Business Growth Programme helps local business to increase its digital presence

14 Aug 2017

Business

Long standing Chamber Member AW ISO Consultants is improving its digital presence with help from St Helens Chamber.

The company, owned by Andrew Wilcock, helps businesses implement ISO standards in quality, environmental, health and safety and information security. ISO standards are management systems that are recognised in 110 different countries, and help to improve the ways things are done in a business.

Andrew had been involved with a number of businesses in the past and recognised the importance of quality standards.

He said: “I saw the benefit of management systems and how it had improved our processes and procedures and made us more efficient. After the recession forced the closure of my drafting business in 2010, I saw this as an opportunity to take a new direction.”

“ISO standards help businesses improve their process and are often a prerequisite when tendering for certain contracts and can be valuable as a business improvement tool.”

To attract more clients, Andrew realised that he needed to update the company’s website and make use of social media to promote his business.

He said: “I realised the majority of the enquiries being received for ISO work had been coming through the website, which needed an update to make it more user friendly and rank it higher in Google listings.”

Andrew had been a Member of St Helens Chamber since starting his business and approached the Chamber for help with developing his plans for growth.  He was referred to the Chamber’s Business Growth Programme, where a dedicated adviser carried out a full review of the business before agreeing a detailed action plan with him which incorporated 12 hours of fully funded support.

Andrew said: “St Helens Chamber was my first point of call and with the help of my adviser, we came up with an action plan and I was given 12 hours of free support.

“I had an initial consultation with a marketing consultant, who suggested a thorough review of my website and SEO activities. It really helped having someone look at the business with a new perceptive. The new website will also be linked with social media sites and I plan to post news and blogs as well.

“The whole process was simple from start to finish and there wasn’t a lot of paperwork to complete.”

Thanks to the Business Growth Programme Andrew now has a clear idea of what he needs to do to grow his business and has a plan to move forward.

He said: “I understand what needs to be done to update my website and am now in discussions with a number of web designers after the Chamber provided me with a list of local companies.The Chamber is a one stop shop and if I need anything I can always get in touch.

“The Business Information team provided me with a list of companies that I could target my marketing towards, which included manufacturers and construction companies. I could have been trawling the internet for ages and never found local companies.”

With a new website attracting more clients, Andrew has ambitions to expand the range of ISO standards that he offers in the future.

“I am looking to expand and take on more consultants and offer different standards such as legal compliance, internet security and cyber essentials, which is a government backed cyber security certification scheme.

“Two of the most popular ISO standards, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 were significantly updated in September 2015. As a result there has been an increased number of enquiries from organisations seeking assistance to transition to the new requirements. This has to be completed by September 2018, so I can see myself being busy helping organisations get ready.”

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and St. Helens Council, St Helens Chamber’s Business Growth Programme is designed to help businesses operating in the B2B sector who want to grow and take on new staff, but are finding obstacles in their way. It is part of the Liverpool City Region Integrated Business Support Project.

Following a free business diagnostic to identify any issues standing in the way of growth ambitions, the Chamber’s Business Advisers put together a bespoke action plan for the business.

Companies will then receive fully-funded advice and support from Chamber Business Advisers and specialist business consultants, offering practical solutions to achieve their goals and improve their competitiveness.

For more information about the Business Growth Programme call 01744 742042 or email growthprogramme@sthelenschamber.com