Whatever the size of your business, it is likely that at some stage you will face multiple challenges that can feel impossible to overcome. In fact, you will typically experience these at every stage of the business’s growth.
In this piece, we take a look at what we, as a member of the British Chambers of Commerce, offer to make it easier for business owners in our region to get advice and support when they need it most.
Access to expertise you don’t have
It’s impossible to be an expert in everything. However, the expert you need will often be amongst our connections (after all, our members include everything from automotive manufacturers to landscapers to football associations, and everything in between).
When you ask us for help and support, we can then connect you to an expert through our Member2Memberprogramme, so you can get the advice you need.
Mary Vincent from Willow Tree Gin is just one of the business owners who’ve taken advantage of this service – you can find out more about how it helped her expand her business here.
International trade: opportunity, not obstacle
For many businesses experiencing growth challenges, an opportunity can often be found in exporting and international trade. However, many dismiss this option, as simply navigating the paperwork can be daunting.
Recognising the difficulties export can present, we’ve set up a comprehensive package of international trade services for our members. With our vast network of regional, national, and international partners, we offer a full range of services, including market research, overseas visits, translation/interpretation services and export documentation, removing many of the barriers that prevent businesses in Bedfordshire from exporting.
Get grants and funding
For some businesses, though, the challenges come down to finding and activating the funding that will enable them to expand. Most grants and funding opportunities are not widely known or publicised.
We keep well abreast of this field on both a local and national level. When you seek support from us, we can use our Chamber Finance Finder to look at the specific issue you have and advise you on grants or funding that might be appropriate for you.
It might surprise you to discover the financial support that is out there.
Legal, HR, finance support
However, our support doesn’t stop there. As your business grows and you employ more people, the challenges and obstacles you face can grow, too. For example, there are legal contracts that need drawing up, employment laws to comply with, and a whole host of other issues that can arise.
That’s why our micro and small business members get access to our free legal, HR, and finance helpline. This gives them the support they need in these areas until they have expanded enough to bring this in-house – or, indeed, choose to go with an outsourced specialist.
The right connections for the right outcomes
In summary, at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, we offer a wealth of one-to-one support options for your business should you need help to overcome challenges.
However, we also recognise that the support you might need can vary greatly depending on the nature and complexity of your business and its needs, so we offer a range of solutions to fit. You can find out more about our membership options here, or call us on (01582) 522448.
And remember, if you’re facing a challenge, ask for help! There’s plenty of it waiting for you at the Chamber.