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Business Support

Crocotta and the Chamber of Commerce: An important and positive lesson in Business Strategy Development

Looking at the bigger picture

By James Murphy

Moral of the day: Your Chamber of Commerce is an invaluable tool in the definition, development, expansion and very survival of your business. I learned that positive and necessary lesson in 2015, when I was helping to advise the CEO at CROCOTTA RESEARCH AND DEVLOPMENT LTD. Crocotta had a good year in business. I helped their media profiling. We thereby brokered ‘the big one’: selected as providers on a critical contract for the EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY. It was great news and most rewarding work. European Space Agencies do not come around every day, even if they constitute your flagship project. Equally, there will be companies both big and small that cannot believe a small outfit pulled off such a big contract.

A Nuneaton photographer is looking at the bigger picture after launching a new business. Charlotte Portlock, a 25-year-old photographer, decided to swap working for someone else to become her own boss after being employed by a Birmingham media company for five years. Charlotte’s Photo Studio, which is based at Chilvers Coton Craft Centre Nuneaton, was established with the help of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, when Charlotte met an advisor by chance at an enterprise event. The studio has since expanded and Charlotte now offers a wide range of services, from family and dog portraits to wedding photography and packages. Charlotte said: “I’ve always been interested in pictures and cameras, ever since I was little but it was only several years ago that I really grew a passion for photography. Back then, I didn’t have

the time or equipment to pursue it and I mostly considered it a hobby. “Meeting my advisor and Enterprise Coach Margaret Bull at the event really changed my life. I’m now my own boss so I determine the direction of the business and choose the type of photography styles. “I had no experience of running a business, so I was starting from scratch.

However I’m in a place now where I’m able to expand my services, and grow the business more. “Margaret mentored and assisted me with everything from my business plan, cash flow, pricing structure and time management. Running my own business was an entirely new concept to me, I would have been lost without the support from the Chamber.” Margaret Bull, Enterprise Coach and advisor at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Charlotte is a great example of someone who wants to pursue their passion, but needs the right resources to start the business. “We ensured that Charlotte took small manageable steps to achieve her goals of setting up a business and I would urge anyone starting a business to consider coming to the Chamber for help as we have a team of people who are ready to offer advice, support and sometimes just a sounding board to help get you started.” For more information on starting a business contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321.

“Margaret mentored and assisted me with everything from my business plan, cash flow, pricing structure and time management. Running my own business was an entirely new concept to me, I would have been lost without the support from the Chamber.”

We needed to be calmly focused but clear in our redefinition of what the company could do and where it would go in 2016. Rather than limit scope in a panic, it was crucial instead to EXPAND services offered, whilst making clear that each area remained distinguished and divided. The Chamber provided dedicated, one to one help, thereby ensuring we branched out with ambition but realism. There is a most reassuring and inspiring, constant network of accessible advice. They can help in tailoring the contacts YOU require. Bespoke-Business -Building. Thank you: Hazel Pilling and Ange Lennox! Of course, it’s not a magic wand but it’s a business equivalent of a Fairy Godmother. You will still have to network like mad but at least you will KNOW that you are looking in the RIGHT places; with contact platforms designed by a provider you can TRUST. The rest is down to you and a small matter of luck / timing. In an uncertain business world, the Chamber IS certainty itself. So what are you waiting for?

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www.cw-chamber.co.uk

C&W in Business May 2016  

Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Latest Business News, Local Industry News, Accountancy and Financial Management, Business Tra...

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