Small and medium-size businesses are the backbone of our regional economy. It is companies like these which are growing and creating jobs, but there are always going to be challenges when building a business.
From breaking into new markets and finding the right people, to accessing finance and funding and researching the next stage of your growth, you'll need advice, support and information. The good news is that it's all out there for you!
Finance & Funding
It's very common for small businesses to require an injection of finance at some time in their trading life, sometimes at very short notice or as part of a long term plan. It might be needed to fund capital costs for equipment or for research and development that will take the company to the next level.
Loans and grants are the most commonly available options, but alternative lending options such as crowdfunding, equity investment, and asset finance are also options to explore.
Advice & Support
Business owners have to make some tricky decisions when they're growing. When is it the right time to expand? Should they be targeting new markets overseas? How can they promote their business to a wider customer base? The Business Growth Service is a government-backed product offering support to businesses which have the potential to improve and grow and there are also local business support teams on hand. Have a look at our Support Finder to locate schemes which could be relevant for you.
Networking & Events
Millions of pounds worth of transactions happen every day thanks to business networks. Local branches of national networks such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Federation of Small Businesses hold regular meetings and events across the Marches region.
As well as being a great way to meet potential customers, network expos and conferences are a good place to learn about procurement opportunities and available contracts. Sector specific events can also open doors in to supply chain opportunities and sales leads while allowing business to share best practice within their industry and forge mutually beneficial partnerships.
Employment & Skills
Creating jobs is great news because it means your business is growing – but finding the right people, supporting an expanding workforce, deciding if it's a good time to be taking on apprentices and many other elements of growth can be a minefield. Fortunately there is plenty of advice and practical guidance available to SMEs that are recruiting new staff, from legal advice on employment contracts and employer obligations to financial support available for companies taking on graduates.
There are a number of resources available to SMEs online which cover the A-Z of running and growing a new enterprise. From advice and support business blogs to 'how-to' videos on YouTube and collated resources on Government websites such as Business is Great, SME business owners have a wealth of advice and guidance at their fingertips.
Our news section features stories about the business community in the Marches region and information on schemes which are launched support businesses. There will be news on opportunities for business growth and more on events held by business support teams. Our blog, which will be open to businesses to share their experience, will provide helpful guidance and tips and you can also read about how real businesses are growing in our case study section.