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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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YTKO responds to Industrial Strategy Green Paper

Earlier this year, the Government launched its consultation on a proposed Industrial Strategy. This aims to addresses long-term challenges to the UK economy, improving living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country.

YTKO’s view is that there is a real lack of clarity in the Green Paper on actually “how” various proposals in the consultation will actually be delivered, and on what evidence they are based. We are particularly concerned about the noticeable lack of focus on the SME economy, responsible for 60% of all private sector jobs, in favour of support for academic R&D.

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Are grants a good option?

From our extensive work with UK SMEs, we know that accessing finance is one of the main challenges faced in the current business landscape. There are many different finance options available, each with various positives and negatives. As a business, how do you decipher which one is right for you?

In this blog, we’ll be looking at grant funding and whether it’s a viable option for your business. A grant is an amount of money that can be given to an individual or business for a specific project or purpose. You can apply for a grant from the Government, local councils, charities and some private companies.

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HR Matters, more than ever

HR – it’s an area that many growing businesses question the need for, often delaying investing either their own time or that of an HR professional, and finding it difficult to calculate the value it brings to the bottom line. However, in a job market where employees are moving more frequently, and seeking out opportunities to learn new skills with a great management culture, creating an engaged workforce is more important than ever before.

GetSet spoke to Sam Sales, Director at SME HR specialist Call HR to find out about the changes happening in the world of HR and how SMEs can nurture an engaged workforce.

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