Posted on 05/02/19

There are certain times when the right business support can make all the difference.  Of course, getting the right advice is essential during the planning phase and when starting a business, but what then?  At The Business Village, we firmly believe that good business support should be an ongoing thing.  Any business owner will tell you that the initial worries of attracting customers, getting paid and marketing don’t go away.  Over time, as the business develops, they are joined by additional challenges, such as employing staff, expanding and planning for growth.  In this article, we want to highlight a few of the business support services that our tenants can take advantage of – as well as those we offer to non-tenants too!

As a managed workspace, The Business Village has a wide range of services and support on offer across our two sites, located in Wilthorpe and Cudworth, Barnsley.  We aim to provide an environment where entrepreneurs and start-ups can take the step towards building sustainable and successful businesses.  That could mean renting their first commercial workspace or office, using one of our hot-desks or becoming a virtual tenant.

It doesn’t stop there though; we have tenants working in a variety of industries and sectors.  Some of them have been with us for many years, developing their businesses and moving into bigger workspaces as they grow.  So, whilst we do work with a lot of new businesses, we’re more than just a incubation centre.  We don’t expect our tenants to start a business, build it to a certain size and move on; we’re also a growth hub. 

So, what support services do we offer?

Tenancies That Meet Your Needs

Taking that step towards renting business premises can feel like a huge commitment.  This is why we aim to make is as simple as possible, with easy in, easy out agreements.  Yes, moving your business to the next stage is a big step, but it doesn’t have to be scary!  Our work-spaces range in size from small offices, to larger commercial units.  So, whatever your needs, we’re likely to have something that fits.

If they’re not quite ready for that but want to move on from working at home, we have solutions for that too.  Our hot-desking and virtual tenant plans are a popular first step for smaller start-ups or sole traders.  With these you can either take advantage of our communal desk space, or just have The Business Village as your company address.  Both options give access to the on-site facilities and tenant support services.

Business Expertise, Events and Networking

As a business owner, you’re an expert in whatever it is that your business does.  For the other stuff, we have someone who can help.

We have a fantastic network of experienced business experts on hand.  Whether it’s advice on business development, franchising, accounts, marketing, digital and online, employment, planning, investment or networking, you can find it at The Business Village.  We also offer business coaching, regular clinics and Q & As with guest speakers, to help you access expert knowledge and information from people who have already made the journey from start-up to established business.

Building a network is vital for a new business.  We’ve seen a lot of our tenant businesses work with one another as a result of a spontaneous conversation in our Bistro restaurant.  To encourage our tenants to get to know one another’s businesses better, we hold our ‘First Friday’ Network event on the first Friday of every month.  It’s always well attended and as well as a guest speaker, there’s plenty of time to talk to other business owners and enjoy a breakfast butty!  First Friday is open to tenants and visitors.

We also hold a monthly Monday Marketing Mashup for tenants with problems or queries about their marketing activities.  Over the past few months, we’ve covered everything from creating a marketing strategy to SEO and advertising.  It’s a great opportunity to come along with marketing-related questions and enjoy a coffee while we all help to work things out.

In addition to our regular diary of events for tenants, we also hold workshops and clinics that are open to visitors.  Over the past year these have included the Google Digital Garage, content marketing, finance and investment, web design and many more.  All of our events are listed on our website and are free of charge to attend.

Our friends and partner organisations also hold network and skills development events on site.  Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce holds a monthly coffee morning at The Business Village, Wilthorpe and we have regular events organised as part of the Growth Hub, which is delivered via the Launchpad programme, in partnership with Sheffield City Region and Enterprising Barnsley.  We also have strong links with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

Specialist Advice and Information

No two businesses are the same.  They may provide similar services, but the challenges they face can be very different.  Some of the advice they need may be sensitive and the questions business owners have may be personal.  Our tenants can access one-to-one support and coaching.  No matter how difficult the problem, we will have someone who can offer the right kind of advice or assistance.

The businesses that we have on site operate within a diverse range of industries.  Everything from accounting and web design, to hypnotherapy, education and environmental solutions.  As you can imagine, there aren’t many questions we haven’t been asked!

Admin and Business Support Services

Along with the specialist advice and skills development, we offer a full range of administrative and business support services on site.  This helps our tenants to project a professional image from day one. 

Our office space is fully serviced, with telecoms and ultra-fast broadband available from our on site provider Telecoms @BarnsleyBIC.  Our front office provides a range of secretarial functions, including photocopying, post handling, room and facilities hire.  We have web-hosting, email and ICT support on site too. 

Security is a top priority at The Business Village and all our office space is secured; doors into the building and from reception also have access control.  When our tenants have visitors arrive on site, they are greeted professionally and signed in using our electronic data entry system. 

If you would like to find out more about any of our Business Support Services, or are thinking of becoming a tenant at The Business Village, please contact our Business Development Manager, Kevin Steel, he’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about watching your business grow in a managed workspace.