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Silly Old Sea Dog

Alison Ballard came to GetSet For Growth in January 2014 looking for help with her fledgling business; Silly Old Sea Dog, designing and producing vintage inspired clothing and accessories that they sell online. Having generated a high level of demand for Silly Old Sea Dog’s products, Alison needed GetSet’s help to access additional funding to grow her business.

Having already received a lot of interest in her clothing range on Facebook and Etsy, Silly Old Sea Dog was launched in September 2013 by commercial fashion graduate Alison Ballard. Alison initially designed and hand-made all Silly Old Sea Dog clothing but when demand for the clothing range grew, it became apparent that she would need to outsource some production and this would require additional capital.

A GetSet Business Finance Advisor worked with Alison to complete her business plan and the financials necessary for her to apply for a small business loan. With GetSet’s help her £20,000 business loan application was successful allowing her to outsource production, keeping her hand-made credentials, whilst significantly increasing production capacity.

“GetSet’s Business Finance Advisor helped me to complete my cash flow forecast and business plan to successfully apply for a small business loan with my bank. Without GetSet’s help I don’t think that I would have secured this loan as I am not very confident with figures!” Alison Ballard, Silly Old Sea Dog

“Alison had a fantastic product and brand when we first met, however, she required funding to ensure supply matched demand. In order to apply for this funding Alison needed to produce financial forecasts including a cash flow forecast and a business plan. With our training and templates Alison was able to prepare these for the funder and is much more confident in planning for future growth” Gregg Harding, Business Finance Advisor, GetSet For Growth

Having successfully secured additional capital, Alison is now working on her marketing strategy with a GetSet Sales and Marketing Specialist, focussing on the Silly Old Sea Dog website structure to increase eCommerce sales and assist search engine optimisation. She has ambitious plans for the future, aiming to become one of the best-known names in vintage inspired fashion. With outsourced production, Silly Old Sea Dog can now look at creating different garments and expanding the current range of dresses, skirts and accessories.

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El Rhey

Many new and ambitious small business owners have a strong product and organisational vision, but lack the expertise and funding to realise their growth potential. GetSet For Growth works helps to fill these gaps.

El RHEY is a specialist children’s rainwear design company based in Bournemouth. It is a small business with a strong product and vision, requiring marketing and finance support to realise its growth potential.

When Kaisa first met the GetSet team, her primary concern was how to access funding to finance the first consignment of their product range from China. The GetSet team worked with Kaisa to review the business model alongside the finances, highlighting a variety of routes to market and finance options, and also making introductions to other professionals for further support. Having successfully raised £30k in SEIS investment, the el RHEY team has been coached in presenting to investors for further funding to ramp up the sales to the UK retail market. “GetSet For Growth gave us so many useful ideas, suggestions and action points to move forward with!”, Kaisa Kangro, Managing Director, el RHEY

GetSet worked with Kaisa and her team to develop a marketing plan that would be both financially viable, and adequately support their growth plans. GetSet also connected them with other professionals from the retail trade for further advice, and delivered one-on-one support for reviewing and managing their finances. As a result of this process, Kaisa and her team were able to finalise their business proposition, cashflow and P&L forecasts to support their funding application. In the lead up to pitching for their finance, Kaisa will hold some practice presentation sessions with the GetSet team to ensure she is confident about how to approach this session and prepared for any questions that are posed.

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Chicken & Blues

Chicken & Blues is a restaurant that offers good quality food at accessible prices, is an ambitious young business who were seeking dedicated support to realise the potential it had within a growing marketplace.

Having successfully launched the first Chicken & Blues outlet in Boscombe, the owner, Steve Crawford was eager to expand the business through franchising, but felt that he needed support and expertise to guide the expansion and finance the growth. Having approached GetSet, Steve worked closely with the team to complete an analysis of the market, polish his expansion plan for the business, and refine the financial forecasts to support his ambitions.

After this planning period, he and the team settled on launching a pilot franchise in Winton to iron out the relationship and mechanics between franchisee and franchisor in order that it could be rolled out, firstly across the South and then nationally. This new Winton branch has added 17 jobs to the Bournemouth economy and is on target to achieve sales in excess of £0.5m in its first year. They have introduced a policy of employing addicts in recovery whenever possible.

Recently, Chicken & Blues was voted by Metro newspaper as one of the Top Five Chicken concepts in the UK.

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Chris Watts Lighting Design

Chris Watts had over 30 years of lighting design experience when he started his own business, Chris Watts Lighting Design, in 2013. Beginning his career as a production lighting designer for the National Theatre, Chris has gone on to lecture in the USA and become highly respected in his field. He has brought his creativity in architectural and landscape lighting to a range of projects, from churches, private homes and gardens to leisure facilities, visitor attractions and even has the odd celebrity house installation to his name.

“Good lighting is all about improving the way people feel about a place and how they interact with it. My designs reflect the need to maximise value, performance and reliability. I work independent from any manufacturer and so can be completely impartial when it comes to specifying fixtures and equipment.

My aim is to deliver lighting designs that are practical, beautiful places that people love to use, which are kinder to the environment, and more efficient to run.” explains Chris Watts.

Chris came to GetSet in 2014 for help with his sales and marketing strategy, looking to grow his business through increased sales and an expanded customer base.

GetSet Marketing Specialist Karen Hoyle wanted to bring out all of Chris’ experience to reinforce his authority and expertise in Lighting Design. A marketing and PR plan was devised to deliver high quality feature articles into lifestyle media, raising Chris’ profile and driving enquiries for his services.

“Quite often people do not realise they are an expert in a field and how valued their opinion and knowledge is. By sharing his knowledge in the interior design world and across the lifestyle press, the aim is to drive a desire to have Chris Watts’ work on projects and build a name that is recognised as a leader in his field” explains Karen.

Chris plans to continue growing his business, hoping to employ additional staff and fill the order book.

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Inspired Development

Ben Lake has always been interested in business, starting his first enterprise when still in school. After studying E-Business and Information at University, he held positions at local businesses before deciding to go it alone. Ben’s main inspiration for setting up his own business was not only to make money and be successful, but also to build a business based upon the ethics and values that he believes in.

Ben launched web technology company Inspired Development in 2007. He came to GetSet in April 2014 looking to expand their business model, moving into the field of digital signage. Inspired Development had developed a new Digital Signage System that harnesses data and web technology, feeding it into workplaces and public spaces and enabling the control and quality to be greatly increased and engaging. Ben needed GetSet for Growth assistance obtaining finance to further develop and promote his Digital Signage System.

Karen Hoyle, Deputy Programme Director, GetSet for Growth explains; “Ben is a talented and driven young businessman and has achieved a considerable amount already with the set up of his business. GetSet looked at prioritising how he approached sales in order to drive cash-flow as well as the funding of his innovative ideas going forward. We are delighted that he has secured the funding through working with us and getting his vision across to funders and showing the viability of his ideas.”

Inspired development are now looking to grow their customer both within the UK and globally, having introduced new sales and marketing initiatives. With their team being centre to their offering they will continue to recruit the best developers and graduates. Inspired Development are also looking at their processes and systems working towards achieving ISO 9001 accreditation by the beginning of 2015.

After my first session with GetSet I felt great, empowered and ready to take on the world. Just having a sounding board and getting out of the business environment really does help focus the mind.” says Ben Lake, Managing Director, Inspired Development.

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Buttermilk Confections

Buttermilk Confections is one of the oldest businesses that GetSet For Growth has worked with, celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2014. Buttermilk Confections produce high quality Cornish fudge using high-end ingredients and traditional copper pans to create a distinctive, authentic and delicious taste. With their range of Cornish confections already proving popular in the seasonal and tourism markets, in 2010 David and Tracy McDonnell-Goad took on the business from David’s parents. David and Tracy had growth ambitions to move their business forward and wanted GetSet’s help to plan for the realisation of these ambitions.

Tracy explains, “It was great working with the team at GetSet as they are an energetic team brimming with new ideas and have a great breadth of experience between them

Buttermilk worked with GetSet’s Marketing and Sales Specialist team to exploring at a marketing approach for new products. Looking firstly at the viability of a multiple brand approach, Buttermilk settled on moving one solid brand name forward and worked alongside GetSet to establish what were the right products for the national market.

Karen Hoyle, GetSet Advisor gives an overview of her work with Buttermilk Confections, “It was a pleasure working with Buttermilk Confections, with every meeting they made progress. GetSet helped provide focus and ensure that the main objectives were always kept in mind, whilst looking at de-risking the piloting of products, developing clear packaging options and a pricing strategy in line with competition. We were delighted to award Buttermilk Confections our Marketing Growth Award this year as they have truly embraced and invested in growing their brand

Buttermilk Confections now intend to pilot their newly developed product range in an artisan coffee chain, to gather feedback and finesse the range before launching to a wider audience. They have ambitious turnover growth targets for the future and will also be opening a new factory in Bodmin during 2015.

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Sleeklight

Nick Bailey came to GetSet For Growth in February 2014 looking for help with his recently launched business. Sleeklight design and manufacturer their own unique range of products that incorporate patented technology. With a fantastic new range of products, Sleeklight needed GetSet’s help to develop an effective business plan, marketing strategy and access additional funding to grow their business.

Sleeklight was launched in November 2013 by Managing Director Nick Bailey following what he refers to as his light bulb moment. Following a number of sleepless nights with bathroom and kitchen lights left on by his children, Nick came up with the idea for a pull cord handle, timed light that is activated by touch and provides gentle ambient light that fades over time, dimming to darkness. With an innovative new product ready to bring to market and Nick’s background in sales, Sleeklight needed GetSet’s help creating a comprehensive marketing strategy and the supporting financials to access additional funding.

“We worked with Nick and Lucy all the way through the process, discussing and helping to validate supplier procurement, sales channels, fulfilment, branding, packaging, marketing and launch planning, along with feeding into the development of their website. Nick used us as we like clients to use us, as a part of their business and through solid business planning, all of these various activities have ensured a robust, de-risked and strong foundation going forwards.” Sam Winters, Sales and Marketing Specialist, GetSet For Growth.

The GetSet Business Finance Advisor worked with Nick to complete his business plan and the financials necessary to access additional finance. With GetSet’s help he secured £37,000 through a combination of debt and equity finance, giving Sleeklight the working capital they needed to bring their product to market.

“Sleeklight has found the support from GetSet For Growth invaluable. We’ve had fantastic guidance around marketing, gaining financial support and funding. Setting up a business, manufacturing a new innovative product and marketing it, while introducing the brand to various market sectors (all in 8 months!) has been a huge challenge and it wouldn’t have been possible without the team at GetSet For Growth. Sleeklight is now a growing business with sales rising on a weekly basis and exciting plans for the future.”

Sleeklight plan to grow their direct sales in both consumer and business-to-business markets. They have a comprehensive product development strategy with the aim of increasing their offering, accessing new market sectors, all while remaining at the forefront of technology.

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Anja Jones Translation

Cornish businesses need to empower their brand to sell themselves strongly and creatively in international markets. “Having a finely honed, translated website is key” according to GetSet For Growth client, Anja Jones, of boutique agency, Anja Jones Translation.

Anja established her company 4 years ago after noticing local hotels needed translation services. Since then, her cloud-based business in Newquay has grown significantly and now has global reach. With over 70 accounts and a network of 35-40 translators dotted around Europe and North America, Anja’s agency is benefiting from globalisation and handles projects for international brands Kobo, Foursquare, Uber, Indiegogo, and Vimeo. Turnover doubled to just under £1/2million in 2014.

GetSet For Growth experts provided Anja with 1:1 business finance and marketing/sales insights. Anja said: “They helped me look at specific business challenges I was facing. The process of cashflow forecasting helped me decide whether to take on an additional member of staff.”

“I’d recommend GetSet For Growth for their 1:1 hands on practical advice,” Anja continued. “It’s been so useful to be able to ask their experts very specific questions and I always walked away thinking I have my answer.  They were a perfect fit for my business, as finance and marketing were the two main challenges we faced as a small company.”

Anja now employs an additional member of staff in the county and has a 12-month marketing plan in place to achieve her growth ambitions.

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Hartley Bain Solicitors

It was serendipitous that Hartley Bain, a firm of dynamic solicitors based in Stratford, came across GetSet for Growth at a London Chamber of Commerce and Industry event. After speaking with one of GetSet’s advisors, Shabnam Ahmed, Head of Corporate Immigration, was keen to take advantage of the support on offer in order to realise the firm’s ambitions for expansion.

Whilst the partners understood they needed to dedicate time and money to their marketing plans, they lacked a clear understanding of how and where to make that investment as well as what was required to unlock any additional funding.

With the help from one of the GetSet marketing advisors, Hartley Bain developed their marketing strategy; identifying their target market and the different approaches and channels they could employ to target them with the right messages. They also identified the unique aspects of their business that could differentiate them in the market and how they could utilise these niches and their clients’ positive experiences to their advantage.

GetSet finance advisors also assisted the firm with their successful application for finance. This much needed funding will allow Hartley Bain to fully implement their marketing strategy and take on additional staff, including a professional copywriter to assist with their content creation.

Speaking of their experiences, Shabnam said: “Thanks to GetSet, we now implement our marketing activities in a smarter and more strategic manner that yields results. We’ve had a number of articles published, have collected valuable testimonials from existing clients and have been part of some worthwhile and interesting conversations on social media that have resulted in leads for our business. And it has earned us better credibility in the industry. I would definitely recommend GetSet’s services to other business owners.”

With new skills and increased confidence, Hartley Bain is now looking to build on their current expertise and expand into other areas of law. They are also hoping to open additional offices in order to build on their current momentum and success.

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Bikeworks

Bikeworks is a social enterprise based in Tower Hamlets that delivers a range of community cycling programmes and services, both to consumers and organisations. Founded in 2006, the company was launched with the intention using cycling to make a positive difference to the lives of people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

From the little things, big things grow and the company has now increased to more than 36 employees and boasts an annual turnover of more than £1.3 million. But with even more ambitious plans for the future, Bikeworks approached GetSet for Growth London seeking both marketing and financial support.

Bikeworks’ Head of Business Development, Ben Preston, worked closely with the GetSet team to develop a viable growth and investment readiness strategy, underpinned by a clear marketing plan. They explored potential partnership opportunities and established some clear frameworks against which to manage their growth.

Ben says that having regular meeting with his GetSet advisors allowed him to devote more focussed time to establishing clear goals and objectives that the whole company could work towards achieving.

While GetSet continues to support Bikeworks on their growth journey, Ben doesn’t hesitate in recommending the service to others.

“GetSet for Growth is a very useful service and I would recommend this to other businesses. It was really beneficial to have regular meetings with an external advisor to help move things forward.”

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