Wednesday 28th October
The Growth Hub has provided free business support to a PR start-up to increase the profitability of the business. Osborn PR offers content and public relations services to businesses and organisations across the West Midlands.
The company launched in May 2020 and faced some trials that one experiences when starting a business, which is why Chris Leggett, Director, contacted the GBSLEP Growth Hub. He said: “We had many challenges that you face in launching a business and I’ve always had a positive perception of the Growth Hub, particularly after the COVID-19 lockdown, I know how busy they were in helping businesses get through that.”
The Growth Hub enables businesses to get the right advice at the right time so they can grow and be successful. Chris was in need of their expert advice and wide network of partners: “I was keen to get some time and support from the Growth Hub as I knew that they would have the expertise and experience to address the challenges I was facing which included: setting up a business, making sure that I got everything covered, and making sure I was aware of all the opportunities for help out there. These are all things that the Growth Hub can do straight away so it has paid off for me in that respect. I’m really glad I got in touch with them.”
Starting a business can be stressful as it is, let alone starting one during lockdown which is what Chris (Director, Osborn PR) did – “we launched during quite a serious time in lockdown, I recognised that there were opportunities and that people would be looking for content and PR support but there is no doubt that COVID-19 has made the market very uncertain.”
In-person networking events are currently a thing of the past due to social distancing measures, making it more difficult to connect with other business leaders. However, this has not been an issue for the Growth Hub as online programmes and webinars have helped many organisations during the current crisis. Chris explained: “lockdown made it hard to do all of the normal things that you would do if you were setting up a business, like going out and seeing people, networking and attending events – you can’t do those things at the moment, so that is why the Growth Hub were really useful because obviously they are able to help you online and through digital meetings.”
Chris first heard of the Growth Hub’s services via social media “I was aware of the Growth Hub through a lot of the marketing and social media during the height of COVID-19.”
Throughout lockdown and onwards, the GBSLEP Growth Hub’s social media accounts across Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, collate the key coronavirus information businesses need to know, as well as helpful resources. “The social media activity, particularly on LinkedIn, made the Growth Hub more visible. The call to action was for people that worked in businesses and charities that were facing terrible challenges because of COVID-19. The focus was that the Growth Hub can help with their challenges and that is why I contacted them.” – (Chris Leggett, Director, Osborn PR)
He went on to explain, “it was clear that the Growth Hub helps companies that were affected by lockdown and coronavirus or going in a new direction to find some security and safety, and I believed that their expertise would be useful for me.”
Chris knew that the Growth Hub’s services would ultimately be the right option for Osborn PR: “I didn’t have a whole list of alternatives because I was fairly open to the idea that the Growth Hub would be a good destination for me. I took advice and I engaged with other organisations but there was nobody that was neutral and business orientated. Let’s be frank, the Growth Hub met my needs, its free and I’m eligible for the services, for all those reasons, it was a good fit. I could’ve gone to the bank or other places, but it is important that you’re speaking to somebody that is not trying to sell you something.”
The first service that Chris was involved in was a one-to-one business support session with Jeanette Peters, one of the Growth Hub’s SFEDI accredited Business Advisers. “The business advice session was timely because it gave me some structures and processes to work through. Even though I’m at an early stage of business where I’ve only been operating for a few months, the advice given will make a massive impact to the direction and the profitability of the business.” – (Chris Leggett, Director, Osborn PR)
Through the Growth Hub’s services, Chris also had an Intellectual Property (IP) meeting, he found it “really good” and very helpful, as prior to the session, he “had little understanding of IP and how it applies to a start-up business, my IP session then gave me a list of things to consider which I’m keen to implement.”
The specialist advice that Chris received gave Osborn PR the practical and tailored tools to succeed. Chris explained: “I was really impressed by the level of detail and insight given in the advice sessions, especially since they were free. You would initially think that they would be very vague and general but actually both sessions allowed me to understand the business challenges ahead but also I got specific actions and activities to really move the business on.”
He further stated, “what I’ve said is heartfelt because when I started with the Growth Hub if you would’ve told me that you get three hours of advice for free, I would picture going through a set process whilst thinking ‘that doesn’t apply to me’ but it was very specific so that’s really good.”
Through a network of expert advisers and partnerships, the Growth Hub has not only helped businesses to recover during the pandemic but has also supported start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to grow, scale up and branch out.