Archive for September, 2014

Want to grow your business? Help is at hand


In our role as friendly, professional advisers to ambitious entrepreneurs and business owners, our mantra is: Build a clear strategy on a firm foundation and review, review, review.

In other words, do the groundwork, put your plan into action and then regularly step back to view the project from another angle to see how it’s going.

The trouble is, to step away from the day to day is not easy, for all sorts of reasons, but sight of the bigger picture is an absolute fundamental to achieving results. This applies both to individual projects and to your business itself.

You may think your strategy is working and you are progressing towards your goals, but how can you be sure?

We would always advise seeking the support of experts, because clearly they will help you to see the big picture from angles that may be out of your range – marketing, in the case of ourselves, of course, but also finance, personnel, legislation and so on.

It is not always appreciated that there is an abundance of government-backed schemes available to help you obtain this support, and two programmes in particular which we would recommend come with worthwhile cash sweeteners.

May Marketing can steer you through both programmes – Growth Voucher, and Growth Accelerator.

May is an approved supplier of marketing advice for your business through Growth Voucher, which offers a possible 50 per cent contribution towards the cost up to £2000.

And we also have an accredited coach (it’s me actually) for Growth Accelerator, which puts your business in touch with experts to help with a slightly different range of topics. With this scheme you can access £2000 worth of coaching plus £2000 worth of match funded training for each senior member of the team, plus there is additional European funding available for eligible businesses.

Both schemes are easy to work with and offer that reassuring feeling that even though it’s tough converting your fledgling business vision into reality, it’s a path walked by many who have been successful and they can help you find the right course.

So what is the difference between the two schemes? One way to look at it is to say that Growth Voucher is the younger partner, geared to new entrepreneurs ready to grow their businesses by managing cash flow, growing and recruiting staff, making the most of digital technology and, of course, attracting and keeping customers, which is where we come in.

Growth Accelerator will probably appeal to more mature enterprises, focusing on building that growth strategy, winning funding and investment, encouraging innovation and developing teams.

If you’re looking to do both it is best to apply for Growth Vouchers first as it can’t be used alongside any other forms of public funding.

We think these are great schemes, which work because they encourage you to stand back and observe the barriers to growing your business and then to take the steps to achieve the next phase of growth.

But don’t take our word for it … listen to a couple of businesses who have worked with us on the schemes.

Sandra Lovelock owns software company Icon, which has designed a unique web-based information management system for clients including John Lewis, Asda and Boots.

She says working with us using Growth Vouchers to develop a marketing strategy has brought tangible results.

“May reviewed our complex software product and helped us define the sectors, trade events to target, and the types of materials we should produce to deliver our marketing goals. They really understood what we were trying to achieve and their advice has been invaluable to us.”

And here’s a second endorsement. Rachel Helmn is Managing Director of Hum, which offers a range of programmes to help staff become more productive and motivated.

She has worked with us on both programmes, which illustrates that there can be a progression from Growth Voucher and Growth Accelerator.

She says: “May’s professional and creative approach to generating my brand positioning, marketing strategy and raising my profile was first class. Hum is already seeing the benefits. Thanks to May for developing such a strong marketing foundation for Hum.”

So Growth Voucher and Growth Accelerator could be the perfect way for your business to tap into the help and support available from May Marketing, and others.

Perhaps we can look forward to working with some more of you soon via these two imaginative opportunities.

To find out more call Nicola on 01858 414247

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