Having a sounding board is key
When we asked Mick Hurst at Areca Design about the benefits of working with BizSmart, he emphasised the value of having a sounding board in your business – someone you can bounce ideas off.
He told us, “It’s lonely at the top so having that sounding board is incredibly valuable. You probably already know what you should be doing, but your core advisor gets it out of you.”
This is the second time Mick has worked with BizSmart to improve and grow his Evesham-based Design and Marketing agency.
This time round he has restructured the business offering, increased profitability and taken on four additional staff. Mick started the business on his own eight and a half years ago, and now has ten staff. He has also received grants, enabling him to invest in his business.
He told us, “I found it invaluable going through the business plan and working out a strategy to take the business to the next level.”
“It’s given us the initiative to focus more on innovative technology including mobile apps.”
The benefits of SmartBoards
Mick is also on a SmartBoard, which is a monthly mastermind-style group where fellow business owners share their challenges and offer each other advice, supported by a BizSmart advisor. Mick explained, “This is helping me formalise how I can achieve more with the business and also achieve more time myself.”
Focus on profitability
Some of the services Areca offer, such as exhibition stands, are high-ticket items but there is not much profit involved. They have now made the decision to focus more on their digital offering – websites and apps. This means that turnover has decreased but profitability has increased.
Someone to talk to
“One of the most important things for a small business owner like me,” Mick told us, “Is having someone to talk openly and honestly with.”
“I already had a lot of the right info in my head, but working with BizSmart gave it the right structure.”
“I’ve recommended BizSmart to others, and they are now working with one of my contacts.”
Onwards and upwards
Areca Design is currently winning roughly one new client a week, sometimes two, including large firms of solicitors, prominent sports clubs and universities.
To find out more about SmartBoards, click here
Areca Design worked with BizSmart as part of The Business Accelerator, a dynamic new service that will support 200 businesses to achieve sustainable growth. Businesses must have been trading for 2 years or more to be eligible.
The businesses selected to participate in the programme can access one-to-one consultancy support, seminars and workshops on a wide range of business topics. These will all be delivered by BizSmart. They can also apply for business development grants, for both capital and revenue expenditure (on a competitive basis).