Spring 2014

Spring 2014 is here- I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wait for winter to be over! After the endless downpours, flooding and general dampening of spirits, spring finally seems to have arrived and brought with it a fresh, new hope.

Sink or Swim? So how did your business fare over the winter months? Did you sink or swim? Well if statistics are anything to go by, it looks as if Rutland companies sailed through the winter months, with new company registrations increasing by 20.9% compared to the same months the year before.[1] This is fantastic news for our county and for our local economy. But new companies need to be careful; like newly born lambs, these businesses are at risk and need nourishment, support and guidance to grow. Spring is possibly our favourite month at The Rural Business Community. The land surrounding our centre has suddenly come to life with the flora of spring and some of our members have even ventured onto the terrace for their coffee breaks! It really is a beautiful, peaceful place to be at this time of year and really helps to spark the creative juices. It’s no wonder then that this quarter’s goals are themed around our favourite season; we are focussing our efforts on helping those ‘little lambs’, or rather Rutland’s newest businesses. Over the last three years, we have noticed a significant shift in the way small businesses operate. For many, the purse strings are not only tight, they have been padlocked shut. Workforces have been dramatically reduced in numbers and conventional office spaces have been abandoned in favour of working from home. All of which is understandable, but it can be irrevocably damaging to profitability, your brand and your professional image (not to mention your sanity!) But how can you compromise when cashflow is tough? The first solution is to cut costs; it is actually easier than it sounds!

The Future’s Virtual In our experience, most of the small business owners who we work with want to grow by using the best people who can deliver the best results. Unfortunately, the best comes with hefty price tag.We saw this as a problem; one that we should try to solve. We want our members and centre users to have access to a whole host of professional services that can make a strong impact upon their business. It was important that we help to also keep their costs down, through providing ad-hoc services that they can uses as a when they need them most. This system means that our members do not have to employ a huge, full-time workforce, which tends to eat up budgets quickly. Instead, they get the best of both worlds; experts at a fraction of the cost. Currently our Rural Business Solutions cover everything from HR to IT, and we are continuously growing our services to cover even more business needs. Click here to find out more.

Knowledge is Power At the Rural Business Community we are firm believers in continual growth, development and building knowledge. After all, how can you expand your business and stay ahead of the competitors if you aren’t the best in your field? Training and development can be an expensive business; more often than not ‘experts’ are not going to impart their knowledge without a fee. If you are working on a strict budget this can often mean that education and development are too far out of your grasp and the opportunities to learn about how to grow your business are missed. We saw this as a huge problem for our ‘little lambs’, who need as much guidance and training as possible. That is why we have written numerous blogs, articles and guides to help new businesses to flourish. You may have seen many of these published in the Rutland Times, but if you missed any they can be found here.

Trust Our Team Consumer confidence really is on the up, so now really is the time to grow your business and prepare it for a lucrative future. But we don’t want you to take risks to achieve this. We want you to learn some proven success strategies that will strengthen your business and help it and you flourish to now and in the future. That’s why we are delighted to announce that the ‘Trusted Team’ have put together a free workshop for local business owners to help them boost their businesses. The Trusted Team, who are made up of Charlie ReadingAlan BrightonWayne Searle and Billy Johnson  are successful entrepreneurs and fully understand that knowledge really is power. More often than not, the quest for sound business acumen can be an expensive path, full of conflicting and confusing information. That’s why they have created a free workshop entitled ‘How to Accelerate Your Business Growth in 2014 and Set-Up a Successful Future’. This event will provide you with four short, sharp presentations from industry experts that get straight to the heart of what you need to know. No jargon here, just the tools you need to grow your business. The event will show you how to implement successful marketing strategies that are low cost, or no cost at all. It will help you master the techniques to make your own financial plan and boost your profits, whilst showing you how to achieve sustainable growth of your wealth and minimise your tax bill. The Trusted Team will also demystify current employee pension legislation and show you how to be compliant, whilst reducing your own pension risk. Growing your business is a necessity, not a luxury. Now is the time to rid your company of toxins and plant the seeds of skill to make your business bloom. To book your free place for this event email charlotte@theruralbiz.com, call 01572 338001 or book directly by clicking here.  

You’ve Got to Give to Get This may sound like a complete contradiction, but giving money will actually earn you money! And I’m not talking about investing (if you want to know about that, our workshop is the place to be!)This concept, know as tithing, has been explored in countless financial books. Here David Bach explains this concept succinctly, “The one incredible universal truth that has stood the test of time is that the more you give the more you receive.This notion—that the more we give back to others, the more comes back to us—is not simply a religious doctrine; it is virtually a law of nature. If you are looking to attract more wealth and happiness into your life, the fastest way I know how is to give more.”[2] This may seem like an ‘airy fairy’ idea, but it genuinely does work.For me, companies that really make a difference to the local community are the ones that stand out and become recognisable names. Giving not only makes a difference to those in need, it also helps to establish your company in a fantastic light, helps your brand become a locally recognised, and favoured, company and attracts some positive PR. In March, The Rural Business Community donated approximately thirty Easter Eggs to the Friends of Elton School (FOES) for their annual Easter raffle. I received a lovely letter from their Secretary, Mandi Ince, stating “we raised £700 and without your support this would not have been possible. Our fundraising aim this year is to supply the school with enough Ipads for each class and following the Easter Raffle we have reached our target.” We are so pleased that the school achieved their goals and that the children will now benefit from their new ipads. Spring is the time for growth and supporting our counties new business ‘lambs’. Through virtual solutions, educational workshops, articles and sharing knowledge we are striving to nurture our county’s newest company additions. If you would like to talk to us about how we can help you to grow your business, we would be delighted to hear from you. Call 01572 338001, email charlotte@theruralbiz.com, visit www.theruralbiz.com or just pop in for a cup of coffee and a chat.