Business Growth for the Future: 10,000 Small Businesses

As Baltzersen’s becomes more established and our excellent team continue to take on more of the responsibilities for running the business on a daily basis, my own thoughts are turning to the future.

I have already been planning what I think is an exciting and unique promotion for January and I should just about be able to execute it within the given timescale.  It doesn’t sound like much but all last year we were behind the curve, so the fact I have even given it a thought feels like progress!

There are areas in which we are approaching capacity within our existing facilities and in our market.  As a result there are big decisions about business growth over the next few years.  I am under no illusion that as the business owner these decisions are mine to make; that is the beauty of owning your own business.  I am also conscious that with a team numbering around 20 the decisions I make will affect many other people, so they have to be correct.

Who do I turn to for Business Growth advice?

I am very fortunate that my father ran his own company for 25 years and also has experience in the catering industry; he has offered much assistance already.

My wife is an intelligent and practical lady and is always willing to give me her opinion.

I have colleagues on the Harrogate Chamber of Commerce who would undoubtedly be able to offer up some wisdom.

I do though, yearn for something more.  A group of individuals sharing similar experiences. I have heard about the benefits of committed ‘mastermind’ groups.  People who join together to discuss their challenges and help one another to create innovative solutions.  I haven’t found one locally, maybe I could start one?!

10,000 Small Businesses

Recently I discovered the ‘10,000 Small Businesses’ scheme run by the Goldman Sachs Foundation.  It is focussed on helping small businesses develop business growth plans.  You can see an introduction here:

The scheme runs out of Leeds University Business School and involves a programme of education, reflection, planning and networking.  I recognise some of the businesses that have already taken part in the Leeds-based scheme including  Prashad Restaurant and Ilkley Brewery.

The video suggests that beyond the scope of the programme the participants continue to support one another and perhaps even collaborate on joint projects.  It all sounds pretty good to me.

In particular the short video below by Bobby Patel of Prashad speaks in terms that are so familiar.  I have so many ideas for what Baltzersen’s can be, I just need to develop a process for identifying where each one fits logically in our future.

How can You Apply?

It’s quite simple, just clock through to the Leeds University website and register your interest.  The form you will eventually be required to fill out requires a little bit of commitment but it really isn’t that hard.  If you don’t have all of the business information to provide at the end (for example audited year end accounts) then you can provide other alternatives until these become available so don’t be put off.

I have applied for the next iteration of the scheme which begins in March and have an interview on 5th February 2014.  I’ll let you know how I get on!

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