Imagine this. In three days’ time, you will deliver a marketing strategy that benefits not only your small business, but your local town too. You’ll play an integral role in the project and the ripple effect in your community could be felt for years to come.

Let me add that at this point you’ve probably never heard of the project you’re going to be working on, or the other local small businesses you’ll team up with, before. You’ll work with strangers, not knowing what expertise and skills they bring. Despite this, you will sign off on a project that will have a big impact.

Sound too far-fetched? Maybe you feel your marketing knowledge and skills aren’t quite up to scratch? Perhaps you haven’t enough time to work on such a project?

However, this is exactly what five people representing four small businesses local to Chard in Somerset did. Over three days of workshops, Lynda at The Business Greenhouse mixed marketing training and coaching, enabling the five business owners to learn new marketing skills, exchange expertise and knowledge, and to devise a marketing strategy for the launch of Chard’s new business centre. The marketing understanding and skills they developed were instantly actionable in their own small businesses.

Photo of the Chard business owners who devised the new marketing strategy for the new business centre

The programme we devised was supported and funded by South Somerset District Council.

 

What did South Somerset District Council think?

After a successful tendering process Lynda worked with us to develop our marketing strategy which was great and very competently done. But there was much more to it! We recruited four local business to work with us in exchange for marketing training. Lynda devised and led the whole process working with the businesses to inform and develop the Hub’s marketing strategy, creating an exciting and we think unique business led offer. At the same time she helped the four businesses to develop their own individual marketing. I’ve run my own businesses in the past and if I do it again I’ll be using Lynda.” – Dylan Martlew, Neighbourhood Officer (West), South Somerset District Council

Want to know more? Read on….

How did it all start?

From the outset, South Somerset District Council’s Area West Development team and The Business Greenhouse were on the same page. The vision for the council’s new business centre in Chard incorporated a hub of energy, momentum and exchange of innovative ideas and support led by local small business owners and entrepreneurs. The Business Greenhouse had, in working with Bristol Business School, produced a business-led model that would support the development of groups of organisations based in business centres and communities.

 

The challenges for the new business centre

As a new concept for the Chard area, there also were several challenges facing the business centre project:

  • Collation of evidence proving demand was ongoing
  • The business centre was still in concept stage
  • News of the planned business centre was not yet widespread or common knowledge
  • The business centre’s operational model was still in development
  • They needed to identify and actively engage those businesses that could gain from the business centre

Through deliberations with the council, the small, dynamic, project we formed went beyond delivering the marketing programme. Collaborating with the council, the project would also begin to address the challenges the project faced. In this vein, The Business Greenhouse worked with the council to also:

  • Spread the word about the business centre
  • Find and connect with the businesses owners who wanted to participate in these founding activities of the new business centre
  • Engage and sign up the interested businesses
  • Identify businesses interested in how the business centre could benefit them
  • Incorporate developmental work as to how the business centre should look, feel, and operate

 

How did The Business Greenhouse make it work?

It was a big ask for the five business owners that put themselves forward. They had to take on new marketing knowledge and skills. The ambitious programme also meant committing their own time outside of just three face-to-face sessions they would have with Lynda.

Representing four local businesses who had never met each other before, it was clear we were asking a lot of them too. They were strangers to each other’s ways and skill sets, yet we need them to work together. Their time was precious, yet they would deliver a local project with the potential to significantly impact on fellow businesses and the local economy.

The mix of coaching and training helped to unlock their individual and collective marketing knowledge and delivered new marketing understanding. Step by step Lynda guided the business owners through the process of devising a marketing strategy and learning new marketing skills. The crux of the hard work was seen when the group physically applied their developing understanding of marketing to the launch strategy of the new business centre.  They actively ‘learnt by doing’ as the Team Entrepreneur staff at Bristol Business School would say.

 

Personal benefits of working in a coaching group

As with one-to-one coaching, the benefit of being part of a coaching group is more than learning new knowledge and professional skills. It can provide precious time to reflect upon, feel, and work through the opportunities and challenges you personally face. However, in a coaching group, this is amplified by the constructive ideas and perspectives shared, and the trust that develops amongst the participants.

Using The Business Greenhouse’s group coaching tools and techniques, Lynda facilitates this multiple level personal development. The group can also become a cocoon within which the participants can healthily push their own boundaries. This can lead to quickly developing new understanding, and consequently achieving more than they thought possible. Participants grow in confidence, capability and capacity to take their own learning and development on board.

Interested in joining a coaching group? Call Lynda on 07546 409 664

 

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