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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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Mission impossible – Accomplished!

A mission to support 10,000 entrepreneurs and established businesses has not just been achieved – but exceeded by 50%, and four years early.

Back in Autumn 2006, the YTKO Group set out on an exciting but seemingly impossible challenge for an SME to undertake: ‘to support the start up and growth of 10,000 businesses by 2020, collectively contributing over £1 billion pounds each year to the UK economy.’

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Solent business builders GetSet launch marine booster

Solent-based business consultancy GetSet have created a specialised marine business advice service, to be launched at the Seawork commercial marine and workboat exhibition on 13th June.

Helen Stratton, Marketing Strategy Director, says that GetSet have been developing specialised marine and maritime consulting over the past two years: “We’ve been asked more and more to help local marine-based firms improve their marketing, their finance, and their operations. We have now developed specialised services just for the marine sector, adding to our general business growth work.”

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Measuring your social media marketing

As a growing business, it’s likely social media plays a part in your overall marketing strategy. And for good reason. When done well it’s an effective way of engaging with your existing customers and attracting new ones. But, when you’re looking to scale-up, ensuring all your marketing efforts are considered, measured and have a specified timeframe in which to deliver results is essential to guarantee you’re achieving the results your business needs.

Many people get nervous when it comes to the statistics of social media. They don’t fit neatly into traditional marketing measures and the techniques you may be using to measure other marketing might not be applicable. But don’t be put off. It’s important to remember that social media is scalable. You do not necessarily have to start off using all of the metrics at your disposal. You may want to start out with some basic metrics and build up, adding additional measures as you grow and develop your campaigns.

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