New business owners in Bolton, Oldham and Rochdale are encouraged to sign up for a free program to help start-ups

Taking the plunge and setting up an independent business can be one of the most challenging decisions a person can make; While the business concept can be simple enough, the work behind the scenes is often another story entirely. It can be difficult as a small business owner to have the skills to strike the right balance between the different roles and responsibilities; not only are you the CEO, you’re also the accountant, the marketing manager and even the HR department too.

Most people set their business up because they have a passion and expertise in whatever they want to deliver but sometimes don’t have the critical skills or confidence in other areas to get things moving forward quickly. It would be beneficial to have additional training, practical support and advice in order to streamline the process, and this is exactly what the GC Business Growth Hub offers with its Start Up Vision programme.

Start Up Vision is a new program funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, and they are specifically encouraging businesses in the regions of Bolton, Oldham and Rochdale to use the resources they have on offer, to enhance their businesses. Targeted at businesses that have already been established, but have been trading for less than 12 months, the fully-funded program aims to offer tailored support across all sectors, including freelancers.

The free program is funded by the UK Government

Whether you want to learn more about business registration; cash flow management and bookkeeping; brand identity and marketing strategy; improving your social media skills; building a website; getting started with e-marketing; or something else, GC Business Growth Hub want to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to put your ideas into action. Previously they have helped a wide range of new businesses including gardening and landscaping teams, dog walking services, property management companies, freelancers and even a Caribbean takeaway, so the scope is vast.

Program participants will get free access to practical, hands-on advice and support from a designated, experienced business advisor. Together, you will develop a personalized action plan for your new business to enable you to take the next steps to success. You will also have the opportunity to liaise with other small business owners by completing the program in order to share advice and experiences, and form supportive networks and connections.

Program participants will get free access to advice and support from a business advisor
Program participants will get free access to advice and support from a business advisor

Hilary Centeleghe, head of Start-up and Growth at GC Business Growth Hub said: “This is a commendable new initiative to help empower individual entrepreneurs and start-ups during that critical first phase of a business life cycle, when a strong business idea is both on the cusp of blossoming into its fullest potential and is also at its most vulnerable.

“Start-ups and small businesses are the lifeblood of our regional and national economies, so it’s crucial that they are offered the fullest possible support to succeed and especially in those crucial first few months of operating.”

Applying is easy; simply visit the Start Up Vision page, fill out an inquiry form and the team will assess your eligibility for the programme, and contact you to discuss further. For those in Bolton, Oldham and Rochdale meeting the criteria, haste is encouraged – the program is only taking on new participants until June 2022. However there is still time to tap into the free resource, and unlock further opportunities for your business, so whether you’re a start up in tech or an independent coffee shop, the potential to progress is available to you.

Many small businesses have already used the Start Up Vision program to create strategies and develop working technologies that benefit their long-term goals, and have provided positive feedback about their experience. Speaking to their business advisor, Mark Bedford, who owns Prendi il Biscotto, enthused about the support they felt they had already received.

Many small businesses have already utilized the Start Up Vision programme's resources
Many small businesses have already utilized the Start Up Vision programme’s resources

“I want to thank you for all the advice, support and amazing ideas and recommendations you have given me during both our formal and informal meetings and discussions. Your extensive knowledge and business experience has been invaluable to me as I begin to develop and grow my business,” they said.

“You have provided me with both practical and theoretical business advice and tips that have been so relevant to my business and I am already beginning to see positive results from taking your advice and putting it into practice. Start Up Vision is such a fantastic scheme for new start up businesses and I feel very lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity to engage with the scheme.

“Each of our sessions were tailor made to my business and explored the most fundamental challenges I may encounter in starting up my business. It also identified what I currently need to grow my business and set out a clear framework of how to achieve my business goals. I would highly recommend the scheme to other new start-up businesses.”

Josée Bizimana of Style and Match Your Outfit enthused: “I have only just started with the Start Up Vision program and it has already boosted my confidence to continue with my business idea and grow my business. This is exactly the kind of support I needed.

“You have been fantastic with your coaching and support. I am now confident and full of hope that my business will be a success. I am looking forward to meeting you again for our next session.”

The program is designed to help new businesses further unlock their potential
The program is designed to help new businesses further unlock their potential

The GC Business Growth Hub is a community of specialists “with a passion to help businesses across Greater Manchester to realize their ambitions”. They support businesses at all stages of their growth journey with a broad range of other services as well as the Start Up Vision programme. They offer expert one-to-one business support, events, tailored programs and much more, and most of the support is fully-funded and is provided at no direct cost to a business.

So if you’ve set up a new business in the area of ​​either Bolton, Oldham and Rochdale and have been trading for less than 12 months, GC Business Growth Hub would urge you to consider signing up for the programme, and see what growth and potential could be at your fingertips.

For more information about the Start Up Vision programme, visit the GC Business Growth Hub website here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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