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Top 5 Tips to Make your Company Look Bigger

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Large corporations enjoy different benefits over smaller start-ups. Companies with major brands have established reputations, reduced operating costs and massive advertising budgets that garner significant media attention. If you’re an entrepreneur with a small startup, competing with multinational companies is challenging.

It’s essential to keep in mind that these multi-billion dollar enterprises once started out small and humble, overtime they offered products and services that exceed customer expectations, which led them to dominate industries.

 

If your customers love your products or services then you are on the right track. To start making revenues like a multinational it’s essential to make your small business look like a huge corporation. Here’s a quick guide on how to make your small business look big.

Get a Professional Website

Consider your website as the main portal between you and your prospects. If the website is dull, boring, slow and filled with filler content then your premium products or service cannot save you! Your potential customers will take a lot from your unprofessional website. To make your small business appear like a multinational then invest in a professional website designing service to get a corporate website with quality content that converts your visitors to customers.

Phone Answering Service

Nothing is more annoying for any potential customer than hearing a polite and professional “hello” when they call your company for a query or complaint. You will need to invest in a dedicated telephone number and call/text handling services to cater to all your internal and external communication needs. For any new business owner installing a powerful and efficient phone handling system should be a priority. A smartphone system with a business phone number will give your small company a chance to appear much bigger by having a reception team that manages your calls.

Have Larger Invoice Numbers

When you work with a bigger invoice number, it indicates that you have a lot of business transaction to complete each day. When a customer sees a larger invoice number has a positive impact on your credibility as compared to typing 20 or 30 on your invoice, which clearly indicates you’re a new start-up business. A corporate phone, registered address, and website will offer the much-needed business support that your small business needs. It makes your job as a business owner much easier allowing you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world.

Be Active on Social Media

You won’t need a hefty advertising budget to promote your business over the internet. Use Google Ads, Facebook Ads and other Instagram and social media advertising agencies to promote your content for you. Having a social media platform gives access to millions of customers

who are interested in the product or service you offer. If they see that you are active on Facebook and have, a lot following then chances are that you will double your earnings with correct social media marketing strategy. Social media presence is essential for business growth and development.

Lancashire County Council chooses Cotton Court client to deliver its £11.25m Rosebud Fund

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A support fund available for businesses in Lancashire has a new team in charge of handing out loans designed to spark growth and jobs.

Lancashire County Council has chosen investment specialist GC Business Finance (GCBF) to deliver its £11.25m Rosebud business finance fund.

The team, based at Cotton Court, will oversee Rosebud loans from £10,000 to £300,000 for growing businesses over the next five years and will work alongside Lancashire County Developments.

It delivers more than £60m in finance to over 5,000 small and medium-sized enterprises each year. This includes managing the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s ‘microfinance’ funds, providing loans of between £25,000 and £100,000 to businesses across the powerhouse area.

Rosebud aims to create around 150 new jobs per year and will focus on sectors such as aerospace; advanced manufacturing; digital and creative; energy and environment; health innovation; and financial and professional services.

County councillor Michael Green, a cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: “Over the last 30 years Rosebud has helped thousands of businesses across Lancashire to expand by tapping into finance to create new jobs, move premises and invest in technology. We’re incredibly pleased to be able to allocate a further £11.25m pounds to support growing Lancashire businesses to achieve their growth aspirations.”

Andy Walker, head of business growth and innovation at Lancashire County Council, said: “GC Business Finance already works closely with the Access 2 Finance service in Lancashire and has strong relationships with local businesses and the professional services community.

“It will help provide a seamless transition for the delivery of Rosebud finance, helping businesses create employment opportunities, especially the graduate-level jobs that can help us retain talent in Lancashire.”

 

Paul Breen, director of GC Business Finance, said: “Lancashire is a strong and vibrant economy and home to a vast number of successful businesses. However, some companies struggle to access funding through traditional means which is where Rosebud can play a vital role.”

Businesses interested in applying for Rosebud finance can do so through the county council website or Boost Business Lancashire. Applications for finance will be considered from businesses based in the administrative area of the council.

“Alongside GC Business Finance, the Growth Company is heading up a new initiative that has been launched across Lancashire to boost business productivity. Skills Support for the Workforce is a fully-funded programme designed to help employers bridge skills gaps in their organisation through bespoke training. Businesses can access a range of accredited and non-accredited programmes to help them upskill their staff – helping employees to progress in their careers. Skills Support for the Workforce aims to enhance staff productivity, increase morale and improve staff retention in organisations across the county”.

 

If you’d like more information on Skills Support for the Workforce in Lancashire and to see if your business is eligible, call 01772 920 750 or email WorkforceLancs@gcskills-support.uk.

Cotton Court take part in the Big PNE Sleepout!

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On Friday 15th November the Cotton Court team along with hundreds of people are sleeping out at Preston Deepdale Stadium to raise funds for the Foxton Centre. The Foxton centre is a Preston based charity who are committed to helping adults and young people within the local community

Helping the city’s homeless, the sleep out aims to raise £50,000 to buy a house for Preston’s rough sleepers under the charity’s Housing First initiative.

Here at Cotton Court we are entering a team of around 15 people, made up of staff and customer including staff and customers, to sleep out and hope to raise more than £1,000 between us!

Rochelle, said: “We are very proud to be able to be a part of the Big PNE Sleepout. Homelessness is a major issue in Preston and if we can contribute to raising awareness and money to support this cause then why not be involved.”

To make a donation towards this fantastic cause please visit Cotton Court group’s fundraising page

 

Competition winner launches the first mobile self storage unit of it’s kind!

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Unique Delivery Service Promises Huge Time Savings for Self-Storage Users.

ONE-OF-A-KIND, self-loading trailers are set to offer big time savings to self-storage users, as disruptive new Preston firm sets for launch. 

Craig Wilson of Blox Mobile Storage won the Cotton Court Start Up Competition back in May, a testament to the innovative concept of Blox and Craig’s passion and determination for his product. 

BLOX is launching the first Mobile Self-Storage service of its kind in the region, with the use of custom-built trailers that can deliver and collect walk-in sized storage containers directly to the customers door.

Craig hopes to cure some long-standing headaches for storage users, who until now have had to rely on van hire or incur costly labour charges when moving belongings into storage, as well as having to unpack and re-pack their items once at the store.

BLOX is the brainchild of a former Royal Marine turned Transport Manager and will initially be operating from Higher Walton Mill near Preston and servicing the Preston, Blackburn and Chorley areas.

BLOX founder, Craig Wilson said;

“I was helping somebody move home a couple of years ago and I thought how good it would be if there was a service that delivered and collected large storage containers directly to the customer.

I did a lot of research and found that similar services held large shares of the market overseas in the likes of the U.S. and Australia, but nobody offered quite the same thing here in the U.K.  

The idea turned in

to a bit of an obsession and developed over the next two to three years until I eventually came up with my current vision of Blox. 

I think that the concept has massive potential and can save individuals and businesses a huge amount of their valuable time.”

Robert Binns of Cotton Court said ;

“Myself and the rest of the panel recognised a lot of entrepreneurial qualities in Craig which are crucial when launching a business that is offering a game changing product.  We are excited about being part of Craig’s journey as Blox Storage launches and looking forward to another Cotton Court client success story!”

Blox will be offering their convenient storage solution from the beginning of July, with delivery charges generally being cheaper than equivalent van hire from any major provider and storage prices in-line with the lower end of self-storage facilities. 

Individuals or businesses that are interested in Blox  service can get in touch via https://bloxstorage.co.uk/  or find out more by following their social media.

 

 

Sell-Out Flag Market Event a Quadruple Win for clients Invoke Media

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Invoke Media celebrate collaborative success of landmark local event

Preston based marketing agency Invoke Media are celebrating a quadruple win after last week’s successful Prestfest event on Preston Flag Market.

The annual event is organised by the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce’s Preston Business Improvement District (BID), with the intent of bringing thousands of party goers into the city centre to stimulate the night-time economy & celebrate the coveted purple flag accreditation.

This year’s sell-out event has surpassed all previous years in terms of attendance, economic impact and customer feedback.

The planning and execution of the event has been led by Preston BID, alongside a careful selection of expert providers from the Preston and Central Lancashire area. 

Invoke saw three of its key clients involved in the event. Preston BID as the event organiser, Get Staffed providing the bar and hospitality team, and UK Media & Events as the event management and production agency. 

In addition to client involvement, Invoke Media took the marketing lead for the event for the third year running, providing paid social advertisements, messenger marketing, live video streams and overall marketing consultancy & support; helping Preston BID sell 95% of its online tickets before the event.

Jack Barron, Director of Invoke Media said:

“It’s one of those rare occasions where we get to collaborate with multiple key clients on the same project. It was a great experience to work with like-minded people, each an expert in their own field, to put together an excellent event that has driven thousands of people into the city centre. Our involvement and that of three key clients makes this a quadruple win for us and extremely satisfying.”

He continued:

“The main reason we moved Invoke Media to Preston from Manchester was to support and be a part of the development & investment that is happening in our city, my hometown. It’s events like this, local collaboration and hard-working organisations like Preston BID that are driving growth and making us a true contender in the region, we can’t wait until next year”

Mark Whittle, Manager of Preston BID said:

“Preston BID worked with a close-knit team of local trusted businesses, to plan and execute our most successful event to date. By working with Preston businesses we’ve not only ensured a sell-out, well-run event; we’ve fed back into the local economy and supported chamber members.“

Further Information

Invoke Media is a marketing agency based at Preston’s Cotton Court Business Centre. Incorporated as a limited company in 2013 and operating from Manchester city centre, it returned to Preston in summer of 2018 to support the development of the city and local area. 

Working with local success stories such as the San Marco Group, GetStaffed, Baluga Bar & Club, Cotton Court Business Centre and the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, they have truly ingrained themselves in the local economy and the success stories it creates.

Lancashire Business Awards 2019!

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We had a great night last Thursday at Stanley House Hotel and Spa celebrating the 11th annual Lancashire Business Awards hosted by Downtown in Business! 

Robert and Rochelle had a great night, but what made it even better was the people they got to share it with!

Janette Healey – Growth Co 

Andrew Woolley – Growth Co 

Heather Waters – Natwest Bank 

Phil Griffiths – Face to Face Service Solutions

Ishmael Bahadur – Bahadvr Synergy Holdings

Steph Harding – Wallace Digital Ltd

Mark Williams – Western Union Business Solutions

 

Our MD Robert Binns was proud to present the award for Customer Focused Business of the Year 2019 to Everything Tech! 

Congratulations to all of the winners showing yet again that Lancashire is home to many successful businesses and entrepreneurs. 

The winners of the night included:

Male Networker of the Year 2019 //Sam Whitear, Business Lancashire

Female Networker of the Year 2019 // Victoria O’Connor, Reed

Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 // Anastasia Kenyon, Kandi Cosmetics

Employer of the Year 2019 // Fresh Perspective Resourcing

Employee of the Year 2019 // Loredana Emmerson, Coolkit Ltd

Newcomer of the Year 2019 // Sales Geek

Creative Business of the Year 2019 // Media Village

Social Media Marketer of the Year 2019 // Rebecca Jane, PH7 Group

Corporate Social Responsibility 2019 // Lantei Compliance

Legal Company of the Year 2019 // Harrison Drury Solicitors

Financial Services Firm of the Year 2019 // Champion Accountants

Business Bank of the Year 2019 // Natwest

Property Business of the Year 2019 // Eric Wright Group

Recruitment Company of the Year 2019 // Laura Hartley Recruitment Ltd

Customer Focused Business of the Year 2019 // Everything Tech

Hospitality Venue of the Year 2019 // 1842 Restaurant & Bar

Hotel of the Year 2019 // The Villa Wrea Green

Business Enabler of the Year 2019 // Neil Welsh, PM+M Accountants

Business of the year 2019 // Seafood Pub Company

Contribution to Lancashire  // Lancashire Business View

Chief Executive’s Award  // Conlon Construction

Top 4 Avoidable Marketing Website Mistakes that Small Business Owners Make

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If you’re a budding entrepreneur just taking your baby steps into the corporate business world or you are a successful business owner with multiple brands on the market. You must avoid some mistakes if you want to make your mark as a small business owner. Your website and the business address are the most important elements of your business, get the wrong service provider and your brand can lose its market share overnight! Here are the most common but avoidable marketing website mistakes that business owners make:

The Lack of a Credible Phone Answering Service

When you are looking for different ways to promote your business online, the website and the associated call, email and texts handling service are the lifeblood of your business growth. When a customer visits your website and sees your contact information, an unprofessional number will make them doubt your credibility. Hire the services of a telephone answering service provider that provides further support for your business emails and parcels.  For any new business, setting up a powerful and well-organized phone management system should be a priority.

 

An amenity like a cloud-based VoIP with a business phone number will give your small firm a chance to seem like a major corporation by hiring trained staff that manages all your telephone and emails. Avoid using your personal email and mobile contact number for your daily business support operations because it can get tedious to manage both personal and business communication.

Not having a Mobile Friendly Website

When your business does not have a mobile-friendly website, you are bound to lose a significant market share. Since a large number of prospects rely on their smartphones and tablets for everything online, you are likely to lose your target audience with a website that does not support smartphone screen resolution. It’s important to invest in a website design service provider to help you set up a professional website with mobile access for your startup.

No Registered Business Address

A registered address for your business is important and you should resolve this issue as soon as possible to avoid losing your market share. Having a business address located in a central location is ideal to attract the attention of your prospects. You will find a number of services that provide a key address for your business. Choose the one that fits your budget and needs. 

Not taking The Power of Social Media Seriously

Many business owners are unaware of the power of social media marketing. You don’t need a huge advertising and promotion budget when you have social media. You can start with a minimal advertising budget for PPC (pay per click) services from search engine giants like Google. Google Ads will give your new business a chance to grow through its affordable PPC services. Social media influencers can fit in your budget; try to bag in a local YouTuber or Instagrammer to promote your business by associating your business with their engaging content.

Northern Powerhouse Lancashire #PowerUp!

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We were delighted to host the Northern Powerhouse Lancashire #PowerUp conference yesterday. We took away some really useful information about how businesses can access the best support available to help them to grow! Attendees benefited from the advice of panel members Sue Barnard (Senior Manager, British Business Bank), Ben Hookway (CEO, Relative insight), Andrew Leeming (Boost Programme Manager, Boost Business Lancashire), Will Salt (Senior Policy Adviser, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) and Andy Mann (Director and Group Editor, The Samuel James Group.) The event discussed business support and how such organisations can help companies access the most relevant, best support available to grow the Lancashire economy and support local businesses!
The Northern Powerhouse is the government’s vision for a super-connected, globally-competitive northern economy with a flourishing private sector, a highly-skilled population, and world-renowned civic and business leadership.
The North has a long history of innovation, influencing the fortunes of the country and the face of the industry further afield. Today’s global industry trends are driving new opportunities for growth and the Northern Powerhouse is working to help you harness their potential to benefit your business.  

NPIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the North West, Yorkshire, the Humber and Tees Valley. NPIF provides over £400m of investment to boost small and medium business (SME) growth in the North of England. Funding options which are available include; Microfinance, Debt Finance and Equity Finance.
If you are a small business that is looking for support get in touch and we can point you in the right direction #growinglancashire  

PowerUp

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What does the Northern Powerhouse mean to your business?

The North has a long history of innovation, influencing the fortunes of the country and the face of industry further afield. Today’s global industry trends are driving new opportunities for growth and the Northern Powerhouse is working to help you harness their potential to benefit your business.

The time is NOW, so lets PowerUP!

Register for your free place today for a Northern PowerUP information and networking event near you to find out more about how the Northern Powerhouse is fuelling and supporting the growth of small and mid-sized commerce in your area. Hear from neighbouring businesses that have benefitted, and about support initiatives through your Local Enterprise Partnership.

  • LANCASHIRE, Tuesday 25th June

Cotton Court, Preston, PR1 3BY

Agenda

9.30am – Registration and coffee

9.50am – PowerUP panel and Q&A

11am – Networking

11.30am – Close

Speakers

Speakers include representatives of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, Local Enterprise Partnership and your business community.

Register for your free place now!

Mastering Public Speaking With Cheryl Chapman

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Calling all female business owners, consultants, freelancers and employees – do you have a message that you want to share. Are you struggling to get your voice heard above the competition?

Mastering Public Speaking is a one-day masterclass that is created specifically for women. You will discover how to impact, inform, inspire and influence your audience so that you gain the recognition, rewards and income that you are striving for.

Do you get anxious or nervous at the thought of public speaking?

Whether you’re running a business or represent one, you need to be able to speak confidently and professionally. From presentations, pitches for sales or investment or simply answering the question “What do you do?”, you need to capture the attention and engage the audience. Discover how to reduce the waffle and make an impact. This one-day workshop will teach you to master the art of effective presentation skills and techniques for public speaking, personal impact and influencing, both inside and out of the workplace. Whether your audience is thousands or just one person, you need to be able to engage them quickly and deliver your message clearly and effectively.

Cheryl will help you to understand what it is that holds so many women back when it comes to standing up and speaking out. She will share with you what not to do as a woman if you want to be taken seriously when it comes to business.

In this one day masterclass you will learn:

How to PRESENT in a confident and clear way

How to POSITION yourself as the go-to person in your industry

Understand why you should create PRODUCTS that mean you don’t have to be there

How to PITCH your products in a way that people want to do business with you

Friday 2nd August at Cotton Court, Preston
9am-5.30pm

Book your tickets now!