Getting Business Support
“What interests me is starting businesses on our own, finding ideas that we can support, and simply investing in invention.” – Barry Diller
The quality of ‘business support’ provided to SME’s ranges from ‘appallingly bad’ to ‘truly excellent’, and from completely free to very, very expensive. There is not even necessarily a connection between the cost and the quality of business support you will receive!
The best possible way to find business support (at the right level for you) is to seek peer review and recommendations. Ask your colleagues and contacts for their personal recommendations but also research the recommendations to find out what they’ve actually done and achieved before assuming they’re worth talking to.
Support can come from one-to-one mentoring, coaching and consultancy.
In an unstructured way, a lot of businesses gain support from attending networking events and simply listening and talking to other business owners.
You can also seek support from government bodies and Chambers of Commerce but these organisations often focus their ‘support’ on promoting schemes or grants that might not be relevant to your current needs.
Another popular technique to gaining support is through formal peer group meetings where you would normally meet with a small group of other business owners … these groups are normally formed by a mentor or business coach who ‘facilitates and chairs’ the meeting and is based on the group providing support to the members.
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This collaborative approach is obviously dependant on the skills of the other members of the peer group (and on the skill of the facilitator!) but the outcomes can be very powerful. If you are interested in this approach, it is worth putting effort into considering which peer group matches your profile best, whether those peers are likely to be completely impartial and to see whether the traction of their own business reflects successful support.
In the footer of the Yorkshire Powerhouse site, we provide links to a wide range of business support organisations including national, regional and local government organisations, Chambers, universities, and more. All can be clicked on to link through to their websites.
Many business support services have a specific ‘one size fits all’ formula, make sure you work with someone who genuinely understands your business and your objectives.
Business support thinking from Yorkshire Powerhouse
A business mentor targets the personal development of people who need extra assistance in other skills areas. Read >