Some of the regions’ most forward–thinking businesses are coming together for this year’s Blackpool Business Expo, taking place on Wednesday 25th September at the Village Hotel, Blackpool.
The expo has continued to champion local North West businesses since it launched five years ago and its popularity has grown year on year, with many exhibitors booking time and again, enabling business owners to thrive in tough times.
Expo Organiser Jo Leigh said:
Latest Government figures show that smaller businesses which seek external advice or information are between 15% and 25% more likely to become high growth firms. Yet 81% sought no advice when applying for external finance last year.
This year Piers Linney, Non-Executive Director at British Business bank who partners Small Business Advice Week said, “We’re giving small businesses the chance to win half a day of business advice with myself, Piers Linney.”
The Former Dragons’ Den investor continued.
“Starting, scaling and running a business does not need to be a lonely journey. There is lots of advice and support available for those that know where to look. Having run many successful businesses, I know first-hand the importance of getting the right support. I look forward to sharing my expertise with the winning business and being part of their growth story”
The entrepreneur will visit the winning business and give them a consultation session on how to grow their business. To win, tell them why your business needs advice from Piers and any growth ambitions you have for your business.
Here at Blackpool Expo we often find the best advice is from those who have actually been there, so, we asked our exhibitors one question:
“Which is the one piece of advice you wish you’d had in the first couple of years in Business?”
And here’s what they had to say…
Amanda Crossley – Business Owner, Concierge Ninja
More people than you realise will be critical about your business right at the beginning, or when they first hear about it. Take on board their opinions but keep them as that, just opinions.
You know what you are doing, so don’t let anybody else blur your vision.
Neil Simpson – Doing The Right Things
Your network is your net worth. Most of your customers, support and even investment will come from your extended network. Spend time and energy investing in yours…it will pay off big time.
Lisa Edge – Founder, Lancashare
Just knowing about the vast amount of business support that is available across the county. That’s why I built Lancashare. Every turn across this county unfolds yet another gem, whether that be a pot of funding, job vacancies, mentors, great networking groups and so much more. The last three years in business have shown me just how much this great county has to offer, I centralise it so that nobody has to struggle with the same challenges I had.
Phil Parramore – Managing Director, Guide Dot You
The advice I wish I’d had on start up is, 1) don’t try and explicitly market too many services, it can look as if you’re master of none. 2) only stay with networking groups (be that face to face or online) or any other marketing activity for as long as that activity is working for you. That said, give any marketing activity chance to work – it’s no good going to one meeting and wondering why you didn’t get a wealth of leads on day one.
Kate Houlden – Managing Director, Like Computing
Stay true to yourself, your values and why you started your business. Remember that people are your most important asset, whether that’s your supporters and advisors when first starting out, or your team members and business partners as your business grows. Building a sustainable culture is also incredibly important and the values and culture you create will reflect in your people over time.
Chris Nagel – Director and Head of HR, Employee Management Ltd
Have an unshakeable conviction in what you do and how you do it. There’ll always be others that will do it differently and for less, but if your way resonates with clients, they’ll stick with you and start spreading the word. In the long run, this will be worth far more than any shiny, glitzy marketing campaign. It should also give rise to a culture that’s based on the continual reinforcement of your fundamental beliefs as a business.
Lisa Adamson – Director, AVA Solutions
Building up a client base doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect clients by the bus-load from day one. Also, don’t underestimate the skill involved in social media promotion and ensuring you hit your target audience. This is what I wish I’d known but if I was to offer advice to others I would say be organised from the start and stick to it, ensuring you’re on top of your paperwork and financial status.