We are Hiring: Growth Hub Navigator

JOB TITLE– Growth Hub Navigator

TEAM – Business East Sussex

LOCATION – Hastings

REPORTING TO – Growth Hub Manager

SALARY – £25,000-£27,000

CLOSING DATE: 27th July 2018 (Interviews expected w/c 6th August)

Please email info@ldbgroup.co.uk with a copy of your CV to request an application form.

MAIN PURPOSE OF THE ROLE

To raise awareness of the support available through the Growth Hub to help businesses to grow

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To promote the services of the Growth Hub
  • Represent the Growth Hub at appropriate marketing events, exhibitions, networking events and other relevant meetings
  • Proactively build market awareness of services through social media, building relationships, networks and client referrals
  • Identify the most appropriate referrals to both local and national providers
  • Ensure impartial and transparent referrals to local, national and private providers
  • Determining the businesses needs by questioning and listening to their requirements
  • Completion of business diagnostics and ongoing support
  • Follow-up referrals with businesses and providers to monitor take-up and level of satisfaction
  • Relationship management
  • Maintain accurate and up to date records including regular and timely updating of CRM
  • To support continual process and service improvement
  • To undertake such other tasks as considered appropriate by your Line Manager or Chief Executive

Contact and Communication

  • With individuals and businesses wishing to grow their businesses
  • With external partners, funders and stakeholders
  • With colleagues and partners to projects

KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

  • Achievement of key contractual targets
  • Businesses correctly advised and signposted on services and support available
  • Ensuring delivery of the Group’s business plan objectives and targets
  • Colleagues satisfaction with support for specific projects
  • Adherence to all Data Protection, Confidentiality and Compliance protocols
  • Meeting prescribed targets relating to our quality and contractual standards, including ensuring the CRM system is up-to-date at all times.

Financial Accountability – None

Employees responsible for – None

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Requirement:

Education, training and qualifications

Essential

  • Educated to Level 3 standard or equivalent

Desirable

  • Professional business qualification

Skills, knowledge and abilities

Essential

  • Ability to work accurately and to tight deadlines.
  • Good communication skills, written and oral.
  • Presentation skills including the use of Powerpoint
  • Flexibility – the role will require significant flexibility in being able to work across a range of projects, and with a range of stakeholders
  • Strong organisational (including time management)
  • Determining the businesses needs by questioning and listening to business – both face to face and telephone
  • Highly developed networking skills
  • Numeracy, computer skills, including the use of spreadsheets, word processing and other relevant software packages
  • Knowledge of the local economy and wider economic influences
  • Preparation and delivery of presentations
  • Identification and signposting of leads

Desirable

  • Credit analysis and risk/debt management
  • Financial analysis/credit assessment
  • Coaching and/or mentoring
  • Decision making
  • Understanding of marketing and sales
  • An understanding of the projects being delivered and target beneficiaries
  • An understanding of the range of business support, training and finance offered

Experience

Essential

  • Working with and providing advice to, and understanding the needs of, businesses (of different sizes and sectors) and stakeholders
  • Customer Service Representative or business support/enquiry handling background

Desirable

  • Previous experience in a commercial/financial environment
  • Previous inward investment/commercial property experience

Personal attributes

Essential

  • The ability to work as part of a team, within an office environment but also self-motivated to work alone in a peripatetic capacity
  • Ability to work with a range of people including the general public, partners and public sector colleagues.
  • The ability to work to deadlines, with good time management and efficient work patterns.
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Creativity – the ability to generate solutions for businesses
  • Ability to establish and build relationships with external parties, other business partners and key influencers
  • Ability to assimilate new information readily and to apply it practically

Role Specific Requirements

  • Ability and flexibility to travel within the county and more widely to ensure the delivery of outcomes is an essential of this role
  • Networking is a core part of the role and you may be expected to attend these events outside of the core working hours
  • It is expected that the successful applicant will have access to a suitable vehicle which will need to be insured for business use. Costs incurred for vehicle use for activities in connection with the position will be reimbursed at an agreed rate per month.

Closing date: Friday 27th July

Please email info@ldbgroup.co.uk with a copy of your CV to request an application form.


Managing a business while on holiday

Research suggests that many entrepreneurs find taking a holiday challenging, as managing a business while on holiday can be difficult. With the UK’s early heatwave making many consider taking time off to enjoy the weather; it raises the question of how entrepreneurs flying solo or managing small teams can get a well-earned break without relinquishing control over their business.

While many entrepreneurs and business owners decide to forgo holidays in favour of building their companies, there are plenty of reasons it’s wise to take a break. Here, our team of business experts offer their advice for managing a business while on holiday without taking your eye off the ball:

 

  • Prepare – It seem easier said than done, but ensuring you start preparing for your annual leave in sufficient time can help you to feel more comfortable about going away. Think about what you have scheduled in for that time in advance, and prepare and delegate as necessary. Managing a business while on holiday is easier if you let any important contacts know you will be away and your return date so that you know you won’t be missing anything important.

 

  • Learn how to delegate effectively – When you start a business, it’s tempting to want to keep control of many things. It’s good to get in to the practice of delegating if you have a team, as it will stand you in good stead for when work becomes unmanageable. Managing a business while on holiday is easier done if you’re not trying to run things alone. Think about the strengths of your team and what they like to do – people generally respond better to being given tasks if it’s something they enjoy or excel at. If you’re flying solo, consider making it clear when customers / suppliers can expect replies from you and see if someone you trust is able to handle any emergencies in your absence if necessary.

 

  • Make sure your handover is clear – It’s unfair and won’t go down well if you land work on staff without making sure everyone knows what they’re doing and how to do it. The key to managing a business while on holiday is to create a handover where tasks and priorities are clearly outlined. Make sure you’ve sent it round with sufficient time for people to ask questions if they don’t understand to minimise the risk of being contacted while you’re away.

 

  • Do research on your holiday destination – Most places have Wi-Fi, but be sure to check if you are going somewhere remote if you will be able to receive and make calls or emails. Be sure to let people know times you definitely won’t be contactable – EG when you are on the plane and who they should contact instead in case of an emergency.

 

  • Schedule and automate where possible – Scheduling and automating processes can help to keep things ticking over while you are away without the need for passing work over to someone else. There are plenty of services out there that can help to make life easier when managing a business while on holiday.

 

  • Set aside a specific time to check in with colleagues – and stick to it! It’s tempting to check emails by the poolside, but especially if you’re going away with family, time away from checking in at work is healthy. If you know you’ll want to check emails and calls set aside a specific time frame and stick to it. If things can wait until you return, only deal with what’s urgent.

 

  • Don’t forget to set your ‘out of office’ – This will stop you being chased by people for things so can help you to really get the break you deserve. It’s wise to add the date of your return so people know when to expect a reply, and a note explaining what to do if the matter in question is urgent.

 

  • Have a clear diary for when you return – Managing a business while on holiday becomes much less stressful if you know you have set aside time to catch up on your return. Don’t over fill your diary the week you are back and set aside time to catch up with your team as well as your emails.

To find out how the business experts at Business East Sussex could help you better manage or grow your start-up or SME, please contact us here or call us on 0844 415 2260


Business East Sussex: our successful year in numbers

Here at Business East Sussex we had a great year in 2017.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out our infographic  below. It outlines  how successful we were in helping businesses and entrepreneurs across the East Sussex region.

We’re delighted to say we agreed grants of £325k, helped start 12 news businesses and invested £1.25m in the East Sussex economy thanks to our grants and business support.

So, why not tap into the support we can offer?

Help

Like In Situ Site Investigation did when it needed specialist equipment to help it progress its business. The St Leonards-based firm, which is a specialist in geotechnical and geo-environmental site investigation, bought a brand new Morooka rig which has been added to its fleet of specialist investigation equipment. As Phil Harper, In Situ’s Finance Director, explained at the time: “Working with Business East Sussex to obtain the £8k we needed for it was easy enough. Some forms, but lots of guidance on them. I’d definitely recommend for other businesses to use the service.”

If you’re an entrepreneur with an idea for a new business or an established company that needs help to grow then get in touch with us… we’re happy to help.

You can email us at info@businesseastsussex.org.uk or visit our website on www.businesseastsussex.org.uk.

 


Top tips to love yourself and your business for entrepreneurs

So, you’ve started your own business. You have the funding, the sales are rolling in and you have started to make a small profit… but you’ve hit a wall emotionally and physically.

If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. The task of starting or running your own business is not an easy one – and the path is littered with burnouts; the people who care for their businesses more than themselves.

Here at Business East Sussex we help businesses secure finance and grants to help your dreams of becoming your own boss come true. But we are also here for the whole business and that includes YOU… the person running it.

So, with February being the month of love we decided to look at the things you can do to love yourself, which in turn will help you love your business more and help it grow.

One of the most important factors is to try and avoid stress, or at the very least recognise when you’re experiencing it. According to the Health and Safety Executive, some 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2016/17 and 12.5 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.

But it’s not just workers that suffer from stress. People at the top suffer too. Managing stress is an important factor to running a successful business.

Here are our top seven tips on how to avoid stress and look after yourself while you’re running your own business:

Manage energy, not time

Your energy limits what you can do with your time, so manage it wisely. If you are burning the midnight hour checking your accounts every evening you may not have the energy to perform to your optimum the next day.

Build a great team

No one succeeds in business alone, and those who try will lose to a great team every time. Build your own great team to bolster success. Some may not be in the position to hire staff to help – however that does not mean you are not in a team. Your suppliers, if good enough, could be regarded as part of your team, your customers too, along with family members. If you have people, however close they are to the business, to rely on then you’re winning. As an entrepreneur, you should not try to do everything on your own. It’s good to be ambitious, but is wise to know your limits. To be successful, you don’t need to make yourself miserable

Embrace training

So, you have started your own business and things are going well. But for how long, and why? Just because you have become a successful entrepreneur does not mean you have to stop learning. Training, in whatever medium, will up skill you and give you that competitive edge. Perhaps an advice session with Business East Sussex is what you need to go from ticking over to taking off in your business.

Work-Life Balance

Relaxation is big business these days – and even if you run your own business you need to schedule in some time to relax. Being aware of your energy levels, time and your priorities is key to achieving a good work-life balance. It’s important to know your peaks and troughs. Are you a morning person? If you are, assign tough, high-concentration tasks to the mornings. Don’t leave the tough tasks until its night time and vice versa. That way you can always still get chance to put the children to bed.

Say no

You can’t do everything. So why even try?

Make your workspace work for you

Working for yourself does tend to require long hours and not much downtime, so invest in equipment that will support you. That includes getting a comfortable chair, an ergonomic keyboard, a support stand for your laptop. You’ll thank yourself later.

Disconnect

We live in a connected world these days and running your own business can mean you’re even more connected than the average man on the street. In your contacts will be customers, suppliers, partners, potential partners – and what’s more – you’re probably connected with these contacts on social media. You probably do your own marketing via social media too. How do you avoid the burnout that too much social media can cause? Well it seems flippant to say put your phone down – but it does really start with that. But others are advocating more – like a full digital detox. Studies show sustained time away from our screens is good for our health. But how do you start? List your devices says Dr Sally-Ann Law, a psychologist and personal life coach.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/better/technology/9-ways-to-start-and-stick-to-a-digital-detox/) and then try and focus.  Stay in the moment with your loved ones and co-workers.


GDPR: an opportunity for growth

New data rules are in-coming – are you ready for them? Don’t worry, most businesses aren’t.

Here at Business East Sussex (BES) we have teamed up with the experts when it comes to data – and we will be holding an exclusive seminar that will go into detail on the forthcoming GDPR.

It will outline the key facts about GDPR and how it impacts your business but it will also highlight the opportunities it offers.

We have teamed up with The Jamieson Consultancy, leading data and marketing experts, to give you the GDPR seminar that WILL make a difference to your business.

To reserve your place please book now here https://goo.gl/BNGCT2

Here, David Jameison, of TJC, explains why it can be an opportunity for growth.


South East Business Boost sponsors Let’s Do Business Expo

The South East Business Boost (SEBB) – the chance to get £10k for your capital project – was the main event at the recent Let’s Do Business Expo in Hastings.

SEBB sponsored the breakfast briefing held by Hastings Chamber of Commerce which kicked-off proceedings ahead of the expo.

Dozens of business from across the county were told how easy it is to get up to £10k and YOU can too, see here: goo.gl/vMWC2S

Ian Smallwood, Head of Business Services at BES, said: “The recent Let’s Do Business Expo in Hastings was the perfect opportunity to speak to some key players in the East Sussex Business Community. If you have a small to medium-size business (SME) or are a start-up based in East Sussex, we could help you fund a wide range of capital items to help increase sales, improve productivity and boost profitability.”

The event, which was held at the Hastings Centre, also featured a range of informative talks including two sessions by Google, BBC’s John Young and a presentation by PRG Marketing Communications.


A life in television… and you can learn all his tricks of the trade

Business East Sussex is holding the John Young Newsroom next week and we caught up with the TV reporter with nearly 30 years’ experience of hitting deadlines and making sound snap decisions to ask him about what he does and why his session is so unique.

How long have you been on television?

I’ve been lucky enough to be on TV since 1992 — my first TV report was about a wonder race horse in Cumbria that was going to cause a sensation that year.  Unfortunately it didn’t.  But I’d made my debut as the new Cumbria reporter for BBC Look North.

What’s the thing you love about your role the most?

The surprises.  Often you wake in the morning not having the faintest idea what subject — serious, light, controversial, heart breaking — you’re going to be dealing with that day.  I think it’s known as ‘pivoting’ in the business world.

What is the most memorable story you have worked on?

A light aircraft that crash landed on a mountain-top in mid-winter.  My cameraman and I climbed for two hours with a tripod and camera.  I’ll never forget seeing the victim’s shattered brief case in the snow.  A reminder that what’s a news story to a reporter is often heartbreak to a family.

What is the best/worst moment you have had during your TV career?

Worst:  realising the studio presenter was ‘throwing’ to me for a live insert four minutes early, with a question I couldn’t possibly answer.

Best: my partner telling me that evening that he’d not noticed.

What do people get out of your course?

An exhilarating confidence boost they can take back the next day to their own workplace.  TV News is a great theme to get people to speak their mind, hit some deadlines, deal with a few dilemmas, stick to their guns … without having to fret about being responsible for it all.  And it’s a lot more fun than training by PowerPoint.

What gave you the idea for it?

Being asked by so many schools and organisations to come and talk about TV News.  I decided I could do better than ‘talk’ — so came up with some games.  My “Den of Decisions and Deadlines” and “Newsroom Bootcamp” is the result!  It’s also a great game for an AGM or After Dinner event … far more fun than a speech!

To book your place at this exclusive, informative and entertaining course with a difference, which takes place at Business East Sussex,  8th Floor Ocean House, 87-89 London Road, East Sussex, TN37 6LW from 9am to 2pm on 12th October, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y82o4nrn


What to export… and where

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and export.

But what should you export? You offer an array of products and services – which one of them is best suited?  And where should you sell too? Not being facetious, but the world is a big place – try and sell your product to the wrong market and you’re heading for disaster.

As the Department for International Trade (DIT) says you have to get ready to sell overseas. “Good preparation makes for great exporting. Making sure you have the right resources and skills in place before you start saves time and reduces your workload in the long run. It can also lead to larger profits and less risk for your company.”

Luckily, if you have decided you want to export abroad, Business East Sussex has teamed up with DIT to hold a breakfast briefing for those who are thinking about exporting or have made the decision to do it. To book your place at this FREE breakfast event – which takes place at the luxurious Buxted Park Hotel on 19th Sepember – click here.

But before then, here are a couple of pointers from Business East Sussex on what to do once you have decided you want to export.

Research

As the DIT says: “First establish whether there are opportunities for your product or service outside the UK.”

 

All cultures are different and you need to think about what features of your product or service will really appeal to customers in the market you’re targeting. You should be prepared to research one or several markets. You can do this online but there is no substitute for visiting the cities or countries you want to trade with.

The DIT recommends that you:

  • assess whether the market is right for your product or service
  • gauge demand
  • define your target customer
  • understand the competition

Know your customers

You will have already defined the characteristics and type of customer most likely to buy your product or service on your home turf, but, what about your customers abroad?

Chances are, there will be some transferable characteristics – depending upon the market you choose to sell to. The DIT says: “To gauge the demand and size of the potential customer base, you’ll need to compile thorough demographic information. Contact your chosen country’s statistical office or a market research agency to get started using the research methods outlined below.”

Know your competitors

Again, you know your competitors here in the market you operate in. But what do you truly know about rival companies, or potential competitors, in a marketplace that could be thousands of miles away.  Are there rivals that also export the same product or service to the area that you would like to sell to?

This may highlight areas you could target, but could also indicate already saturated markets. But, too few competitors may indicate that it’s an unprofitable or challenging market.


Our top tips on business funding sources and the issues around it

It doesn’t matter whether it is the seed of an idea, a start-up or a mature business – there will always be the issue of funding.

Here at Business East Sussex we’re experts on funding. However a lot of SMEs struggle when they start out to source reliable funding.

Here at Business East Sussex we believe in finding the right money, putting it in the right hands and at the right time. But there are lots of different types of funding and they fill different needs depending upon where your business is in its lifecycle.

Below, you can click on our visual guide to funding, the various reasons why you need it


How to prevent a cyber attack

With recent high profile cyber-attacks, like the one which disabled the NHS and hit 150 countries, more and more companies are looking at their own protection and asking: is it enough? Here, Business East Sussex looks at what businesses can do to limit their risks in the event of such an attack.

It was the ransomware attack that brought the NHS to its knees.

The virus exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows identified by, and stolen from, US intelligence.

But, if you keep your systems up-to-date, you should be safer than those that don’t.

Recent visitors to our Cyber Attack event in Crowborough were told first-hand how ransomware can take over your computer, lock your systems and demand you make a payment… the ‘ransom’, to release your files. They also learnt how to limit the risk of falling victim to such an assault.

Microsoft says it released a Windows security update in March to tackle the problem involved in the latest attack, but many users were yet to run it.

There are a number of easy-to-implement defences against ransomware which very considerably reduce the risk of attack and the impact of successful attacks.

Protect

Unfortunately, these simple steps to protect against ransomware are not being applied by either the public or organisations as thoroughly as they should be. These are:

  1. Keep your organisation’s security software patches up to date
  2. Use proper anti-virus software services
  3. Most importantly for ransomware, back up the data that matters to you, because you can’t be held to ransom for data you hold somewhere else.

Home users and small businesses can take the following steps to protect themselves:

  1. Run Windows Update
  2. Make sure your AntiVirus product is up to date and run a scan – If you don’t have one install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor
  3. If you have not done so before, this is a good time to think about backing important data up – You can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else.

You can also download the latest security updates for a host of Windows’ products here:

Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64, Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86, Windows XP SP2 x64, Windows XP SP3 x86, Windows XP Embedded SP3 x86, Windows 8 x86, and Windows 8 x64.

As Ian Smallwood, Head of Business Services of Business East Sussex, explains: “We’re here to help businesses with whatever they need and that does not always mean financial support.

“In 2017 it has become increasingly apparent that this means helping SMEs with their cyber security and IT infrastructure. That’s why we have held an event on cyber security this year with an IT expert and it’s why we’re holding an event on cloud computing  in conjunction with Microsoft and Sussex firm Astec Computing.”

The event, which will take place 9.30am to 12.30pm on Wednesday, 24 May at Business at Ocean House, St Leonards-on-Sea, is aimed at managing directors and financial directors.

To express an interest in attending this exclusive event, businesses should visit: https://bes-powerofthecloud.eventbrite.co.uk


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