The time of the micro business is truly upon us. What is a micro business? It is a business with 5 or less employees and it is the fastest growing sector of our economy... in fact it might be the only bit that is growing.
With so many people starting their own business you could be forgiven for thinking that there would be plenty of help and assistance for this vitally important part of our working population. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is very little in the way of support provided via the government and so to help this huge number of people we now have initiated Business Development Network.
What is the Business Development Network?
It's about creating a large community of local businesses working together. It's to get local businesses to start thinking about collaborating not competing. Local businesses are up against it with the big national organisations and multiples. If we work together, innovate, and create fresh new ideas, then not only can we hold our own, we can grow, flourish and bring back the idea of buying local. The more spent in our local businesses, the better for the local economy.
Subscribe to our bi-weekly Business Development Network newsletter
Send it to us: Look at the South West Herts Business Newsletter website... details are on there.
1. Innovate & Create together
It is time for us to start realising that for our local economy and local businesses to get better we need to be better. No one else is going to make this happen for us. The big companies can afford to do blitz marketing they can afford to throw money at stuff... we have to come up with selling what we have... but what do we have? ... that's where the innovation and creation comes in... now is the time to start bringing back local... there are lots of good reasons why people should buy local... we just need to invent ways make it happen.
2. Develop & Deepen connections
By working together to solve challenges we begin to understand and learn about our other local business people. We get to know where they are strong, the skills they have and the type of people they can help. This depth of understanding builds a trust and a desire to help each other become successful. We begin to help each other up...
3. Help each other overcome challenges
Instead of focusing on just our own businesses and what is in it for us we can learn a lot from helping others to resolve their challenges. When we start to invite help from others to think and innovate about situations the magic really does start to happen.
Once we begin to invoke our minds and stimulate creativity then this can be applied in all areas of our lives. We must continue to innovate as things constantly change. Getting used to innovation together and working together we can become a resilient business community.
4. Connect & Grow local enterprise
We are much stronger together than we are individually. Although networking has existed for a long time, it has really been a collection of local businesses looking out for themselves rather than coming together as a cohesive unit to see what we can achieve as a collaborative business community.
The Business Creatives are about growing our own businesses of course, but just as important about creating an environment where existing businesses can come together and thrive, and, new ones just starting out can join us and tap into all the support and nurturing available.
There really is enough business for us all out there... we need to put an end to the misery of competition and begin to embrace co-operation and collaboration... The UNIONS concept is a great example which can be developed as we grow.
5. Learn new skills & personally grow
The world is changing at a rapid pace and this effects people in business more than most. A small change in a tool we use can create havoc with our business model.
Finding out what tools are available to use, how these tools might work for what we are doing and then devising a strategy to deploy, monitor, review, amend and go again is vital. Working together, sharing what is working for us, taking advantage of workshops and training to develop ourselves enables us to become better than we were yesterday and constantly improve the products and/or services we provide. This applies not only to our business but all facets of our lives.
What tools are available for you to use?
The Business Development Network is here to support you and your business, help you to 'find your own way' through peer advice, guidance, support, signposting, connections and knowledge. There is a range of services you can tap into.
Offline... We have a huge amount of Business Networking in South West Herts... link below
Online... The Business Development Network has three online communities...
SW Herts (TBC) Town Business Creative (Facebook Group)
SW Herts TBC (Google Community)
SW Herts Business Development Network (LinkedIn Group)
1. Creative and Innovation Events (FREE to Link4Business Members, £12 to guests)
We're looking to get others started in Croxley, Bushey, Garston / North Watford area, complete the contact us form if interested or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Link4Business ~ Watford
Link4Business ~ Rickmansworth
To attend a Link4Business Innovation event for the 1st time, you will need a promotion code. When you visit the event booking page there is an orange link under where the quantity of tickets is shown. Click the link and enter the promotion code : 1stVisit ..... this will reduce the cost of the ticket to zero.
It is a known fact that 5 times the amount of money stays locally if we use a local business. Buying locally works best for our communities. The trouble is most of us are invisible. Marketing can be expensive and with no guarantee of any results it feels like we're just throwing good money away...
... but wait... we're here to help you market locally for FREE... so here's the heads up...
- Get a Google Account, or make sure you can access the one you have
- Get your Google Profile sorted out... this is a free resources you can populate with all your online colateral. A single link, like a business card but with everything on it! How useful is that?
- Have you a Business / Brand page on Google, if not then get that set up
- Get yourself onto Google Maps. There's a better than average chance you will start to appear at the top of searches if you are on the map in local search results
- Join the Buy Local Business Directories that are right for your business in the local vicinity
- Learn how to post updates, notices, special offers into the Buy Local Business Directories
- Get you Business Video added to the Local BusinessTV you tube channel (if you haven't got one let us help you do a 3-4 minute interview that you can use online wherever you wish)
- Start adding @L4GSWHerts to your tweets to reach more people locally on Twitter
- Join the various Online Town Business Creative groups to start engaging and networking online
There will be website taking you through the process of all the things above which you can work through at your leisure... but be assured by the time you get to the end of the list above you will be much more visible locally.
Click here to visit our Business Development Network Directories and find out how you can participate.
3. Business UNIONS
The Town Business Creative is not only about encouraging people to use local businesses, but also to promote collaborative working. We can achieve far more if we work together and get to grips with the principle that there is enough out there for all of us. Unions enable us to bring together complementary businesses that often work together.
Visit our UNIONS page here (coming soon) to get a full list of different Unions and which ones are right for you.
4. Local Business TV
Have you got a video about you and your business? we can add it to the Local BusinessTV channel. A relevant local list of businesses... if you haven't got a video we can help get one done... plus you can add it to all your social media profiles, website etc.
Click here to take a look at the Local BusinessTV channel
5. Sharing knowledge and Education - Fill your Skills Gaps
Some of the instant access training is completely free, others are bitesized (nominal fee) and others are regular extended workshops. Click here to find out more about Link4Skills, picking up knowledge for yourself or... becoming a trainer!
Link4Skills is part of Link4Growth and you a discount on all workshops is available to all Link4Business members of 20%.