Celebrating one year of business support in West Lindsey

A group of people putting their hands together and smiling

West Lindsey District Council has been offering fully funded 121 business support to local businesses for one year.

The initiative which empowers business in the district to thrive and succeed has been enabled thanks to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The Council commissioned Clare Bailey Founder of the Retail Champion, and her dedicated team to support business on a range of topics which include: marketing, graphic design, social media, book keeping and accounts, finance and business improvement and wellbeing.

Over 40 businesses across a wide range of sectors   have been supported so far including  bed and breakfasts, an outdoor adventure park, a distillery business and an arts centre have been supported. Clare Bailey and her team share some invaluable insights on the support they have offered over the past twelve months. She said: 

“I’ve had the pleasure of taking the first call from a whole host of different businesses across West Lindsey. I always complete the introduction and initial diagnostic, agreeing priorities / focus areas and introducing the right members of the team to complete the delivery for the client. 

“In some cases, I complete part of the work myself, in many cases the client will get to meet 3 or 4 members of the team, each with their own unique expertise and skills, who can support them in a diverse range of business areas."

Catherine Smith – Book Keeping and Accounts Specialist is working with a distillery and a new performance arts centre, to help them manage their ongoing accounting needs. She said: 

“From start-ups needing guidance to keep paperwork in line and deadlines met, to advising the best practises to making your money work for you. Sometimes all that's needed is a friendly face that tells you ‘everything is OK’, we just need to tweak this particular area and we have got it.

“Accountancy can be overwhelming when you’re starting out and is often the first thing people put on the back-burner, I aim to make it less of a burden and a panic, meaning the clients can focus their energy on growing the business.”

Kim Hulse – Marketing and ecommerce expert has been supporting business owners of bed and breakfasts with brand positioning and marketing messages. She has been helping them showcase not just what they have to offer, but the attractiveness of the local area too.  She said: 

“The strategies developed have helped those with great programmes for local residents and visitors to enjoy, reposition how they present themselves on their websites and on social media.

“I have worked with a number of retail businesses too on sales and marketing strategies, focused on generating online sales. Other service-based businesses now have customer profiles and a marketing plan to reach more customers. Overall, it's been about helping businesses understand their marketing objectives, their customers and their key marketing messages and helping these businesses to communicate these messages effectively.”

Social Media Specialist, Frances Brown has helped businesses explore effective social media strategies to reach new audiences. Frances said: 

“Working with West Lindsey based small businesses has allowed me to support so many people with social media - an area which is often overwhelming to business owners. We go into more detail than just what does this button on Instagram do exploring  what holds them back from being visible and into how to tap into the psychology of the audience to create content that will stop them in their tracks rather than continue to scroll.”

Finance, and Business Improvement consultant, Rob Colbert, said it has been ‘rewarding’ to help businesses stand out from the crowd. He said: 

“I have had the opportunity to help 14 businesses across West Lindsey develop and improve their Google Business Listing. This has improved their visibility to search and had a direct impact in gaining new customers. These businesses also now have 12 months of ongoing hints and tips, designed to help them make the most of their listing to promote what they do and help them stand out from the crowd.”

Steph Briggs a search engine optimiser copywriter has enjoyed writing content for local businesses. She said: 

“Writing content for businesses has been a pleasure, from describing the beautiful accommodation, researching the local area and attractions, to directions on how to find them and where to park. I created engaging and informative website content which is optimised for SEO and gives a clear brand voice to help them connect with their audience.”

As well as advice the team has offered some hands on support to businesses including graphic design and marketing breathing new life into local businesses.

Zoe Munro-Barber – Graphic Designer said she has been involved in designing a new brand identity for a local book shop. She said: 

“Crafting a stylish logo that seamlessly translated across signage, stickers, and wall graphics was a rewarding challenge. We played a pivotal role in elevating the client's brand, helping to breathe new life into the high street.”

Email marketing specialist Sophie Walton said it has been a ‘great experience’ working with several businesses in West Lindsey. She said: 

“I’ve supported a range of projects, including Facebook advertising training and conversion tracking, helping an outdoor adventure park to increase bookings, and branding for marketing literature and social media for a sports therapist, to help them professionally present their business on and off line.”

Zana Busby – Business and Consumer Psychologist has been helping individuals and teams prioritise wellbeing which he said has been ‘incredibly fulfilling’. She added: 

“I’ve coached people to overcome challenges and achieve goals using various psychological tools and strategies. From stress and time management to task prioritisation and delegation, lifestyle changes and leadership resilience skills, these strategies make a real difference. 

“I’m also planning to facilitate a workshop for some business owners and their team leaders, promoting an employee-centric approach to wellbeing. It’s been truly rewarding to receive positive feedback about supporting decision makers in creating psychologically safe environments where everyone thrives.”

Cllr Emma Bailey, Vice Chair of the Prosperous Communities Committee at the council urged businesses to access the support while it is available. She said:

“It is great to see a wealth of experts from marketing, book keeping and finance support, available to help business in our district thrive and succeed. 

“Accessing this invaluable support is easy and the support will be tailored to your business needs and challenges. The best thing is it is free of charge as it is supported by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Make sure you do not miss this opportunity.” 

To learn more and connect with Clare and her team, visit West Lindsey District Council's Free 121 business support.

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit our council news pages

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