Scheme Delivers Results | Wright Vigar

Scheme Delivers Results

 In News

DSC_1939mfHere at Wright Vigar we are still reaping the rewards of tapping into an innovative scheme, designed to test what works best when giving advice to small businesses keen to grow.

Participating in the Government’s Growth Voucher Scheme (which finished in the Spring) – but which connected owners and managers with private sector experts who could advise them on ways to expand – has paid off.

Navenby-based DBS Internet Marketing Director David Clarke, who advised Wright Vigar said it was great news, but he believed too few firms had made use of the £30 million initiative.

Wright Vigar Director James Sewell said: “We decided to apply to the match-funded scheme, because we felt that it would potentially give us a good return for a relatively modest outlay.

“We used it to explore ways of attracting more clients and retaining our existing customer base, by extending our use of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked in and Google Plus.

“Reviewing our figures today, it is clear that the work done since that consultation, has really made a difference. Many more people are liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and getting in touch after discovering more about us online.”

DBS Director David Clarke said: “The Growth Vouchers Scheme was introduced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and handled by Enterprise Nation.

“Businesses such as ours, which wanted to offer advice under the scheme, had to have a track record. They had to be both well-established and professional.”

“Small businesses applying to the scheme could get a Growth Voucher worth up to £2,000, which they had to match-fund. That could be spent on obtaining expert advice about: improving their leadership and management skills; raising finance and managing cashflow, recruiting and developing staff; marketing; attracting and keeping customers or making the most of digital technology.”

The business would pay for its chosen service in full, then reclaim 50 per cent of the cost back from the Government.

“As a consultancy, we offered strategic advice to businesses, which had to trade within a certain area, employ fewer than 250 people and have not sought business advice in the three years before applying for their voucher,” said David.

“I think business owners and managers who used the scheme found it very helpful but, in terms of overall take-up, not enough responded. Six weeks before it finished, only 30 per cent of the thirty million pounds of committed funded had been used.

“Ultimately, I don’t think the targeted number of businesses were reached, despite it being a very good concept.”

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