The Benefits of Engaging with your Growth Hub Business Support Team:
5 September 2019
“You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know”
By Ruth Cozens, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub
I often get asked by businesses that I meet, what is the benefit of getting government funded business support? Especially when their business is already set-up and growing. My answer is simple: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
When I bought a struggling business a few years ago with the aim to turn it around, my knowledge was based on many years in corporate banking, assisting with the growth of businesses from the financial aspect and supplemented with an MBA. The practicality of running a business compared to the theory of running one though is far more complicated – ask any business owner.
A banker may understand finance, but do they understand stock control in a restaurant? Probably not. Or an entrepreneur with a new technology idea may understand software programming, but do they understand securing finance to enable their product to make it to market? It’s unlikely. This is where business support from the network of 38 Growth Hubs across England comes alive.
I have heard many reasons why businesses don’t engage with a local Growth Hub. Namely a lack of awareness that they even exist. So, here is just a small selection of the reasons why it’s good for your business to engage with business support:
Business works best when it’s connected to the right people and services at the right time. The Growth Hub provides that connectivity. The Growth Hub is the centre of the business support ecosystem for local businesses. It has links to the local and national business support programmes and services available. SEMLEP’s Growth Hub can make introductions to these organisations on behalf of your business.
Not knowing where to look for business support, alongside the time it takes to undertake the research can result in missed opportunities. The Growth Hub can navigate the jungle of business support, cut through the wilderness and improve your chances of getting the correct support for your current and on-going challenges.
- Enables you to concentrate on what you do best
Working with the Growth Hub to navigate the various business support providers, their specialisms and eligibility criteria which, let’s face it, can be somewhat overwhelming, allows you to concentrate your mind on what you do best, running your business.
Growth Hubs are staffed by knowledgeable, accredited business advisers, many of whom have set-up, grown and sold businesses – meaning they know business environment inside and out. Tapping into this knowledge is important. They may have been through the same challenges that you are experiencing and have come out the other end. Their aim is to help other businesses grow.
- Impartial and Free
When a concern for many businesses is costs, it would be unwise not to highlight that Growth Hubs provide a free and impartial service. This includes free workshops, consultations and guidance that leaves your business money for your business.
These are a few reasons why engaging with your Growth Hub is great for your business.
So now you know a little of what you didn’t know.
SEMLEP’s Growth Hub is a service of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, SEMLEP, which helps economic growth thrive across the South East Midlands.