10 November 2017
Markets that are dominated by big players and experiencing rapid technological change can be a growth goldmine for small businesses if they can get their approach right. One Wellingborough firm believes that it has found a recipe for success, with a little help from Velocity.
The Big Film Group is a family-owned SME that specialises in placing products and services in films, tv programmes and music videos. Managing director Graeme Atkinson takes up their story.
“A year ago, we realised that our business was approaching a crossroads: rapid advances in technology and the ways in which people can watch broadcast content are opening new market opportunities, with a greater volume of content than ever before.
“The industry is worth billions of dollars which, unsurprisingly, makes it attractive to global media agencies. Although our expertise and specialist knowledge already supports several ‘blue chip’ clients, it was clear that to remain competitive, we need to show that we are as sophisticated as the multinational agencies.
Our technology, customer-focus and growth strategy needs to be up there with the best in the industry. This meant getting external help to future-proof our technological capabilities, while enhancing our own skills and identifying those that will be important in the future”.
Graeme turned to Velocity Growth Hub for help. “Our Velocity business adviser was quick to understand our needs and put us in touch with two European-funded business support projects that connect local businesses with academic expertise and grant funding to deliver business improvements” he said.
Nicole Atkinson and Scott Shearsmith consult the workbook from one of the Velocity Growth Hub workshops they attended
The ICT Escalator project, managed by University of Bedfordshire helps businesses to use information technology to enable change and the Innovation Bridge project, managed by Central Bedfordshire Council helps with the development of new products and processes.
Graeme said, “Both projects have allowed us to tap into expertise and knowledge that we don’t have in-house to highlight the way forward in managing data and in evaluation techniques for product placement. They could lead to a ground-breaking, new industry-standard, which bodes well for us”.
Velocity Growth Hub has helped The Big Film Group to enhance staff skills and knowledge in other ways. Account Manager Nicole Atkinson attended two half-day workshops on presentation skills and public relations with colleague Scott Shearsmith and said, “We found them extremely useful. The trainers are great, with loads of experience and the workshops have given us a much better understanding of the subjects. I would highly recommend them to anyone”.
The learning and commitment to improving skills doesn’t stop there. James Stancombe, Business Adviser at Velocity Growth Hub has since put them in touch with another European-funded project, Skills Support for the Workforce, which helps businesses to upskill their workforce through a wide variety of free training. Individual needs are established at the start with the help of a skills needs assessment, which is particularly helpful for the Big Film Group, with an eye on the future.
And with it looking at ways to exploit technology leadership, The Big Film Group is following James’ recommendation to apply for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, an education programme which helps owners to scale their ventures by producing a growth plan to implement back in their businesses.
Graeme Atkinson concludes, “The help that we have received from all quarters is great and it gives us confidence for the future”.
If you want to future-proof your business and would like to speak with a Velocity Growth Hub business adviser and to find out more about Velocity workshops and the support that is available to you, please call the Velocity helpline 0300 01234 35 or send us an email at [email protected].