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Marketing agency on the path to growth following Boost support

Osman Choglay (Creative Director) Carlos Pinto (Lead Web Developer) and Shakeel Hussain (Founder)

A Blackburn-based marketing specialist is setting his sights on future growth following support from Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub.

Shakeel Hussain, from Blackburn, launched his business Boost Brand Group Ltd after eight years of doing marketing work, including web design and development, for family and friends whilst working full time in telecoms.

He decided to take the plunge and turn his hobby into his profession and after finding out about Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, sought support to develop the business further.

Boost’s fully funded Growth Support Programme delivered by Winning Pitch and Enterprise4all helps entrepreneurs develop business plans and grow their enterprises, Shakeel attended workshops available through the programme and completed a business model canvas –  a way of visually displaying his business’s services, how to achieve more customers and giving him a view of the foundational structure of his business, helping to identify a clear plan of where to go next.
Shakeel also completed a growth action plan, which helps to set out actions and future projects to grow the business.

Boost Brand offers a full range of marketing services including design, branding, promotional merchandise, print, web design and digital marketing.

Shakeel said: “To begin with I didn’t really have a strategy and we made some mistakes early on. I was bringing a lot of leads back but there was nobody to follow them up. The workshop helped me look in a different direction altogether – it made me look at how to grow the business, we want to be busy but we don’t want to be busy fools.

“I had a plan but not as detailed as the one we now have in place; this plan is helping us to land new work and expand our team. The most important thing I took away was the business model canvas, identifying our value proposition and how we can be different.

“We have found many clients want to work with one agency and as a full-service marketing agency eventually I want to have a department for every service we offer.

“Right now, it’s me, our designer, developer and digital marketing executive, in the first quarter of this year I want to take on a sales person which will give me the opportunity to take a step back and focus on developing the business more.

“The long-term goals are to increase head count by two per year and start working with bigger clients.”

Rona McFall, head of entrepreneurial solutions at Winning Pitch, said: “Often when people launch a new business they need help review what they can do better or change to help the business become more successful. This combined with having a solid plan in place can make a big difference. Now having done this with our support, Shakeel is making strides to achieving his goals.”

Boost; Lancashire Business Growth Hub is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Boost has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire. Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.