Posts Tagged 'sme support'

So You Going Networking eh?

So you’ve made your choice about which networking groups you want to be part of and you’re attending on a regular basis – so now what? Well, how about some key pointers about what you should be doing to get the most out of the event?
Go Prepared – It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people turn up without business cards! If you have marketing material or sales brochures take them along – sometimes there will be a specific
place at the meeting where you can display such things.
Dress Appropriately – It is said “you only have a single chance to make a first impression” – turning up in jeans and a sweatshirt, may not do you any favours; likewise “suited and booted” may not be right for your business. Dress according to the impression you want to leave people with – you are representing your business.
Attitude – If you are looking to build relationships with other networkers
at an event, having a smile on your face and a positive attitude is going
to go a long way towards this; as opposed to an impression of Jack Dee or Victor Meldrew!
Name Badge – Wear your name badge on your right lapel. Hmm – now why would that be? Although it is easier for right handed people to put a name badge on the left side, they correctly are worn on the right side so the person shaking hands or greeting has easy eye contact with both the person and the badge as a way to help remember the name or to see where he/she is from, etc.
Elevator Pitch – Be ready to answer “What do you do?” – this will certainly be a question that individuals at the meeting will ask you and some meetings will give you the option to introduce yourself to the group. You’ll only have a couple of minutes at best, so make sure you are clear about your message.
Practise it beforehand and write it down, particularly if you are introducing yourself to the whole group.
Do Not Sell – No one likes the over-bearing, foot in the door, in your face type sales pitch – so don’t do it! You will come across as desperate to want business and you will turn people off. Your job is to start to develop relationships with other networkers. If you meet a potential prospect that
you think is interested in what you have, ‘sell’ the next step which might
be a 1 to 1 outside of the networking meeting.
Message – Understand who your ideal client is & tell people. This way
they will be able to refer the right type of people to you. For example :
“I work with MD/Owners of businesses with 5-50 staff who are based in Northamptonshire who are either looking to grow their business or need some help”.
“Two Ears, One Mouth” – Listen twice as much as you speak. You don’t have to speak ‘at’ people telling them all about the wonderful stuff you
do. You will generate as good, if not better, relationship with people if you
provide them a listening ear.

‘Manage The Room’ – Understand who is at the meeting (maybe find out
in advance so that you can ‘target’ the people you want to meet) and who would be the best people to connect with as potential prospects or  referrers of business to you. If you get stuck with someone who is either boring or not particularly relevant to you, don’t be rude, but politely excuse
yourself.
Be Professional – Again, maybe an obvious one, but be conscious of how
you are coming across to the rest of the room. Don’t dominate conversations, be loud  or appear arrogant. You know what I
mean – you’ve probably met them (or at least heard them) at events you’ve
attended.
Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up! – After the event, if you connected with
someone of interest or committed to send them something, arrange a 1 to
1 or drop them an email. Have Fun – There is nothing to say you can’t have fun at a networking event. Humour and the subsequent laughter (hopefully!) is a good way of connecting with people and
developing relationships.

Sc: UKBA, MGBA

GrowthAccelerator Congratulate Their Coaches

Heather Regan, Growth Coach and Mentoring Exec, Grant Thornton has thanked GrowthAccelerator for their hard work in successfully delivering the programme to over 10,000 businesses. “It’s a milestone”, she said.  “And one that wouldn’t have been possible without Growth Coaches delivering business support and being ambassadors for the GrowthAccelerator service”.

“The diversity of GrowthAccelerator businesses is reflected in the diversity of our Growth Coach community and demonstrates you’re championing the service to the industries and sectors in which you work. To see that 92% of clients are satisfied with their Growth Coach is fantastic and is a credit to your expertise, experience and professionalism”.

GrowhtAccelelorator is celebrating it’s 10,000 SME client this month. The programme is available to any business in England that employs fewer than 250 staff and has a credible growth plan.  The programme offer expert busuness analysis, coaching and management development progtrammes through a qualified and experiwnced network of coaches, mentors and trainers.  For more information contact me on martin.parry@mgba.co.uk  or complete the form below

Small Business Saturday

I am grateful to Emma Heath at GrowthAccelerator for the article below about Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday started in the US in 2010 and since then it has become an established commercial holiday;  in 2012 it generated $5.5 (£3.5) billion in sales for small businesses. Small Business Saturday is all about encouraging everyone to support small businesses both on the day and beyond, and tomorrow the Brits are joining the party on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with Saturday 7th December 2013 marking the first Small Business Saturday UK.

It may be surprising to learn that 99.2 per cent of businesses in the UK are classified as small, accounting for 4.8 million businesses with over 1.4 million employees. Yet as we rush on with our ever busy lives, complimented by the substantial marketing spend of large organisations it is all too easy for people to forget about the small businesses that help support the local economy.

Shopping with a small business not only helps that business grow, but leads to many indirect benefits too. Whilst some of these may be obvious, such as helping increase the sense of community and encouraging more businesses to occupy empty premises on the high street, what may be less obvious is that it could actually increase your house price. A study by American Express found that houses near town centres which are full of prospering small businesses, have increased by an average of £40,000 over the past 10 years- this is 17 per cent higher than the rise in growth of comparable areas with proportionally fewer independent traders.

So tomorrow when you’re buying your weekly shop or purchasing some Christmas gifts remember to support small businesses, whether that be on the high street or online. You can also show your support of Small Business Saturday UK online by:

  • Following @SmallBizSatUK and tweeting about the day using the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK
  • Liking the Small Business Saturday UK Facebook page
  • Sharing ‘selfie’ photos of you at a small business’ premises with Small Business Saturday UK on Twitter and Facebook

Author Emma Heath

Original Blog: http://www.growthaccelerator.com/blog/small-business-saturday-uk/

Luke Warm NAO Report on Local Growth

A report has been published by the National Audit Office (NAO) that looks into the funding and structures for local economic growth. The report highlighted that it is not yet possible to evaluate whether Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Enterprise Zones, City Deals, the Growing Places Fund and the Regional Growth Fund are providing value for money.

This is partly because there is no system in place to measure outcomes or  performance across the different measures introduced to promote local growth.

Furthermore, the NAO criticised the slow pace at which new local growth programmes were introduced, with the first City Deals only agreed in February 2012. As a result, Government spending on local growth and job creation dipped significantly in 2012/13, although it is expected to rise again in 2014/15.

Sc: National Audit Office

Sc: MGBA, UKBA

Rising Confidence Causing Staff To Move On

Rising confirdence among the workforce is causing an increase in the number of workers quitting their jobs for better positions, concludes a survey by Robert Half which discloses that more and more workers are seeking to boost their career progression by changing employers.

Employees are citing a lack of remuneration/recognition by their company as the primary reason for this increase, with small businesses being worst affected (46 per cent), along with those in the public sector (61 per cent).  There is also evidence that many employees are leaving due to fears over job security. This was cited by 29 per cent of survey respondents while a poor work-life balance was also given as a reason for leaving by a further 28 per cent.

Phil Sheridan, UK managing director of Robert Half, said: “The UK economy is showing signs of expansion, with many companies proactively looking for experienced professionals to fill business-critical roles.

“Employees are clearly no longer waiting for their own employment conditions to improve — with some businesses still enforcing pay freezes – and instead are looking to improve on salary, working conditions and work-life balance within alternative companies.”

Sc: Robert Half; MGBA; UKBA

Jobs Created Are Low Paid

While the recent trend towards lower unemployment numbers in the UK is good news new research published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has revealed that 80%  of jobs created in the UK since 2010 pay less than £8 per hour.

It argues that this is having a severe impact on the career progression of workers who are facing underemployment and low wages. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said that the quality of the jobs available is just as important as boosting the employment numbers.

She stated: “Working people deserve a fair share of the benefits of recovery. Otherwise, there is a risk that the poorly paid, insecure contracts that were seen as a pragmatic response to recession will become a permanent feature of the labour market”.

“We need to start seeing healthier pay rises and more high quality jobs created. Otherwise, this joyless recovery is going to pass most people by.”

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that wages have risen, albeit by less than one per cent. According to the ONS figures, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 0.8 per cent when comparing July to September 2013 with the same period a year earlier.

Sc: TUC; CMI; MGBA; UKBA

NI Contributions Bill Goes To Parliament

Businesses and charities can benefit from an annual £2,000 employment allowance towards their national insurance contributions as part of the National Insurance Contributions Bill introduced to Parliament last week. 

 It is expected to be in place by April 2014 and employers will need to confirm their eligibility via the normal payroll process. The allowance will be deducted over a year from employers’ PAYE payments. 

There is more about the announcement at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/employment-allowance-boost-for-business-bill-introduced-to-parliament

Sc: MGBA, UKBA


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