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Boost Business Growth Hub bolsters Preston businesses

Posted on - 10th January, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Pictured left to right Anderton Gables senior management team: John MacMillan, Kirsty Robinson, Andrew Whittle, Jonathan Shaw, Tom Hargreaves, and Stuart Carter.
Pictured left to right Anderton Gables senior management team: John MacMillan, Kirsty Robinson, Andrew Whittle, Jonathan Shaw, Tom Hargreaves, and Stuart Carter. Pic: Anderton Gables

Lancashire’s Boost Growth Mentoring Group has helped businesses boom in Preston.

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Led by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Lancashire County Council, Boost is also supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The fully-funded Growth Mentoring programme is designed to support individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Lancashire.

They offer mentoring support to help them to deal with challenges in sales, marketing, finance, business planning and internal processes.

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One Preston-based innovation agency is now doubling its staff base on the back of a surge in international enquiries, thanks to Boost.

Geminüs has seen growth and is receiving over 100 international enquiries monthly for its new ‘innovator international’ programme.

The agency plans to increase the team to ten over the next 12 months to meet demand for its services, with the mentoring programme having helped the firm reshape their marketing and direction for the business. 

Geminus directors - Richard Harrison and Nick Roach
Geminus directors – Richard Harrison and Nick Roach. Pic: Geminus

One of the founders, Richard Harrison was already familiar with Boost and joined its Growth Mentoring programme and was matched with mentor Peter Dickinson who specialises in creative and digital marketing.

He said: “Peter’s input was fantastic. He took time to listen to our marketing challenges.

“He made us step back from what we thought we needed to do, to instead focus on core issues.

“We didn’t deal with what we had thought were our problems until the last session. By then, as Peter had addressed the underlying challenges within our digital marketing strategy, the problems pretty much solved themselves!”

Operating from its base at Society 1, a co-working space in Preston, Geminüs is now considering opening offices in Manchester and London. If the growth continues, there may even be further plans for a presence in China, the main source of its international enquiries.

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Another Preston-based company, Anderton Gables Limited has also set sights on doubling in size over the next three years after receiving business coaching from the bespoke programme.

The property and building consultancy specialises in commercial building, surveying, and project management services. It is set to grow its team to 50 and plans to expand its locations across the North of England.

The practice was set up in 2007 by directors Jonathan Shaw and Andrew Whittle. It has commercial clients based in the North as well as national clients including Boohoo, Halfords, Manchester Airport and DHL.

Jonathan previously received support from Boost’s Growth Accelerator programme and was seeking further advice to reorganise and strengthen the team to support future growth.

He was introduced to the Boost Bespoke programme via Boost’s business relationship management service.

Jonathan said: “Operationally I knew we were not quite on top of things. Margins were down but turnover was up. We needed a reshuffle to be more efficient with our team resources.

“The support from Boost really gave us time to reflect and think ‘who managed you well in the past, and what did you learn from them?’ I started to see a shift in my own thinking during the programme and a change in my leadership approach, then a positive change in the team.”

Anderton Gables currently has 17 employees in Preston, and seven more spread across its two offices in Sheffield and Manchester with a recruitment drive planned across the teams.

Anderton Gables recently moved into a new head office on Cross Street in Preston and is now able to house the Preston team under one roof.

What do you think of Boost helping these companies? Let us know in the comments.

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