An entrepreneur behind a Newcastle energy broker says he is looking for up to 100 new hires and plans to create more jobs through a separate new business.
Graham Ritchie, 36, managing director of Independent Utility Advice, which employs around 50 people, says demand caused by energy prices means he needs more call center sales staff.
The company – which has been operating since 2017 – is based at Hadrian House in Newcastle, but the business is set to move into an 8,500 square foot space at Stockbridge House on the city’s quay, which has undergone a refurbishment of £200,000.
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Mr Ritchie, who started his career as a plasterer before moving into telesales, said: “We’ve completely filled the current offices, and now we’re planning to double the headcount. I didn’t think it would come to this, but it’s a good problem to have.
“Right now, the demand for cheaper energy contracts is exploding. That’s what everyone wants right now. There’s no better time to help businesses.”
Independent Utility Advice – which Mr Ritchie says works with around 5,000 customers across the UK – is looking for people with telesales experience.
At the same time, Mr. Ritchie plans to start a separate brokerage business called Home Improvement Finance that aims to connect homeowners with financing for home improvement projects. He says the idea also has the potential to create a significant number of telesales jobs.
He explained: “I have friends who are shopkeepers and they say it’s a real need. The idea is to fund renovations and there’s huge demand because of the rising costs of everything.
“Suppose, for example, a roofer walks into your house and offers you a quote for the roof for £7,000 – a lot of people won’t be able to afford it, so we can offer to spread the payments up to 10 years and offer them 0% interest. free credit.
“Clients will come directly to us via a marketing campaign and on top of that we will engage merchants to offer our services directly to their clients as they enter their properties.”
Mr Ritchie said the company, which is currently in the final stages of FCA approval, will create another call center operation in which advisers will call UK households, as well as back-office staff and she will potentially employ traders in her books.
Home Improvement Finance, which will also be based at Stockbridge House, will negotiate deals for a panel of lenders who Mr Ritchie said have backed the idea.
He added: “The interest we’ve had in the offer has already been ridiculous. No one else is doing this.”