A Herefordshire businessman says a special Peer Network programme supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has helped him gain a fresh insight into running his own company.
Roy James said the programme had allowed him to see his joinery business from an outsider’s perspective and develop a new longer-term outlook.
The networks bring together businesses to share knowledge and experience, help each other tackle common challenges and also take advantage of potential opportunities.
Three providers have run five group programmes across the Marches LEP area, offering 18 hours of group interaction and 3.5 hours of one-to-one support with a business expert who also facilitates the sessions.
Roy, managing director of RJ Joinery & Equestrian Services of Hay-on-Wye, which manufactures and installs timber buildings all over the UK and also supplies equestrian and pet-related products, said the sessions had been a great help in gaining new perspectives into running a business.
“I have met – albeit virtually – members of the group and I feel we have each helped one another equally. I have gained ideas from an outsider’s perspective – sometimes you can be too close to your own company to see the bigger picture.
“The one-to-one meeting has encouraged me to look at my business’s performance in perhaps a different way. It was also pleasantly reassuring to find that I run some aspects of my business better than I realised when listening to other businesses.
“I would certainly recommend the whole process. It has been beneficial and given me a new outlook on things, not only what my immediate focuses should be,” added Roy, whose business also includes a shop and mail order website.
Roy’s programme was overseen by business consultant Leon Mundey, of Neale Lewis Associates, who praised the work of all the members involved in the group.
“It has been fascinating to work with the group as they explored each other’s businesses and shared their own experiences and challenges so that they could learn from each other.
“There is no doubt that they have been able to help each other, and productive and profitable relationships have been formed which I am sure will last beyond the current programme.”
The programme was funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with the Marches LEP appointing the delivery partners.