. Staying ahead of growth: As emerging businesses begin to see success and growth, the demands of more clients can strain their operational and technical ability to keep up with that growth. Companies are then faced with difficult decisions that can impact client satisfaction and stall growth.
  3. People: Start-up businesses are fast-paced and, at times, high-pressure environments. Ensuring key team members remain focused and motivated about the right things is vital to keeping staff turnover low and customer satisfaction high. There is no value in a highly paid and experienced head of product dealing with day-to-day service tickets.
  4. Doubling down on USPs: Start-ups bring unique expertise, insight, and innovation to existing industries — this is their USP and the reason they will succeed over incumbents. The challenge is maintaining that focus while navigating a complex market like energy, where it can be easy to get stuck in the noise of non-value-added activities and processes.
  5. Credibility: Even if companies successfully navigate all these challenges, having a great product and team alone is not always enough to win new clients. Emerging companies can fall at the final hurdle in tenders due to buyer perceptions around delivery assurance, maturity in processes, or cyber security — they love the team and product but are unsure whether the start-up is ready to support a large organisation.

Tackling the challenges: The right people focus on the right things

Correla is passionate about the role innovative start-ups can play in powering change in the energy and utilities markets, and as a result, we have created our Elevate service. Elevate supports companies to scale up by letting them do what they do best, focus on product and markets. We provide services to take care of the customer lifecycle, including onboarding customers, customer engagement and service and incident management, which:

  1. Offers an affordable and scalable commercial ‘ready to go’ model compared to the significant and time-consuming investment in recruitment.
  2. Improves customer experience by leveraging Correla’s customer satisfaction (CSAT) reputation and experience.
  3. Delivers operational excellence underwritten by contractual SLAs with no disruption to existing operations.
  4. Gives access to Correla’s national critical infrastructure level service wrap.
  5. Increases business resilience and knowledge retention mitigating the impact of the loss of key people.
  6. Drives growth by giving credibility to new business opportunities.

A company already seeing the benefits of Correla’s Elevate is Electron, which is using its ElectronConnect platform to help drive flexibility at scale across UK networks.

“The flexibility industry we operate in is at an inflection point, and unlocking scale requires a best-of-breed approach to technology and service. This is exactly what Correla are bringing to the partnership, with a proven track record of providing extremely high levels of service for critical national infrastructure in the GB energy market.

“Partnering with Correla ensures we are ready and resourced to deliver enterprise-grade implementation services for our customers, including onboarding, training, and query handling for all users of the platform.” – Chris Broadhurst, chief commercial officer, Electron


Want to find out more about Elevate? Look here.