12 Jul 2022
St Helens Borough Council have teamed up with St Helens Chamber and Business Doctor, Steve Smith, to launch a Business Advocates initiative to support independent businesses in St Helens Borough.
The Business Advocates aim to find out about business owner’s challenges, successes and exactly what they need to grow, so they can be signposted to the right support. Business Advocates can also offer advice and guidance on many business issues.
Steve Smith, Consultant at Business Doctors, is working on the project as a Business Advocate and is using his 30 years of business experience to benefit the local business community.
“One of the key requested areas for support has been developing a business growth strategy and capturing it in a plan. Business owners need to spend time working on their business, not just in it. When we talk about “working on the business”, we mean finding the time to think, assess and develop a plan for the business to grow and prosper – not as simple as it sounds!
As the project moves into Phase 2, the Business Advocates will be out in the community giving more hands on advice to local businesses, while also helping them to voice their experiences of the post-COVID business world.
David Marnell, Head of Business Services at St Helens Chamber, explained: “The Business Advocates project has provided us with a fantastic way to engage with local businesses and have meaningful conversations about what they need to grow and thrive.
“Working with St Helens Borough Council, we can feed any issues or needs to the correct place and gather information on the challenges and successes of local independent businesses. The Chamber and Council are keen to help local businesses grow, and we’re happy to be able to start having these important conversations with local people.”
Through the duration of this project, there have been some fantastic success stories from a range of local companies – with the second phase hoping to build on this success.
Steve Smith, Consultant at Business Doctors, explained: “We’ve worked with a range of businesses already; In hospitality, Phoenix Plant Based Eatery in Bridge St has been a pioneer of vegan food on Merseyside and New Lean Clean Fit Food in Fingerpost has developed exciting plans to grow.
“Alongside this, Young entrepreneur Oliver Jude has re-launched his clothing range and Wow How! Creative has emerged from a covid induced hibernation through Business Advocates’ input”
As part of the Business Advocates Programme, alongside guidance from the mentors’ local businesses can access a free workshop designed to help them build their business, covering strategic planning, business plans, leadership and more.
Steve added: “As the local Business Doctor born, raised, and still living in St Helens it is a privilege to be helping local businesses to recover and thrive. A strong local economy will benefit us all and we are committed to supporting as many enterprises as we can.”
Book your place on the workshop online or visit https://www.sthelenschamber.com/business/st-helens-business-advocates/ to find out more about this exciting project.