Today marks the start of the annual Small Business Advice Week- a week where businesses are encouraged to reach out for support, share knowledge and create connections to help the country’s 4.5 million small businesses thrive in tough times.
This aim was shared by event organiser Nichola Howard- who started Blackpool Expo three years ago to celebrate and support local business. Nichola shares the key lessons she has learned from working alongside Lancashire’s leading businesses:
- Create a trusted network: the first lesson I learned while running a small business is that it can be a lonely experience. The challenge of running your own business is made easier – and a lot more fun- when you surround yourself with like-minded people who genuinely want to see you succeed, so don’t be afraid to reach out and build relationships with trusted contacts.
- Take advantage of free business support: from protecting ideas to exploring international trade, small businesses across Lancashire are spoilt with a wide range of support services that can provide free advice to help grow your business: including local programmes such as Blackpool Unlimited to county-wide initiatives such as Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, ‘Boost’ – as well as free seminars from local leaders at events such as Blackpool Expo.
- Get your processes in place: you may feel like you have no break from the day to day running of your small business to take a step back and look at how your business support systems could be streamlined or automated, but investing time in processes such as a customer relationship management software or an invoicing system will save you time in the future and enable you to focus on your core business.
My key message for any small business in Lancashire is that quality support and advice is there for the taking- if Lancashire is the home of your business, you have every opportunity to thrive.