Energylinx for Business News

November 2017 Monthly Archive

November 15, 2017

GDPR Checklist

On May 25th 2018, new European data laws are set to come into effect. Despite this looming deadline, only 1 in 4 businesses has started planning to ensure compliance.

The Information Commissioner's Office has released a 12 step checklist to help businesses get ready for The General Data Protection Regulation before the changes come into action in 6 months' time:

1. Awareness

You should make sure that decision-makers and key people in your business are aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact it is likely to have.

2. Information you hold

You should document personal data that your business holds, where it came from and who you share it with. You may need to organise an information audit.

3. Communicating Privacy Information

You should review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation.

4. Individual Rights

You should check your procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have, including how you would delete personal data or provide data electronically and in a commonly used format.

5. Subject access requests

You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales and provide any additional information.

6. Lawful basis for processing personal data

You should identify the lawful basis for your processing activity in the GDPR, document it and update your privacy notice to explain it.

7. Consent

You should review how you seek, record and manage consent and whether you need to make any changes. Refresh existing consents now if they do not meet the GDPR standard.

8. Children

You should start thinking now about whether you need to put systems in place to verify an individual's age and to obtain parental or guardian consent for any data processing activity.

9. Data Breaches

You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.

10. Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessments

You should familiarise yourself now with the ICO's Code of Practice on Privacy Impact Assessments as well as the latest guidance from the Article 29 Working Party and work out how and when to implement them in your organisation.

11. Data Protection Officers

You should designate someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance and assess where this role will sit within your organisation's structure and governance arrangements. You should also consider whether you are required to designate a formal Data Protection Officer.

12. International

If your organisation operates in more than one EU member states (i.e you carry out cross-border processing), you should determine your lead data protection supervisory authority. Article 29 Working guidelines will help you do this.

It is important to remember that the GDPR is only a part of the overall data protection framework. The Government has confirmed its plans to introduce a Data Protection Bill into Parliament. This should become law in 2018 replacing the current Act.

Posted on November 15, 2017 at 03:50 PM

November 9, 2017

We made the list!

Exciting news from Energylinx for Business... we've been ranked third in Insider's 2017 Sprint100 list. A list that celebrates Scotland's fastest-growing small companies.

Over the last 3 years, Energylinx for Business has seen its turnover grow by almost 272%.

The Sprint100 companies have a turnover of between £10,000 and £8m in their current year. Insider ranks them by total percentage turnover growth over three years and they cannot be loss-making in their latest year.

In total in the Sprint100 index, there were 57 businesses that were new to the index this year with the remaining 43 having featured in 2016. Of those 43, 15 rose up the index and 28 fell.

The Top Ten and their 3 Year Turnover Growth

  1. W K Soudan + 446.60
  2. Dunedin Property Asset Management + 272.30
  3. Energylinx for Business + 271.96
  4. Gynogapod + 159.41
  5. 1st Safety Solutions + 134.06
  6. Midmar Capital + 113.28
  7. Lomond TPS + 89.66
  8. LTS International + 76.45
  9. Warranty Services + 73.42
  10. Culloden + 72.80

Posted on November 9, 2017 at 11:49 AM

November 7, 2017

Two-thirds of SMEs don't have a plan for Brexit

CitySprint's fifth annual survey of over 1,000 decision makers and business owners at UK SMEs found a drop in confidence amongst UK SMEs. Worryingly, two-thirds (64%) have not made specific plans to prepare their business for Brexit.

The survey found that three quarters (77%) are as confident or more confident about the future of their business compared to 12 months ago. However, this figure is a substantial drop from the 85% figure recorded in the 2015 survey, indicating some signs of concern about the future.

Not surprising then, that a significant 43% said they lack confidence in the government's capability to safeguard their business from the impact of Brexit.

Despite concern about the future, UK SMEs have yet to feel any considerable impact on the bottom line from Brexit, with 87% reporting they are in the same or better shape financially compared to 12 months ago.

However, when asked what impact leaving the EU will have on their business, around one in five (19%) expect profit margins to decrease and one in six (17%) expect revenue to drop.

Patrick Gallagher, group CEO at CitySprint Group, comments,

'Whatever difficulties the future holds, it's 'business as unusual' for the UK's SMEs. They have more than weathered the economic ups and downs of recent years, and by working with each other, they will no doubt continue to adapt to the times. Smaller enterprises are both highly agile and deft at reinventing themselves and the way they work to suit the times. It's their biggest advantage.'

Despite the majority of small and medium-sized business failing to put secure plans in place to prepare their business for Brexit, they have taken some steps to future-proof their company since Article 50 was triggered in March 2017 with a third (32%) have upped business development activity, while more than a quarter have decreased their fixed and/or variable costs (27%) and a similar number have increased investment in capital goods or technology (25%). One in five (20%) say they have upped headcount in response.

The survey found that 30% of SMEs believe lower customer demand is the biggest obstacle for SMEs in the next 12 months. Brexit (28%) and inflation (21%) come in as second and third respectively. Significant numbers also reported growing competition (20%) and increased operating costs (20%).

What is the biggest worry for your business over the next 12 months? Energylinx for Business provides a service that means energy costs don't have to be one. We compare over 30 energy suppliers to find the right energy price plan for your business. You can do it online or by calling 01259 225400.

Posted on November 7, 2017 at 04:47 PM