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Make It Cheaper launches #HeyBoss campaign

Research into how small business bosses’ attitudes are changing reveals their generosity

Small business employees who proactively reduce costs for their bosses have a 95% chance of receiving a financial reward, according to research from Make It Cheaper. The news comes as Make It Cheaper - the UK’s largest SME energy broker - launches a new campaign, "Hey Boss," that aims to discover how bosses’ attitudes have changed, and how small changes can have a big impact.

When asked if a staff member who saves the business £500 should be rewarded, only one in 20 bosses said they wouldn’t. Nearly all suggested a reward with monetary value - like a bonus or a night out - with many suggesting a combination of money and time off. Some of the 137 small business bosses questioned in the research even said as much as half the cost saving would be an appropriate amount to give as a bonus.

Chain of dentist surgeries: “50% as a bonus inspires and motivates others to be financially aware.”

In one case, an employer gave £400 (20% of a £2,000 saving) back to the employee who arranged a cheaper energy contract – and that paid for a holiday incentive for the member of staff. (See case study in Notes to Editor)

It turns out that today’s leaders are increasingly people-focused. 91% of business owners said they actively support staff to bring their ideas to the table, with a similar number saying they acknowledge individual and team performance. These research findings are good news for small businesses - and their employees - where the savings to be made by switching suppliers for everyday overheads can run into thousands. Research based on 8,254 contracts arranged by Make It Cheaper in 2016, showed that small businesses made an average saving of £1,150 when compared to prices or renewal quotes of existing suppliers. And there are plenty who can (& should) switch, with the Competition & Markets Authority saying in its current energy investigation that 45% of small businesses are paying their suppliers’ more expensive ‘default’ rates unnecessarily.**

Furthermore most bosses said that - as well as a personal reward - any savings should be reinvested for the benefit of all the staff, with some Make It Cheaper customers explaining how they already had:

Community centre: “Paid for a complete redecoration.”

Women’s clothes shop: “Gym membership for a year!”

Security installers: “A weekly office fruit bowl for all staff members.”

The top three bosses’ choices for how best to re-invest an unexpected £500 staff saving were:

  • 73% Improving facilities
  • 52% Upgrading Equipment
  • 50% Team Culture (EG staff party) Almost half (46%) of bosses also said they’d let their staff have a say in how the money was spent.

Jonathan Elliott, CEO of Make It Cheaper, commented: “We are lucky enough to hear lots of stories about how our customers have done something amazing with the savings that they generate. When small businesses work with Make It Cheaper to switch their essential business services such as energy and insurance, we’ve seen jobs created, life time trips undertaken and even a crèche painted. It turns out that small businesses are the most generous of workplaces and, thankfully, the greedy bosses who simply want to line their own pockets are a dying breed.”

The research forms part of a wider exercise currently being undertaken by Make It Cheaper that focuses on the evolution of the workplace and what qualities bosses of the future need to have.