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Indigo Swan set to soar as energy firm lays out three-year growth plan

PUBLISHED: 05:00 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:57 07 February 2018

Some of the team at Indigo Swan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Some of the team at Indigo Swan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

An energy consultancy is looking to spread its wings after unveiling a three-year growth plan - and is offering staff an unusual incentive.

Emily Groves, right, managing director, and James Groves, head of talent and organisational development; with Hayley Leech, right, the new head of finance at Indigo Swan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Emily Groves, right, managing director, and James Groves, head of talent and organisational development; with Hayley Leech, right, the new head of finance at Indigo Swan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

An energy consultancy is looking to spread its wings after unveiling a three-year growth plan.

Indigo Swan is looking to double turnover and drive up profits by the end of 2020 – and if staff hit their targets the Norwich-based company will celebrate together with a five-star staff trip to Barcelona.

It comes off the back of the most successful year in the eight-year-old firm’s history, in which time it has grown to 19 staff, or “swans”, as the company prefers, including the appointment of head of finance Hayley Leech.

Managing director Emily Groves said: “Ultimately we are looking for substantial growth over the next three years, and we anticipate by that time we will be up to around 30 swans. We’ll need to expand the office and take more space so that we can refresh and redesign what we do.”

Emily Groves, managing director, and James Groves, head of talent and organisational development; with Hayley Leech, right, the new head of finance at Indigo Swan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Emily Groves, managing director, and James Groves, head of talent and organisational development; with Hayley Leech, right, the new head of finance at Indigo Swan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The optimism for growth comes from having proved its model in recent years and confidence that it can now scale it up. Indigo Swan now has relationships with all major energy suppliers which it says it can use to drive efficiency for customers.

Last year it saw 40% growth in secured contracts, with a 97% year-on-year retention rate, and this year turnover is expected to reach £1.2m.

It has seen increased business from property management clients, particularly in Scotland, and academy chains in the education sector.

But the expansion plans will also consider staff wellbeing, said Ms Groves, and maintaining the culture it has been able to build within its flight of swans, as they balance “ruthless efficiency with a colourful personality”.

The company regularly measures its staff engagement – a metric of how motivated staff are to succeed for the company - and last year achieved a rate of 76% in a survey by analysts Gallup, well above the UK average of 17%.

James Groves, head of talent and organisational development, said: “We want to be world class. That means that we are admired within our industry sector and the business community as a team of people that have a really strong culture.”

The Millennium Plain-based company has also focused on playing a role in its community, raising more than £7,000 last year for the mental health charity Mind, and also won awards for most trusted UK consultancy and East of England consultancy of the year at the Energy Live Consultancy Awards last summer.

• To Barcelona and beyond

To keep their eyes on the prize, a mood board has been set up in the Indigo Swan offices to remind staff of the reward of hitting their three-year target: a five-star trip to Barcelona.

The board includes aspirational images, words and cuttings - a way to remind the swans what they are working towards, says James Groves.

“It keeps us on track and makes sure that we keep focusing and sharing what we are doing,” he said.

Emily Groves says the aim is for staff of all levels to be transparent about why they are doing what they do.

“We’ve got a very clear idea and vision of success so that people know what they are working towards,” said Ms Groves.

“We are open and honest about the finances of the business. We have monthly meetings so the swans know where we are against turnover targets, and when profits go up, and when profits go down.

“It’s about sharing that with people, so that we get buy-in from them.”

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