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Five sure-fire ways to boost your business

The Growth Hub can call on 40 experienced advisers who work directly with Cumbrian businesses to help them maximise their potential.

Thanks to funding provided by our partners, much of this support is free providing you meet our eligibility criteria.

Our advisers can call on powerful tools such as the Subsidy Scheme which provides grants to help you buy in consultancy schemes.

They can enrol people in management and leadership programmes such as Cumbria Forum, run by Lancaster University Management School.

To find out more, visit the Growth Hub website or call us on 0844 257 84 50.

To whet your appetite, here are five examples of ways we can help your business to grow and prosper:

Productivity: No tricks…you don’t need to be a magician to improve productivity

Tommy CooperWe can’t be sure what US or Far East business owners would make of Tommy Cooper’s comic genius but when it comes to productivity levels, they certainly know how to outshine most UK businesses.

What’s their secret? They know how to get things done and rarely waste time or money on anything that doesn’t improve upon the bottom line.

There are many ways the Growth Hub can help your business be more productive. We can help you review performance and improvement opportunities and put together a personalised action plan and support package drawing on offers such as Cumbria Manufacturing Service and Made Smarter.

Our web portal offers access to a wealth of resources including podcasts, videos, training, events, case studies and much more.

Contrary to popular myth, boosting productivity isn’t only about investing in new equipment or technology – important as these are.

You can make great strides by working with people and processes.

Case study: Read how First Engineering Services redesigned their appraisal and performance management systems to boost productivity.

Podcast: Hear Hazel Lowndes, an organisational development specialist, and the Growth Hub’s Suzanne Caldwell explore ways to boost productivity.

For more information click here or call us on 0844 257 84 50.

Technology: Is your business steam driven? Get digital savvy

digital savvyToday’s technology and software innovations are not just transforming the way businesses operate, they’re changing the whole commercial landscape.

Embracing smart technology can give you a serious competitive advantage.  and boost profits.

Cumbria Business Growth Hub can help you start your own digital revolution.

Even Charles Darwin saw it coming.

“It’s not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent but the most responsive to change”  CHARLES DARWIN

There are a whole host of ways your business can benefit from smart technologies. Some options are sector specific but most are generic and designed to improve business performance in key areas such as:

  • Communications
  • Marketing and service
  • Skills development – creating a dynamic workplace
  • Operations – streamlining processes
  • Finance – improving cashflow

Click here to get started or call us on 0844 257 84 50.

Marketing: How to be famous

Mickey MouseUnless you’re the next Walt Disney, a Mickey Mouse marketing strategy won’t make you a fortune.

Businesses that gain an edge over their competitors don’t achieve this by chance. First and foremost, they understand the value of marketing and have identified the things that make them stand out from competitors.

At its core, an effective marketing strategy quickly answers what every customer asks: Why should I buy from you? There’s nothing Micky Mouse about that.

“It’s no longer enough to satisfy your customers. You must delight them.” PHILIP KOTLER, the father of modern marketing

You don’t need to be a marketing specialist to develop a proposition that will encourage people to buy into your product or service. Growth Hub advisers can help you get there.

Case study: Read how Pure Lakes harnessed help from the Growth Hub to develop a marketing strategy to reinforce its credentials as an ethical and environmentally-conscious brand.

Case study: Read how Bells of Lazonby created a new brand aimed at health-conscious millennials.

Click here to learn more or call us on 0844 257 84 50.

Ideas: Give your business a shot of inspiration

InspirationEvery business needs a boost of inspiration once in a while and there’s no-one better than the Growth Hub to provide it.

It’s what we do best – working with businesses to inspire and help them find the right solutions to develop and grow.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”  ALBERT EINSTEIN

Our specialist advisers to provide one-to-one expertise on a whole range of business matters including strategy, performance improvement and marketing.

An outside perspective is sometimes all you need to bring some fresh thinking on ways to develop and grow your business.

You could start by attending one of our events led by inspiring business speakers or by taking part in one of our workshops – an opportunity to take time away from the business to discuss and share new ideas with specialist trainers, fellow participants and other business owners.

A full listing of our events is available here.

For more inspiration click here  or call us on 0844 257 84 50.

That’s one small step for….and a giant leap for your business?

business planningAfter a decade of meticulous planning, on July 20, 1969 NASA, pulled-off one of mankind’s greatest achievements – putting a man on the Moon.

One of the masterminds behind this incredible feat was NASA’s Director of Flight Operations, Chris Kraft. He focused on all the steps and processes necessary to ensure the mission succeeded.

“Whatever the situation, the Apollo astronauts knew one thing was certain: the guy with the plan controlled the mission”  CHRIS KRAFT

Running a business presents different challenges but a well-prepared, forward-thinking business plan will help keep you on track.

Devising a plan to help your business develop and grow is important for all commercial ventures. It’s one of the first things a bank or other investor look for if you’re seeking financial support.

A good business plan doesn’t need to be complex or over-worked. You can start by asking yourself a few key questions, such as ‘Where are we now?’, ‘Where do we want to be?’, ‘How do we get there?’ and ‘What must we do?’ Very quickly you can begin to build a picture of what you need to do to achieve your business goals and the steps required to get there.

Of course, it can be useful to get an outside perspective, which is where the Growth Hub can help. We can advise on all aspects of planning and provide the support you need to develop and grow your business.

We can help you review your goals and put together an action plan and support package, drawing on Growth Hub and wider offers.

Case study: Read how meticulous planning helped Oxley Developments consolidate operations on one site with minimal disruption.

Case study:  Read how Cumberland Windows implemented a new business strategy with help from a Growth Hub adviser.

To learn more click here or call us on 0844 257 84 50.

The funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Sellafield Ltd., Carlisle City Council, South Lakeland District Council, Penrith Industrial BID and Cumbria LEP. The Growth Hub is receiving up to £2,528,767 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information click here.