In the latest update from our senior leadership team, Development and Strategy Director Piotr Nowosad gets to grips with Verastar’s position in the services market and explains why it’s our customers, rather than our products, that define our approach.
When people first come across Verastar, they are often impressed by our size but unsure of our core market.
We’ve been in business for over 20 years and have more than 160,000 customers. About 1 in 10 of all active UK businesses is a Verastar customer.
People look at our brands and ask: are you a water provider? Are you an energy supplier? Are you telecoms? Insurance? Payments?
The truth is that we supply all these services, but unlike the traditional suppliers we don’t see ourselves as an energy company or a water company or an insurance company.
Our business is defined by our customers – small businesses – not by our products.
We help small businesses.
It’s as simple as that.
That’s what we’re passionate about, that’s what we’re experts in and that’s where our business has been successful.
We are a disruptor. We challenge the incumbent providers and champion small businesses by helping them to get a better deal across all their services.
Across the Verastar Group portfolio we provide:
- Phone services
- Payment processing
If you’re a small business, these are all services you’re likely to need.
The problem is you don’t want to spend time worrying about them when you should be focussing on your business.
You simply want to get these services set up in a quick and easy manner and then not have to think about them.
One bill, one point of contact
When we bill our customers each month, they see all their services on a single bill, which we call the One Bill. We are the first point of contact for the customer, whether that’s online or through our contact centres, if there are issues with the service.
This is where we see ourselves making a significant difference to our customers, because we all know that it’s time consuming and a hassle having eight different bills and eight different points of contact for eight different services.
Of course, we have to offer a great price and outstanding service to attract customers away from the traditional providers. But once customers sign up with us for one or two services it’s quite common that they’ll continue to add more and more because they like the convenience and ease that the One Bill offers.
Our customers are pressed for time, they work incredibly hard to keep their businesses going, so the fact that we reduce their admin while also saving them cash is a huge boost.
A neglected market
Traditional suppliers haven’t focused on SMEs.
They target big companies because they’re heavy users, and they target domestic users because there’s a large volume in that market.
These providers don’t have small businesses at the top of their list, so SMEs often feel there isn’t a service provider that looks out for them and their interests.
For example, during the first Covid lockdown we immediately pulled together a resource area on our website to help customers understand the support that was available to them and how they could access it. We also walked them through their options on the phone. All of this was tailored to a small business audience, to ensure it was highly relevant to them.
The feedback we had during this period was outstanding. This is just one example of the kind of mindset we’re talking about when we say we’re a champion of small businesses, not just a utility provider.
A truly unique proposition?
I’ve spent many years looking at these markets and there are genuinely no other businesses that operate in the way that Verastar does.
Many businesses claim to be unique, but it’s rare to find one that actually is.
As we continue to grow, our unique position will be one of our strengths, and we know that however the needs of small businesses change in the future, whatever services they need, we will be there to support them.