How to improve your business model to achieve growth

Introduction from Nicki Hudson, Head of Employer Services for Rise at Calderdale College:

 “As we embark on a New Year in Calderdale, many businesses will be faced with new challenges as a result of the global pandemic. At Rise, we are passionate about supporting local businesses overcome these hurdles and realise their full potential.

“We are ardent supporters of Calderdale’s rich business network and so we hope this guide helps organisations of all shapes and sizes across the valley to strengthen their business and build a robust model for the future.”

Identifying problem areas

2020 presented a range of new business challenges for Calderdale’s enterprises. The need to react to an uncertain and often temperamental economic climate resulted in many businesses having to adapt their business model with little to no warning.

This adaptability became the key to survival during the bleakest months of 2020, as organisations found new ways to recoup revenue and offer services under severe restrictions. And yet, Calderdale continued to demonstrate stoic resilience, as it has done so many times before.

It is this theme of resilience that sets Calderdale businesses apart. A skill that will continue to be essential as the region navigates 2021. The below matrix reveals just how important a resilient mindset becomes as businesses prepare for the challenges ahead:

How to identify pressure points in your business

Breakdown key issues impacting your business into three main areas, such as:

  • Customers / clients
  • Supply of service or products
  • Funding

Follow the below matrix to help identify solutions to each of these pressure points.

Set out the ideal solution to your problem

Look at alternative and more manageable solutions

Research support available to you

Touch base with a team of local business experts (such as Rise) to discuss support options

Consider how these support options can be implemented inline with staffing needs

In conjunction with experts, set out a plan of action to overcome your business challenge

Accessing third party advice forms a key part of our matrix for businesses looking to take advantage of all of the options available to them.

At Rise, we are specialists in skills provision, and can help local businesses to access free and part funded training to help plug skills gaps. We are also well connected within the local business community, so can point businesses in the direction of other support services available.

Top tips to build business resilience

The pandemic has left many business owners in extremely difficult trading positions. Help is out there, and can be accessed for free. Here are our top tips for businesses looking to access help and build resilience:

  1. Pressure points: We’ve touched on it, but first and foremost identify the most critical pressure points impacting your business – the sooner you identify the problems, the sooner you’ll arrive at a tangible solution.
  2. Access external support: You are not alone – Calderdale is alive with business support opportunities for local businesses. Reach out to organisations such as Rise to access the support available to your business.
  3. Evaluate your skills needs: The pandemic has changed the shape of many businesses, and as a result skills requirements have also shifted. Access free advice from the experts at Rise to discover how you can plug gaps in your company.
  4. Plan for tomorrow, work for today: Even if businesses have been closed completely, there is still opportunity to plan and organise for the future. Consider where you want to take your business and other potential revenue sources you can tap into as you wait for restrictions to lift.
  5. Communication: Your business may be shut, or restricted in its services, or perhaps you are overwhelmed with an influx of unexpected requests, either way communication is key. From managing customer expectations to being clear and open with staff, clear communications help to build trust and positive sentiment for the future.

Where to access support

The Calderdale business ecosystem is rich with support opportunities for businesses. Here at Rise we are strong advocates of the following organisation that work to help mobilise and support businesses during challenging times.

  • Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council ‘Support for Businesses’ – This resource is an excellent signposting tool to help businesses access Coronavirus funding support, and other programmes available to them on a local, regional and national level. Find out more via the Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council website:
  • Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership – The Leeds City Region LEP provides support and funding to help businesses grow, attract new investment to the region, and develop the skills, energy and digital infrastructure to create jobs and prosperity. Access the wealth of support available here:
  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority Growth Service – Through the Growth Service, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) brings together public and private sector partners to promote, coordinate and deliver a wide range of business support based on local needs. For more information visit:
  • UK business support hub – This resource offers business support to help ease the pressures of the pandemic. Get in touch with the experts at Rise and they will point you in the right direction to access loans, tax relief, cash grants and self-employed trading profit grants.

Find out more at the Gov Business Support website here:

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