Last Chance For £2k From The Government - Growth Vouchers
by Jo Shaer, on March 24, 2015
Business owners have until 31st March 2015 to apply for their Growth Vouchers. As one of only a very few approved Growth Voucher suppliers in this part of Essex, we wrote about our first experience of these here.
What is a Growth Voucher?
Growth Vouchers are a grant from the Government that will match fund your investment of up to £2,000 for strategic business advice.
All SMEs can apply in any sector - manufacturing, law, engineering, IT, retail, printing, health, automotive, design, etc, etc...
The only criteria are:
Your business must:
- have 249 employees or fewer (including any employees of companies that own a stake in your business)
- be registered in England
- actively sell goods or services
- be independent (ie no more than 25% is owned by other businesses or organisations)
- have a turnover of less than €50 million
Since those early days, we have become a bit more experienced and Growth Vouchers have become a little less draconian in their approval process, but it is still a lottery.
Some business owners are successful and we are working with several who have been able to double the budget they are able to spend with us.
Even if you only have £150 to spend, that becomes £300! So it's worth it.
However, other businesses will apply and not be successful - like us!
Yes, that's right, we were not approved for a Growth Voucher.
But that does not mean that YOU should not try to apply. As I said earlier, businesses are chosen randomly and some of our clients have been the beneficiaries of a nice little lump sum.
What areas are covered by Growth Vouchers?
The application process takes you through a whole raft of questions about your set up - including, curiously, whether your business is run by a woman! - and then your plans for the future of your business.
The questions are divided into five categories:
Recruiting and developing your staff
Raising finance and managing cashflow
Making the most of digital technology
Marketing, attracting and keeping customers
Improving leadership and management skills
These are either yes or no answers or where you have to rate something from 1 to 5 where 1 is not very important and 5 is very important.
At the very end, based on your answers, you will have one of these areas suggested to you as the focus of your Growth Voucher spend, but you are still able to select one of the other areas as an option from a dropdown menu - see the image below.
Why is the Suggested area so important?
Make your choice here or forever hold your peace because, once you have confirmed either the suggested area or one of your choice, you cannot change your mind.
This means that, if your chosen provider is not approved for that category, then they will not be able to work with you as part of this Growth Voucher.
For anyone that would like to know, to work with us, you need to be awarded a Growth Voucher for making the most of digital technology.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get your application in today by completing the form here. But, remember, read the rules to make sure that the vouchers will cover whatever it is you want to invest in to improve your business.
It's for strategic business advice, not training or a new website.
Didn't get a Growth Voucher? Find out how Inbound Marketing can make your business take off!