Skip to the main content.
Let's talk
Let's talk

What we do


About Us

Wellmeadow supports growing companies in three core areas; Board Support, HubSpot Support, and Content Creation.  

We've worked with over 100+ businesses across sectors such as automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, legal, SaaS, and professional services.

22 min read

Episode 34: The Business of Sustainability: Net Zero for SMEs w/ Ewan Bent

Episode 34: The Business of Sustainability: Net Zero for SMEs w/ Ewan Bent

In this episode of The SME Growth Podcast, host Dave Parry is joined by Ewan Bent, Managing Director of The Clean Tech Business Group. A specialist in zero carbon and sustainability solutions for businesses and SMEs. They explore the opportunities and benefits for SMEs aiming to achieve net zero. From employee retention to marketing potential, Ewan sheds light on the power of sustainability and offers valuable insights into the available support for SMEs seeking to improve their environmental footprint. Join us as we delve into this important topic, essential listening for all SMEs aiming to thrive in sustainability.

Get the most from this episode in the form that works best for you: watch the episoderead the transcript or access further resources below.


Watch the episode

Want to listen later? Head to Spotify, the episode if also available to listen on Apple Podcast, and click here for all other available platforms.


Download one of our free ebooks

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses grow and have put some of our top insights into our FREE business growth ebook.

Download the ebook
E-book mockup black background (high res)

Want to know more about how to drive leads using inbound marketing? Get our FREE “Intro to Inbound” guide today.

Get the guide
eBook mockup transparent small



REad the transcript

Please note: Whilst all transcripts are double checked for accuracy, they are transcribed via Otter.AI so may contain errors.

David Parry 01:20

Hello, and welcome, again to The SME Growth Podcast from Wellmeadow, we tried to come up with different subjects each week to help SME business owners with the growth of their businesses. And sometimes we invite guests in. And we're lucky enough today to have a guest. So hello, Ewan Bent, thanks for joining us, thanks for coming in. Today's subject is going to be a mixture of growing a business starting up a business helping other businesses to grow. And also with an angle on zero carbon, which is your area of expertise. So I'm fascinated to hear a bit more about that over the next half an hour or so. But why don't we start with a quick introduction of you, who you invent is where you come from? What have you done?

Ewan Bent 02:08

Thank you. So my name is Ewan Bent my current company is the Clean Tech Business Group. I've been an advocate and enthusiast for sustainability and environmental protection right back to a teenager. When I went went to see Jonathon Porritt who is the founder with Friends of the Earth. As a teenager, he came to our town hall to speak. And that really inspired me. So that inspired me through my education degree in environmental technology, and right the way through my career, which is now 30 plus years.

David Parry 02:40

I wonder if he realises the impact he had from that talk

Ewan Bent 02:43

I don't know if I would like to think maybe

David Parry 02:45

There must be lots of others. That's great. It was neat to think that someone from one speech has managed to influence your choice of degree and career and it's gone on and blossom.

Ewan Bent 02:56

This is the 1980s there was there was there was oil spills. The ozone depletion was starting to become a thing people were starting to talk about global warming. And in I grew up in the Southeast of England. And in the Southeast, a lot of the green spaces that we used to play on as children were being built on and that and that affected me, we turn up to a field we used to play and and they were bulldozers on it. So that's kind of where all that started from.

David Parry 03:25

That's interesting there. So from that, obviously, from that position of being very passionate about it, rather than just being an activist or an interested bystander, you threw yourself into it. You made a career out of this. And you had early businesses that were very much along this line.

Ewan Bent 03:41

Yeah. I started out doing doing various things from monitoring pollution from landfill sites, moved to Shropshire to the County Council started doing energy surveys and huge reductions for schools, for example, and public buildings. I took an interest in a what was then a very new concept of wood fueled heating. So we're not talking about logs on your kitchen stove. We're talking about automated boilers that can heat a school or hospital or a factory using wood chips. That inspired me I went to Austria for a trip and saw how it was developed in Austria came back really enthused. 

David Parry 04:17

Are they the thought leaders in it then the Austrians?

Ewan Bent 04:19

The Central European Scandinavians, essentially,

David Parry 04:22

Is it wood pellets or do they actually extrude the wood?

Ewan Bent 04:25

It's wood chips or wood or wood pellets? Now you think of Austria. They don't have indigenous gases haven't indigenous oil, but they're going to always have to export energy, but they have a lot of this natural resource, which is why they are the lead

David Parry 04:40

Am I right in thinking we import quite a bit of wood chip from America.

Ewan Bent 04:43


David Parry 04:44

Oh, so where has that urban myth come from?

Ewan Bent 04:47

It's come from panorama and Drax power station. So Drax power station is a former coal fired power station in Yorkshire, which is half converted to biomass. And yes, that does come from North American wood pellets come from North America. My business was predominantly making wood chips. For fuel in, like I said, public buildings, hotels, nursing homes from locally sourced locally sourced wood. So, wood chip would go into a business in Shropshire would be grown in Shropshire. Typically 20/30 miles from the woodland to the Depo, where we've processed the fuel and then another 

David Parry 05:26

Is that unusual that people providing it that can claim that provenance.

Ewan Bent 05:30

No, no. We were the first in the country to do it. But our model was was has been replicated. There's not enough value in chip to warrant transporting further because the transport cost so it has to be for the economics to work yeah, it has to be local.

David Parry 05:47

So your first business was in this you did that as a startup? Did it from absolute scratch? 

Ewan Bent 05:51

A start up, I scraped together some savings. started the business.

David Parry 05:57

What did you need? You need capital equipment? 

Ewan Bent 05:59

We needed a lot of capital equipment. We needed. hoofing great, big specialist wood chipper from Austria, I got some grant support for that. We need a specialist delivery vehicles to blow the woodchips just in the same way that an oil tanker will deliver oil into a tank. We needed. I worked with a company in the East of England to develop a wood chip tanker, right all the way expensive always specialist.

David Parry 06:25

And you grew that from nothing to what sort of size

Ewan Bent 06:28

about 3.3 million?

David Parry 06:31

That's impressive isn't it? Local supply? ,

Ewan Bent 06:34

well, local. We started in Telford and ultimately 200 around about 200 strong customer base from Lancashire down to the Cotswolds sort of area a bit into mid Wales and across the East Midlands

David Parry 06:49

and how many people were involved in in that business? 

Ewan Bent 06:51

I think we had 11 employees.

David Parry 06:54

Ultimately, it's quite like a process industry is quite high turnover per person. Yeah, type of ratios. Yeah,

Ewan Bent 06:58

it's bulk handling. 

David Parry 07:01

So that, in itself is a great growth story. What do you think were your biggest challenges as you went through that journey? I don't know how many years you're talking about.

 Ewan Bent 07:10

Well that   over 11 years. The challenges were the capital cost of the stuff we have the equipment we needed, but also cash flow. So this, this is a heating fuel. So as a heating fuel, around about 70% of our annual turnover happened in about six months of the year.

David Parry 07:33

In the colder months here, of course,

Ewan Bent 07:37

the process of manufacturing the wood, the wood chip fuel, you can imagine where the tree is standing up, it's more than half water, we need to deliver a chip, a chipped fuel, which is around about 20 25% water. Now the process at the time of doing that was simply stacked with timber up outside generally over summer, okay to dry it down from 50% moisture content water content to below 30% water content. Okay, so our cashflow challenge was buying lots of timber, a lot of stock in the spring and the summer. Sitting or looking at it for six months every year ready to sell in the winter cash flow was always always a huge challenge.

David Parry 08:24

So many people don't really recognise that that that need you have to buy the stock in and then just leave it there dormant. 

Ewan Bent 08:32

as the business grows, it grows year on year that challenge becomes even greater. 

David Parry 08:38

so how did you find finance that? Did you invoice discounting? Or do you just have lots of cash flow loans or just investment?

Ewan Bent 08:44

Well, we had an inward investment from from high net worth individuals who saw the opportunities there was 

David Parry 08:49

So it was mostly equity rather than debt. 

Ewan Bent 08:51

In this business, we're able to get debt financing on the on the equipment, the lorries? Yeah, I said the chippers with some elements of grant funding. So that wasn't a challenge. But it was it was the cash flow. 

David Parry 09:04

Yeah. But it's fascinating story that I want to come on then to the Clean Tech Business Group, which is the business that you run now. And that's a very different type of business that's not supplying product at all. It's now supplying advice and advocacy and so on. So tell me a bit about where that came from. How old is that?

Ewan Bent 09:21

Well, that's to 2021 I think that came about really with from me, taking my experience of starting growing and exiting a small business, and applying that knowledge and experience to other entrepreneurs specifically in the clean tech low carbon space, helping them helping them take their idea and commercialise their idea. 

David Parry 09:49

The first bit then was helping smaller businesses and startups even in the zero carbon or 

Ewan Bent 09:56

Well entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, clever people who You have a climate tech solution, but haven't got the business skills to commercialise it.

David Parry 10:05

Right? So it started with that as your target customer, but it's grown since 

Ewan Bent 10:11

saying so so that that element of the work is still still busy. Still very, very interesting. Some very clever people out there doing absolutely fantastic work

David Parry 10:21

potentially frustrating. At the same time, we're cracking idea, you just can't quite get it to market.

Ewan Bent 10:26

it is hard. The challenges are financing businesses in that very early stage seed financing, early stage financing very, very hard to do.

David Parry 10:35

You rely on Angel investors and altruists more than hard nosed business people?

Ewan Bent 10:41

Yeah, it's it's, it's individuals who can see it, and you can share the vision. Thankfully, there is also it's regional. So it's not universal across the country, there is public support to help businesses do this. And that was where some of our costs were covered. But because local authorities, chambers of commerce, they see the value in nurturing a low carbon economy within their county or within their region, they see it as an opportunity for the region or for the county.

David Parry 11:12

So it could be local government lead or policy lead 

Ewan Bent 11:14

A lot of our support is exactly the local government lead. Yeah.

David Parry 11:18

And you hear a bit about carbon offsetting and schemes and so on, where you can offset your plane flight or whatever, or your factory emissions. Do you have startups trying to tap into that stream of funding? 

Ewan Bent 11:29

Not so much? We could have a whole conversation, I would say it's a big rabbit hole to go down. But No is the answer. Right? We're we're we're engaged with the people who've got the actual technology solutions. 

David Parry 11:47

So we've got the startups that you're supporting. What do you do for existing companies, and SMEs especially

Ewan Bent 11:52

Increasingly SMEs are seeing the opportunity here? They're either seeing the opportunity to or they're being mandated to address carbon. Yeah. So that is increasingly, the other half of our business activities, working with the general SME community, across the country, in helping them understand and measure their carbon footprint and helping them implement strategies for reducing it to zero.

David Parry 12:22

So without being cynical about it, what's the split there for those that want to do the right thing, and reduce their carbon footprint for all sorts of reasons, I'm sure. And those that just see it as a pure and simple cost saving initiative? What's the balance do you think? 

Ewan Bent 12:36

It's probably 50/50? We are increasingly seeing a generation, it's not necessarily a generational thing. Certainly the younger generation, and there's there's evidence to and studies to back this up the younger generation take climate, sustainability, biodiversity very much more seriously than in the older generation. I mean, there's evidence it's not my opinion 

David Parry 13:02

Survey responses. Yeah.

Ewan Bent 13:04

But having said that, we still see business owners from all generations, all backgrounds, all walks of life actually want to do the right thing. Which is fine. But that's not going to get the country to where it needs to be right.

David Parry 13:21

It's not enough of a driver 

Ewan Bent 13:22

It is not enough of a driver. 

David Parry 13:24

Because I was going to ask you for SMEs in particular, what's the business problem you're solving, you know, to get the attention of an MD to even have a conversation. Usually, if they have some sort of, you know, I can solve this problem for you, how do you express that 

Ewan Bent 13:37

The pressing business problem is the cost to businesses of energy. We've all seen it in our businesses in our home,

David Parry 13:46

especially in the last year, 18 months

Ewan Bent 13:48

Yeah, over the last 18 months. It's it's a massive cost. And actually, if you cut energy, you should cut carbon, they are the same thing is essentially. So energy, cost, energy use the cost of waste disposal, the cost of process, inefficiency, are problems, the opportunity. So that's that's addressing the problem, what we take to business owners who don't necessarily appreciate that sustainable businesses, businesses, which have strong sustainability track records, which How can be seen to be doing stuff and having ambitious targets have massive opportunity in the market. They are the progressive businesses, they're seen by their customers. They're seen by their staff as being progressive. And the businesses which don't engage in this process will wither and increasingly be seen as dinosaur businesses over the next 10 to 15.

David Parry 14:45

Well, I can imagine that and as I suppose it may even be faster. Now. We'll come on to some of the other sort of other benefits of doing this later on. But I was interested in a blog I saw you wrote recently about the fact I would have thought people doing that a company doing that would have half an eye on The marketing benefit, the aura that they can create from doing the right thing, not just the cost reduction bit, but we're doing the right thing for the planet, and you say being attractive for all sorts. But you wrote a blog recently on almost the opposite effect that you called Green Hushing. What was that?

Ewan Bent 15:16

Green hushing, We come across all the time, businesses who've done really good stuff, for example, in last couple of months, a horticultural business. In Worcestershire, they've really, really gone to town with solar panels on the on the on the on the warehouses, but they don't tell the customers about it, they're doing really good stuff, and they're going to be more not just solar PV, they're going to gonna do more, but they don't tell the customers about it. For them, for that business owner, it's a business decision, putting solar panels on the roof is a better place to put cash than it is put it in the bank.

David Parry 15:51

So it was a clear and simple investment 

Ewan Bent 15:53

That was a good investment, this is a better investment than keeping that cash in the bank. They don't necessarily connect that with actually we've done the right thing, or we're doing the right thing, we're cutting carbon, we are being in the green business. So they don't necessarily make that connect. And when they do, they don't necessarily know how to communicate it, right. They don't either think to communicate or know how to communicate. Partly because and this comes on to carbon reporting, they don't know necessarily what they've done, how that fits into their how it's impacting their overall carbon footprint. So they know they're saving carbon by doing this thing, whether it's insulating or solar people or putting LED lighting, lights, but they don't know what impact that's had on that carbon footprint, because they haven't measured the carbon footprint before they did that. And they still haven't. That's something you can help companies do. So they don't know how to talk about it. They don't know the numbers behind it behind what is the benefit, 

David Parry 16:50

They just know generally is the right thing to do.

Ewan Bent 16:52

And it's simply it's a good return on on investment, particularly given the cost of energy over the last year as exaggerated it was two years. Exactly.

David Parry 17:03

So you mentioned carbon reporting there and something that I was quite surprised to find out that there. Maybe it's an ignorance, I shouldn't have had this blind spot. But there's a mandated level of carbon reporting for a certain size of company. Where does that kick in where companies have to report?

Ewan Bent 17:19

Well there's two elements to that. Around about two years ago, the Cabinet Office decree that businesses tendering for public sector contracts or framework so for example, MOD, NHS even account to council over a certain value, the value is 5 million value have to have a framework have to report their carbon, it's a pass fail requirement. 

David Parry 17:43

So they don't necessarily have to reduce it but have to report it

Ewan Bent 17:45

They have to report and or they they have to have a strategy for reducing it.

David Parry 17:50

Oh, so it's not just a report

Ewan Bent 17:51

It's not just reporting is this is where this is where we are now. This is we need to be at net zero by 2032. We want to be at net zero by 2030 to 35 2050 at the latest, because that is the point which the Country aims to be a net zero. So they have to say where they are now, when they're going to achieve net zero and what is their trajectory for doing that. So interim, interim targets? And what specific actions that you're going to implement to achieve that?

David Parry 18:21

Well, and so do they tend to have in house expertise to do that

Ewan Bent 18:26

Most of the businesses we're dealing with, do not know how to do that. So this is where they use us. And we're increasingly being used as companies as their carbon accountants, just in the same way that they have a financial accountant that tax returns every year on their annual accounts every year. 

David Parry 18:47

Lots of SMEs listening won't realise that there's in these larger companies this need to do that. And if you say almost equivalent to the financial accounting, you carbon accounting. You can't just Google I use certain kilowatt hours of electricity. Therefore put the number in the box, it's more complicated

Ewan Bent 19:02

It is a lot more complicated than that. Always. Even for public sector contract work below that threshold. Some local authorities are voluntarily adopting a carbon strategy or the presence of a carbon strategy as a pass fail, If not a pass fail, there is a score associated with it. 

David Parry 19:25

This is those below the 5 million. Is that the other one you talked about? He said there are two areas where this is triggered. One is the public sector.

Ewan Bent 19:34

The other one is is within the supply chain to some of the larger PLCs. As an example, we've worked with a tomato grower in the Vale of Evesham, they supply tomatoes to two of the top supermarkets, those supermarkets have mandated to the suppliers that they must report their carbon must show their carbon reduction strategy. 

David Parry 19:54

Well, okay, so even reasonably small businesses, if they're supplying a large enough business with that attitude, I get I've seen that before with things like modern slavery reporting or other aspects that are only mandated on larger firms. They have this either intention or or requirement to pass that, that spirit down the supply chain. 

Ewan Bent 20:12

Exactly. So Carbon reporting is coming down the line. It's already there for the larger frameworks for larger businesses coming down the line for SMEs 

David Parry 20:21

So a bit like with IR35, the tax reporting that started with larger firms, and it's gradually coming down now it's 10 million above and it'll soon be lower. You see the same happening with even it will get to SMEs at some point.

Ewan Bent 20:33


David Parry 20:34

Very soon do you think?

Ewan Bent  20:35

I would say within the next five years?

David Parry 20:37

Well, okay, so companies could be listening to this interesting. Well, wait till it hits me. Is there a benefit in doing it sooner? 

Ewan Bent 20:45

Absolutely. Yeah. We talked earlier about what is the business problem, this is from the cost, the business opportunity, or the business opportunities are that fact that firstly, consumers are increasingly wise and actively seeking out businesses with with good environmental track records, good sustainability targets, able to show progress towards meeting those sustainability carbon calling what you will. So there's there's a good marketing element to that. And there's anecdotal evidence that that customers are more more sympathetic and more loyal to businesses, which can show and share their their net zero carbon sustainable journey. So there's that whole customer retention benefit, 

David Parry 21:43

okay, now, I've seen that and regular listeners of the podcast, we know we talk about beer quite a lot. And I've seen on the BrewDog branding and all of their marketing, they're very much making a play of the fact that they are a negative carbon business. So the more beer you buy, the better it is for the planet, a great strapline, you know, now is, is that green washing? Or is that really a thing?

Ewan Bent 22:03

I couldn't speak specifically about BrewDog? Because I don't know their strategy. I don't know their messaging, but it's certainly in principle, it's a very, very strong marketing message. 

David Parry 22:16

Well, they splashed all over their packaging. So I guess it must be working

Ewan Bent 22:19

That they do. We talked about greenwashing, where we fit in with businesses is actually putting the meat behind those bones making sure that actually what they're claiming is absolutely bulletproof.

David Parry 22:33

So you're a bit like the independent auditor, not quite with the same regulatory backing as an accounting auditor. But nevertheless, in in the zero carbon world,

Ewan Bent 22:40

Exactly. We enable SMEs to say, look, these aren't our words. These are the words from our external expertise. I don't like being called an expert. But our external experts in this will say exactly, it's, it's a second pair of eyes, it's a second opinion

David Parry 22:55

and are there other standards or regulatory frameworks, even at a lower level that you and other companies in your space have to adhere to, or is it still very much relying on professionalism?

Ewan Bent 23:06

No, there aren't. Well, there are there are standards out there with voluntary standards. Without boring you, we do our carbon reporting to a global standard called pass 2060 and PS 26, like a BSI standard. So there are there are standards to this. And we adopt that. 

David Parry 23:24

So it's important that if anybody listening wanted to go down this road earlier than they're mandated to don't just ring up your mate, you said in the pub, that you might be able to do it for you there is a standard, so check that

Ewan Bent 23:36

there are web based tools that businesses people, householders and businesses can use to do this. We've looked at those, we've tried one of them. We tried it for a year, it was very, very limited.

David Parry 23:50

Okay. It gets you started on the journey, maybe. But to do it properly, you need to

Ewan Bent 23:55

properly and to actually stand by it. Because what you don't know with some of these web based platforms is what data sits behind it. What conversion factors are they using what database. it's all hidden away, you can't interrogate them. So that's why we looked at those we tried to I thought, No, we can do this better. We can be much more transparent. We can be much more detail. We can go into all sorts of weird and wonderful issues, omissions that businesses have that the standard databases can't cope with. And we always find something in businesses which is a bit different, not standard. Whereas the standardised approaches, they don't give you the full. They can't give you the full story, 

David Parry 24:36

It's interesting thought then that this this mandated reporting, which we're seeing through the supply chain for the big companies and the public sector procurement that's coming down anyway. So we're all going to be experiencing this at some point in the future. So that's good. I wanted to ask a bit more. We said earlier on. This is the Business Growth podcast. We're looking to find out how businesses are growing. I'm interested in your experience growing your business. Think tech business now what what sort of things are you finding works? When you're trying to get the attention of companies out there, whether they be the startup sector you talked about, or the SMEs or even the zero carbon reporting type customers? How are you getting attention? 

Ewan Bent 25:14

What we find works, is educating them. People have all heard of this stuff, they may have differing views on how it impacts them. But this, we need to educate the market. And this is where people start to listen to us. They might know that they have a problem with heat loss in their building, but they might not know how to address it, they might be aware of a technology but might not know how that technology can be applied to their business. So we approach it very much education, thought leadership. 

David Parry 25:53

Where do you do that, how to get that message out.

Ewan Bent 25:57

We're not as active as we possibly should be on LinkedIn, and on other social media platforms. We find our approach is direct contact. It's direct contact, it's referrals from from our wider network, because our team is networked with many other business, right advisors, who are in businesses, advising them in general terms. But we are there as their specialist partner in advising businesses on carbon sustainability. So we have a strong referral team. Across the country of business advisors who already have their relationships,

David Parry 26:35

I see those we talked to her about the larger companies that need to include zero carbon reporting, for example, they don't have the expertise in house, when they start asking around for help you get referrals from that type of 

Ewan Bent 26:47

Exactly. So they might be bid writers who are working on these they may be they may be R&D tax specialists, you have these. 

David Parry 26:50

So it's key intermediaries in your market, you need to keep close to for that 

Ewan Bent 26:59

Exactly. And we're we're very well networked in that respect. But we also do a bit of direct, direct marketing. So I send out a newsletter 

David Parry 27:09

email style?

Ewan Bent 27:10

An email style newsletter,

David Parry 27:11

is that more aimed at the SME market?

Ewan Bent 27:13

Absolutely. Yeah.

David Parry 27:16

How does that land, everybody tries email marketing. And of course, in the early days, it was more successful than now. How do you punch through and cut through all the noise of everybody else trying to send their newsletter out?

Ewan Bent 27:26

I think it's being patient. We don't expect never expected the phone to start ringing after the first newsletter, we didn't expect the phone to ring after the second newsletter, or the third, these things take time. It's drip, drip, drip feeding of information starting to people start to recognise your name in their Email Feed, you have to six or seven interactions, it takes that many, so it's patience. And it's providing them with not the hard sell not here we are this is what we've done. This is how good we are. It's providing that information that they need. Have you thought about this? Is this technology, you might not have heard of this technology? Here's this piece of industry news. There's a grant scheme available for your heating system for businesses. I didn't know that that's useful information I thought it was only for domestic households. You know, it's for small businesses, too. So there's that kind of useful information. Have you thought about this? Have you thought about these technologies? Here's some market research, for example, which says that businesses which have strong sustainability and ambitious Net Zero targets are better able to recruit and retain talent?

David Parry 28:41

Well, I wanted to come on to that these other aspects, these other benefits of having gone down this route. We've talked about the hard nosed cost saving or good returns on investment, like solar panel, people. You talked also about the impact to your market and the fact that customers whether it be BrewDog, or tomato producers, if they can get customers 

Ewan Bent 28:57

It's a good differentiator and most businesses, many businesses now need an angle to be different, and it's an excellent idea

David Parry 29:05

You mentioned there, then the employee angle, rather than just the customers, let's say or the investment side. So are you seeing that across the board? Are we seeing a generational difference? 

Ewan Bent 29:18

There absolutely is and this has been researched research in the UK and both in the UK and the US labour markets. And there is evidence to say that the the the younger generation so say up to 40 year olds so what is that the millennials and Generation Z 

David Parry 29:36

I get my gens mixed up

Ewan Bent 29:38

I got my gens mixed up, but certainly the younger generation make active choices when they're looking at employees it's it's a it's a seller's market at the moment. So particularly that generation are able to make active choices about who they work for. Which university they study. And this is now a material consideration in those choices, so the businesses which have good ESG policies and can show good progress towards meeting things like net zero start. Net Zero targets have demonstrably better chance of not just recruiting staff but retaining staff.

David Parry 30:21

Yeah, I can imagine that certainly, as you say, with a million vacancies in the country at the moment, and it's definitely an employee's market isn't exactly how to fill the vacancies.

Ewan Bent 30:31

Exactly. And the other element, the other benefit is saleability, when a business comes to business owner wants to sell the business on if they own the premises, or premises, which is has low energy costs, which is highly sustainability. It has much more value than a leaky old,

David Parry 30:53

both from a hard nosed commercial standpoint, but also the fact that it can be badged as exactly that lower carbon building.

Ewan Bent 31:00

Yeah, so so that that is when it comes to selling a business, a properly sustainable business with ambitious targets, and a strong track record is worth more money. It's as simple as that.

David Parry 31:14

Really interesting. We've covered quite a lot there kind of everything from the growing of two businesses that you've talked to us about. And also the impact is going to have on various SMEs that's coming soon, you know, sometime in the next five years, and lots of tips there.

Ewan Bent 31:27

The the opportunity for any SME is there. It's a business opportunity. London School of Economics predicts that net zero is a 1 trillion pound business opportunity for UK PLC 

David Parry 31:42

my goodness. 

Ewan Bent 31:44

The big boys will take a lot of that. But the SMEs it's a massive opportunity for for SMEs up to up to up to PLCs. That's the opportunity for small businesses. We're there to help SMEs try and get a slice of that 1 trillion 1 trillion opportunity.

David Parry 32:02

Brilliant. Well, best of luck. And thank you very much for coming in. 

Ewan Bent 32:05

Thank you, I really enjoyed that. 

David Parry 32:07

That's great. Thanks. So you've been listening to The SME Growth Podcast from Wellmeadow. And you've heard a number of different points there in that discussion that relate to topics that we've covered in previous podcasts. So we certainly heard a bit about buyer personas and the fact that with two or three clear different market segments, you got to address each of them very differently, talked about internal marketing, and understanding how some of the work that we do impacts on recruitment, for example. So lots of different angles there and nurturing we talked about nurturing the contacts that you've got without selling to them until they're ready to buy so we covered that in our growth generator podcast. So hopefully you have a chance to listen to some of our other podcasts. And as every week asked you to do, please subscribe and follow to our podcasts on Spotify or Apple or or wherever else you get your podcasts from. And more importantly, tell your business colleagues and friends what we're doing. It's a weekly podcast, picking different subjects that hopefully our of interest, especially around SME businesses looking to grow. So thank you very much again for listening and good luck with your business.

Further Resources

Throughout this episode various other business topics were mentioned, why not check out our episodes on Buyer Personas, Internal Marketing and our Growth Generator to find out more ways to grow your business.

Episode 16: AI and the Future of Business

Episode 16: AI and the Future of Business

In this episode of The SME Growth Podcast, Dave Parry and Richard Buckle discuss the rise of AI technologies, and the impact this could have more on...

Read More
Episode 23: Scaling a Business - The Stages of Growth

Episode 23: Scaling a Business - The Stages of Growth

In this special Shakespeare inspired episode, Dave Parry and Richard Buckle set themselves the challenge of discussing the different stages of...

Read More
Episode 13: Internal Marketing

Episode 13: Internal Marketing

In this episode of The SME Growth Podcast, Dave Parry and Richard Buckle discuss the practice of Internal Marketing. Learn more about the benefits of...

Read More