Improving Digital Performance: How Business In Lancashire Can Benefit From Funded Support
Are you a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) based in Lancashire trading business-to-business (B2B)? Then you could be eligible for help from the Digital First ERDF project.
Phil Parramore, GuideDotYou’s founder, benefited from our services earlier this year and he has kindly invited us to share with you, some information about Digital First and how it can benefit small and medium sized businesses in the region. Phil says: “The professional way that Digital First captured my digital problems, challenges and requirements was second to none. I fully recommend businesses have an initial chat with the team to see whether and how they may benefit from the funding.”
About the Digital First ERDF project
Digital First is a fully-funded ERDF project delivered by the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Innovation Lab team. Based in the Media Factory on UCLan’s Preston Campus, the team work with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that trade business-to-business (B2B) in Lancashire, to help them improve their understanding of digital technologies and how they can use these to:
reach more customers and grow your business
make business processes more efficient
create jobs within the region.
We are a down-to-earth and approachable multidisciplinary team of ‘techies’ and marketing communications specialists who won’t bamboozle you with ‘techy talk’ and jargon.
How your business can benefit
Research indicates that when SMEs embrace digital technologies they:
become more efficient
create more jobs
Yet too many businesses still aren’t using the technologies available to them to achieve these outcomes. That’s where Digital First can help.
How we helped GuideDotYou
Phil came to us because he had two websites (a business website and a business blog) that were developed on different platforms (not the oil rig variety – it’s techy talk for the software systems used to build the websites). Phil wanted to combine these into one, easy to use website that would work across multiple devices (desktop PCs, mobile phones, tablets). So that’s what we did. As a result, Phil can operate more efficiently. With just one login for his website he can update all his online business information, including his blog, quickly and easily whilst his customers benefit from having all relevant information in one place.
How we help B2B businesses in Lancashire
We offer both consultancy and practical support. Some examples of how we have helped eligible businesses to date include:
Improved web presence
Social media advice and support
SEO assessments and reports
Camera drone photography
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and online training resources
The time we spend on each project varies depending on the nature of the work but you can expect to receive a minimum of 12 hours assistance from us. The majority of our clients benefit from a much greater level of support than this.
For larger and more complex projects we are able to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of the wider UCLan community.
To be considered for the Digital First ERDF project, businesses must:
Have been trading for a minimum of 3 months (preferably 12 months or more).
We are particularly keen to hear from larger SMEs that have plans to expand their workforce.
If your business meets our eligibility criteria then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 895855 / 895654. For project updates and to see what we get up to, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (search for Digital First ERDF).
On Thursday 21st September GuideDotYou sponsored first prize for fashion designers at Fashion Fiesta, an annual event held to support the young people’s charity, OneInAMillion.
To support all those attending, Phil wrote this feature for the Fiesta Programme. It focuses on a number of areas entrepreneurs can focus on to help their business, survive, grow and succeed.
“I am delighted to return for a second year to support Fashion Fiesta. I am privileged to have been asked to sponsor and award the first prize of business coaching to a Fashion Designer, who will have put great energy and passion into their fashion work. That was certainly the case with last year’s winner Darecca – it’s great to see her again at Fashion Fiesta 2017 and discover where her journey has taken her these last twelve months.
My own daughter is about to embark on a university degree in costume design and I know just how much work it has taken to get her through her foundation course to this stage. So, I applaud all those designers, makeup artists and models showcasing their talents here today. I know that you will have all experienced highs and lows as you embark and keep travelling on your exciting journeys, using resilience and determination to keep you enthused and on track.
Photograph by Callum Ronan Creative
I encourage you to make the most of Thursday evening – take fantastic opportunities to reconnect with previous contacts and find new ones. Look around you, don’t be shy and start a conversation. Try to find out something new about a few people. What are their goals, achievements, interests, networks and skills? Perhaps just a little bit of research, in and amongst some fabulous entertainment this evening, will help some of you to learn about who knows who and lead you to that STAR connection that could be life changing.
Far too many businesses fail before their journey has even passed the first couple of hurdles. This saddens me, as many failings are avoidable with just a little more working on your business, rather than treating it as race (often to the bottom!). A little foresight and planning, great strategies and great leadership are all keys to success.
Increasing your long term and measurable planning, lessening short term thinking and living, breathing, and encouraging optimism throughout your workforce (whether one, many or outsourced), will help to stimulate survival, growth and success.
Have fantastic belief in your products and services. After all, if you don’t who will?! You know they’re market differentiators, so be proud of the fact, make them marketable and tell those who will buy from you. It’s about creating that competitive edge, often in crowded marketplaces.
As a leader, inspire all those in your team. Find the right people, motivate them and get them to be great innovators in a highly desirable and leading edge culture. In my logic: satisfied staff = great customer service = increased revenue. Have a real focused leadership trait, character and persona that gives you capability and desire to implement what you plan for.
Great products and services are nothing if marketed incorrectly. Don’t rely purely on referrals, use your own and a variety of marketing channels, with the right channels, offers and a motivated sales team for high potential lead creation and great conversion rates.
I’m here with you, so please do introduce yourself. Who knows we might be able to help each other in some way.
Photograph by Callum Ronan Creative
Beyond this fabulous occasion enjoy life’s journey and a business one if that’s for you.
I hope you have a fabulous and enjoyable evening and that you can support One in A Million in making such a difference to so many young lives.
Phil Parramore, Business Advisor at GuideDotYou Change Solutions, presenting first prize to Darecca Stainforth, of Dazarocks, at Fashion Fiesta 2016
GuideDotYou’s recent presentation about a Business Reality Check provided significant pointers to Legacy Sport about what we needed to focus on more as we entered our next phase of growth.
Phil is very professional in his contracting and delivery approach. He worked in partnership with us to consider our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and used these as context to help us identify the vital few goals that will help project our business forwards….. I have been delighted with the advice and service we have received and will recommend Phil’s services to Management Boards that recognise they need to improve their business growth strategies, focus and direction.
Shaun Fox, Managing Director, Legacy Sport – PE, Sport & Health
I commissioned Phil to deliver project start up workshops to a number of Audi Heads of Business facing site relocations and refurbishment. One (of the operational managers) told me: ‘I really enjoyed the project management consultancy day with Phil. There was a lot of really useful content. We talked about environmental issues, procedure and policy, all of which I hadn’t done before. It was brilliant!…. I really valued the time we spent together…..’
I personally spent time with Phil to ensure his workshops would add significant value to the client. I have not been disappointed and would recommend Phil’s Project Management workshops to Operations Managers facing the significant challenges of starting a project well.”
Chris Martindale, Assessment and Development Consultant, Power of One LTD
Beam and The Wakefield Business Support programme would like to thank you for attending the seminar and or workshops last Thursday, we have received some good feedback from the event and some interesting ideas in moving forward with a future programme.