Who Is There To Help Me?

So you run a company in Scotland, who is there to help you? This is a question I’ve discussed with numerous fellow business leaders and I thought it useful to share the answers I’ve received in the hope that it will help you.

  1. Ensure you are registered with the appropriate state support organisations. Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, they are there to help. Call the local office to arrange a meeting.
  2. Meet with you bank. Today all Banks are looking to engage more closely with their clients and it’s always best to start building a relationship before you need to call on them for financial support. Don’t forget to ask what events they run as these are usually free and offer good speakers and excellent networking.
  3. Talk with your accountant and ensure you are on top of all the numbers in your business. Also make sure you are taking advantage of all tax allowances. For example I’m regularly amazed at the number of companies not applying for R&D Tax credits.
  4. Ensure your local political representative is aware of your company and what you do. Any politician, be they regional or national, will want to support local employers in their area who create jobs.
  5. Look at joining organisations such as WeDO Scotland, Entrepreneurial Scotland, Chamber of Commerce, IoD, FSB or any of the myriad of business support groups in Scotland, here you’ll find similar business leaders to yourself, all looking to help fellow members.
  6. There are also many sector specific organisations operating in Scotland such as ScotlandIS (for the Tech community), WeAreTheFuture (supporting young entrepreneurs), Association of Scottish Business Women and others. Search out which is the most appropriate for you.
  7. Scotland holds a world leading position in Further Education so if you have a technical challenge or need for research then why not contact your local university and see where the conversation goes.
  8. Cultivate a relationship with the press, both national and trade. Don’t just send Press Releases, build relationships. Don’t forget if you write a blog, this can easily be published as an article as well (thank you TeamPlayer360).
  9. Recruiting staff can be expensive so speak with local councils or Skills Development Scotland and see what support is available. If you looking to hire a school leaver always check with local council to understand what support is available and use Adopt-An-Intern (fab organisation) to identify Graduate hires.
  10. Keep your eyes open for business competitions run by local associations and professional advisory firms. A competition win will not only lead to publicity opportunities but will also be greeted warmly by clients and staff.
  11. If you’re looking to expand international Scottish Development International and UKTI are there to help and offer free-of-charge assessment and support services to get you going.
  12. And finally find a mentor. Throughout my career I’ve been supported by experienced individuals who have helped me overcome challenges. To find a business mentor, start by picking up the phone and asking fir support, my number is Tel. 0792 000 8187.

There will, of course, be many, many more than I have listed here but perhaps this will get you thinking. Please drop me a note to Russell@Exolta.com if you can think of any I’ve missed as I will look to write a follow-up article.

Russell Dalgleish

Managing Partner Exolta Capital Partners

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