The C&W Chamber Business Support Team has wide experience on a range of business issues. We’re a business ourselves, so we know just how important it is to get it right. As a Chamber we face many of the issues you have to confront in your own business, so we’ve assembled a collection of frequently asked questions to help you find out a little more about what we do and the ways in which we can help you grow your business.
We hope you gain some insight from our Business Support FAQs, but it’s worth remembering that Chamber Essential Membership includes a superb range of money-saving benefits to help you drive down the cost of doing business.
If you would like to learn more about our Business Support services please get in touch:
Our Business Support Team is happy to help with any questions a business owner may have. Some firms may be eligible for business support under ongoing programmes. We may be able to provide funded support for your business, but it’s worth remembering that to qualify for such funding you’ll need to satisfy strict criteria. Take a look at the C&W Chamber Funded Business Assistance information or contact us to find out more.
Grants and funding are available from a myriad of sources, including, local, regional and central government, the European Commission and a variety of other bodies. The C&W Chamber Business Support Team can provide a comprehensive overview of all current funding and grant opportunities.
As a Chamber member you can request a FREE funding and grant search through our Membership Team.
We also provide a similar service to non-members for the competitive price of just £30 or a more detailed bespoke search for just a little more. Take a look at the C&W Chamber Business Support services to find out more.
Assembling a tender bid can be a challenging and time-consuming exercise, but the rewards can be well worth the effort. The current Government is committed to encouraging more SMEs to bid for contracts with local authorities, which represents a fantastic opportunity for businesses in the Coventry & Warwickshire area.
One of the easiest ways to find out about available opportunities is to take advantage of the resources below.
An effective business plan provides an opportunity for you to assess your value proposition, marketing strategy, operational planning and the shape your company’s finances are in, so it could make all the difference when it comes to driving the business forward.
A wise business owner once said; “Turnover is vanity, profit sanity and cash reality.” Here at the Chamber we’re inclined to agree, as we know that even the most simple cash flow forecasting can help your business:
plan out how much you expect or need to make in sales this year
forecast how much you expect to spend in costs
understand when cash will come in and out of your bank account.
With this knowledge at your disposal you will be able to make important decisions about your business. Here are some questions that a cash flow forecast consultation could help you answer:
Could you start making a new product, or offer a new service?
How much turnover is required to keep the business growing?
Could you start selling in a different country?
Can you afford to recruit a new member of staff?
Should you outsource some of your day-to-day tasks?
If you need more space for your business, can you afford to rent an office or workshop or is your business ready to purchase its own building?
A marketing plan is pretty much essential if you intend to grow your business. Businesses that fail to adapt, innovate and react effectively to changes in their marketplace are unlikely to succeed. You need to understand how your existing and potential customers view your business. Every form of marketing you enter in to needs to recognise and respond to your customers’ point if view.
So, build your marketing around your customers’ needs and ensure that:
You’re targeting your ideal customer base
You have a prominent, easy-to-understand call to action on all marketing materials
You have in place a method for identifying and measuring leads and conversions
Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce holds more than 100 networking events every year. They’re a fantastic opportunity to raise your business profile, learn more about trends in your sector and create worthwhile business contacts. Although you may not generate new business at every networking event they’re a superb opportunity to raise your business profile.
Here are a few pointers to getting the most out of your networking activities:
Are you dressed for the part?
Have you prepared correctly and have marketing materials to present to prospective clients?
Have you developed and rehearsed your 30-second pitch (also know as an Elevator pitch)?
Make sure you work the event thoroughly, identify targets from the delegate list and make sure you make contact
Don’t just listen, make sure you ask questions yourself.
Hold back on the selling. It may sound counter-intuitive, but networking’s more about making contacts to sell to in the future than trying to create business on the day.
Follow up any leads in a timely fashion. Interact on Social Media, give them a call or drop them an email within a couple of days of the event to keep up the momentum.