Expert business support when you’re ready to grow

Laura Hodge of Keepsake Casting, a business that is ready to grow.Laura Hodge of Keepsake Casting, a business that is ready to grow.

KNOWING your business is ready to grow is one thing; putting in place a strategy to manage that expansion can often be quite another and that’s where Business Gateway’s expertise can help.

Businesses in Shetland with ambitions to grow can access a package of support from Business Gateway specially designed to help them achieve their goals.

One-to-one advice

Business Gateway’s team of expert advisers have helped numerous local businesses take their ventures to the next level by offering clear, concise, practical, and knowledgeable assistance.

Connections

Our advisers can connect you to organisations designed to specifically help you on your journey. Looking to create and develop new products, services and processes? Our team could link you with Interface to connect you to the right academic expert you need. They can also link you with the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service to help you grow sales, reduce costs, maximise efficiency, and become more successful. For those looking to do business with Europe (and beyond), they can connect you to the Enterprise Europe Network.

Specialist support

If your business is projecting a significant level of growth over the next three years, our advisers can put you forward for potential help through our Growth Pipeline programme, giving you access to a range of specialist advisory support in areas such as strategy, market and organisational development, and investment.

But don’t worry if you don’t meet the criteria as our advisers will continue to support you, providing access to specialist advice and support in areas such as IT/ecommerce, HR, business planning, strategy and marketing where required.

For those looking to improve their digital skills, the DigitalBoost programme, delivered by Business Gateway on behalf of Digital Scotland, will help you grow online. To take the digital health check and to pick up practical digital skills via online tutorials visit www.bgateway.com/digitalboost.

Looking to attend one of our DigitalBoost workshops? Over the coming months you can find out more about Facebook for Business, how to Enhance Your Business With Digital, Email Marketing and Video Production for Social Media.

For a full list of DigitalBoost workshops – and to reserve your space – visit www.bgateway.com/local-offices/shetland/events.

Funding and access to finance

With in-depth knowledge of both local and national funding programmes, our team can talk you through the various eligibility criteria, connect you with the right people, and guide you through the application process.

Neil Henderson, Business Gateway Shetland, said: “Our advisers can work closely with you in order to quickly help you identify which of our services will most benefit your core objectives. With their knowledge and contacts, they can link you to a number of different individuals and organisations which can help your business to grow.”

Business success set in stone

A business launched in Walls as a hobby has become so successful that its next appointment isn’t until 2019!

After gaining advice from Business Gateway Shetland, and securing a grant from Shetland Islands Council’s Economic Development Grant Scheme, Laura Hodge launched Keepsake Casting in July 2016.

Since then the mother-of-three has created hundreds of bespoke casts of people’s hands and feet, providing families, couples, and those recovering from illness with personal artwork for their homes.

Although the business was started to help fill a few hours during the week while raising her children, Laura began working full-time on the business early last year to meet growing demand.

She said: “When I moved to Walls there was no childcare so I knew I had to set up a business that would work around my children. What I do is unique, and I wasn’t sure how successful it would be, so it’s amazing to have grown so quickly.

“The idea to do castings arose because I was blown away by the one we had done down in Edinburgh a few years back, but I had no clue where to start so went to Business Gateway. My adviser helped me understand everything I needed to do including how to set my pricing structure. He even sat me down and asked me how I’d respond to different scenarios and that focused my mind and got me thinking differently.”

Find out how Business Gateway Shetland can help you by calling 01595 707451 or visit www.bgateway.com/shetland

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