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    Tom Kennedy – The Crop

    When Tom Kennedy and his family moved to Bournemouth last year, they didn’t know anyone. Thanks to GetSet for Growth East Dorset Tom was able to meet other business owners and entrepreneurs.

    He said the support from the business development service had been invaluable when relocating his business. Tom, 36, owns and runs The Crop, a collective of talented freelancers and creatives who come together, like “The A Team”, to take on a variety of projects. Their projects have included work for Adidas, Nintendo and Bombay Sapphire. Tom originally set up the company in London about four years ago. Last November he moved with his wife and daughter to Pokesdown in Bournemouth.

    Tom Kennedy

    Tom connected with GetSet East Dorset to find out more about the business community. He said: “Sarah and the team have given me a great grounding in the area and helped me meet people in the business community through their workshops and events. They have given me solid advice and it’s great to be able to talk through ideas face-to-face. They are a great sounding board and a fantastic resource.”

    The GetSet for Growth East Dorset programme offers businesses looking to grow, 12 hours of free 1:1 mentoring and advice, as well as workshops and events. The programme is part of the Dorset Growth Partnership and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

    Tom added that Bournemouth was a great location for creatives. He said: “I see Bournemouth as a really exciting place to be over the next 20 years – it’s going to be really interesting to see how the town develops. There are so many opportunities for people to be out of London but still doing really interesting projects.”

    Originally from Bristol, Tom moved to Australia at 11 – as his parents are both Australian. He then returned to the UK for university, before moving back to Sydney for five years. He said his plan had always been to live outside London with his family and they had fallen in love with Dorset.

    This is just one example of over 22,500 businesses that have been assisted by YTKO’s services since 2006.  According to an independent impact assessment commissioned in 2020, YTKO’s support has enabled the creation of 6,574 businesses, over 10,500 sustainable new jobs and an estimated £2.61bn in sales income.  The businesses that have received support in that time, have also been proved to be fitter and better funded with over 76% of new firms surviving more than three years and having raised around £71.3m of growth finance.

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    Nom Wholefoods – delivering plastic free whole foods in Bristol

    Nom Wholefoods is a plastic free wholefoods delivery service, which delivers throughout East Bristol and parts of South Gloucestershire. Founder, Nikki Watten, runs the business out of her home in Fishponds.

    Nikki wanted a local solution for sourcing ethically grown food and reducing her plastic use. However, on researching possibilities, she quickly realised that whilst there were some solutions in other parts of Bristol, there was nothing local to her. Therefore, in 2019 she decided to instigate the change she wanted to see and start up her own business, Nom Wholefoods.

    Since 2019 Nom Wholefoods has been growing steadily. But as their customer base grows, the space in the house is starting to shrink. Nikki says, ‘’Now we are at the point where it’s time to expand. Many customers have said they would like an actual shop to visit as well as having the option of deliveries and click and collect.’’

    Nom Wholefoods

    Nikki enrolled on to the North and East Bristol Enterprise Support Programme to help her gain new skills in business. Enrolling in the programme meant that she could access learning resources for growing a business; including 1:1s with business consultants, workshops and an online learning platform. 

    Speaking on her experience so far Nikki states; ‘’I’ve joined two workshops so far, both of which were marketing related. I enjoyed them and both have been really useful. The trainer was very knowledgeable and open to all kinds of questions. It was also good to be part of a group and hear about challenges faced by other businesses and how they do things.’’

    Armed with the new knowledge on marketing, support on business strategy and more, we’re confident that Nikki is going to achieve all of her business goals. When asked about the support on offer Nikki said, ‘’As most entrepreneurs at the start of their journey, I do everything for the business so don’t usually have time to do proper training and research. It’s been very helpful to get outside perspectives.’’

    The help from this government funded support couldn’t have come at a better time. The future for Nom is extremely promising as Nikki tells us, ‘’We will be opening a shop in Staple Hill before the end of the year. We are also in discussion with UWE to deliver to the students at Frenchay and Glenside campus’s next year.’

    Learn more about Nom Wholefoods at nomwholefoods.co.uk

    If you think an outside perspective on your business could be helpful, if you want to check you don’t have blindspots in your business strategy, or if you just want to be part of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, then visit our website to find out more and enrol on our programme. Or get in touch with the team to tell us about your business plans: nebes@ytko.com

    North and East Bristol Enterprise Support is fully funded by Bristol City Council and West of England Combined Authority under Universal Business Support. Running until March 2023, the programme is offering workshops in marketing, finance, branding, business planning and strategy and much more, as well as providing free access to e-learning platforms, 1:1 advisor support and networking groups. 

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  • How staff engagement affects your bottom line

    Why you should be investing internally to boost your business’ success

    Employee engagement; the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals. – Forbes

    When you’re working to an ambitious business growth plan, it can be tempting to focus your energy on the areas that feel the most tangible –  like your products – or those that are visibly linked to driving efficiency – like distribution and production.

    Things like employee engagement and the company culture are often left to develop naturally, lacking a considered company-wide approach from the get-go. But, in an age where intelligent thinking and strategic decision making can be the biggest influencers in improving productivity, maintaining high levels of employee engagement has very tangible impacts on business success.

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  • Can you introduce structure without killing culture?

    As businesses scale up and headcounts grow, there comes a point where the flat structure and informal approach around pay and rewards can hinder growth, and if not managed, impact on staff performance, productivity and loyalty. However, the thought of introducing structure and process can seem at odds with the close-knit, family feel that its important to protect.

    Vanessa Landreneau, an expert in building reward structures, and Principal of Hummingbird Consulting, believes that the two concepts can work in harmony, as she explains in her blog below…

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  • Why 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 East 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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  • International Marketing Tips for Manufacturing SMEs

    We discussed in a previous blog how UK manufacturers have seen the benefits of lower commodity prices on world markets due to the devalued Pound. With the levels of economic uncertainty likely to continue for the next two years at least, the enthusiasm and optimism of exporting UK manufacturers is largely based on their view that Sterling will remain devalued against major currencies like the Euro and the US Dollar, helping keep their prices competitive in overseas markets.

    Below we provide our five top tips to help manufacturers sell more products internationally online, and to capitalise on the current economic conditions.

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