Opportunities exist for businesses to avail – even during lockdown!

Today the News Letter begins a new business advice series with Dr Scott King of Pinnacle Growth Group, a business advisory firm based in Lisburn and supporting clients across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 1:00 pm
Dr Scott King, Pinnacle Growth Group
Dr Scott King, Pinnacle Growth Group

Over the coming months, Scott will be sharing his knowledge on a range of subjects as we navigate doing business in 2021. He will be sharing his experience in enabling business growth in new start-ups to global organisations and across sectors that include logistics, aerospace, aviation, tourism and agri to food and drink, construction, renewables and defence.

2020 was one of the bleakest years some NI business owners had experienced in living history. Businesses had to deal with additional challenges such as mass working from home, supply chain shortages, video call overload, staff burnout and significant drops in sales. But there were also opportunities, for example for those operating in healthcare and the manufacturing of PPE, the sales and export opportunities were exponential.

There were also opportunities for businesses to avail of the excellent staff development programmes being provided by local colleges, councils, universities and Invest NI to assist organisations that have fallen victim to isolation or that may be in need of help pivoting or diversifying.

Numerous grant options have also provided a positive business platform. As an example, over recent months Pinnacle have secured over £1m in grants for our clients to support the likes of new employment, R&D, Staff Upskilling, establishing new sales channels, development of new products and other activities.

We have also witnessed informal opportunities being discussed on the ever-growing social media groups which business leaders have established to support each other and to reach out to those feeling overwhelmed and in need of some direction to help their businesses get back on track.

As we look to the end of the first quarter of 2021 with most businesses still in lockdown, what should businesses consider to support their future proofing and securing of opportunities:

 New partnerships – for example look at how the pharma companies have come together to look at vaccines.

 New sales strategies – for example, a simple transition to online sales, new sales channel creation or even new distribution methods.

 Increased staff training - to introduce new skills that can help differentiate the business from competitors.

 Increased staff engagement – by providing your remote staff with appropriate systems they can collaborate together and with customers and suppliers more easily.

 Establish relationships with support organisations – they have additional support resources businesses can avail of at zero to minimum costs

 Focus on the future – plan where you want to be, not where you currently are and use this to guide decision making

Provide Staff with increased flexibility – recognising that a lot of people are affected not just physically by this whole situation, but mentally also, support your staff, without them your business can’t operate!

Begin your future-proofing journey by accepting that you need to evolve. There is real benefit in adapting, innovating, putting in place new systems and processes. Identify gaps in your skills and capabilities and consider engaging with external advisors and organisations to help develop these and deliver training to your staff.

Opportunities are out there, go and find them - don’t wait for them to come to you!

If you would like further information from Scott about enabling business growth, business and people development, grant or funding opportunities that may exist to help your business, email Scott at: [email protected]

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