Growth Vouchers, the matched funding scheme aiming to make strategic business advice more accessible to SMEs, has finished. Since its launch in January 2014, Growth Vouchers have helped thousands of businesses across many industries receive advice in finance, HR, sales and marketing, leadership and management and digital technology. But now, after the closing date of March 31st, the scheme that has helped many businesses grow has come to an end.
By providing a 50% subsidy towards business advisor costs for up to £2000, Growth Vouchers enabled SMEs to afford and utilise the services needed to grow and develop their business.
The Wiltshire based company, Sales Coaching Solutions, provided advice under the marketing, attracting and keeping customers category. Their managing director, Alison Edgar, was labelled as one of the UK’s Top 10 business advisers by small business support platform, Enterprise Nation. Across the UK, small businesses were asked to nominate an adviser that had helped them build and grow a sustainable business. Entries were judged by a distinguished panel and Alison was chosen as an outstanding expert.
Sales Coaching Solutions are thrilled to announce that as a result of the strategic advice they provided under Growth Vouchers, their clients have created over ten new jobs within their businesses and generated around £1,000,000 in revenue.
Carol Aplin is founder of Pink and Green Skincare, a pure and organic skincare range. After meeting at a Growth Voucher awareness event ran by Sales Coaching Solutions, Carol applied and obtained a Growth Voucher for the marketing, attracting and keeping customers category. She wanted Pink and Green Skincare to grow through increasing awareness of her brand and products and building her confidence converting leads and contacting potential retailers. Carol and Alison started working together on a sales and marketing strategy which set to achieve these objectives.
Carol says: “Within one month, I had a 150% increase in sales due to B2B and a 400% increase in B2B leads. From December 2014 to December 2015, Pink and Green Skincare revenue is forecasted to increase by 600%.” As a cherry on top of these results, Carol sent Radio 2 presenter and organic product advocate, Janey Lee Grace, samples of the Pink & Green Skincare range and Janey replied with “I’m trying out your oils now – I’m loving them.”
Alison said: “Carol was an absolute pleasure to work with. She is a quick learner and a great businesswoman. I am so proud of what she has achieved, and of what all our other fantastic clients have achieved due to Growth Vouchers. It’s a travesty to see the funding stop. However, we must remember there are still other great government funding schemes out there and available to many SMEs, including Growth Accelerator.”
Pictured above: Carol Aplin of Pink and Green Skincare and Alison Edgar of Sales Coaching Solutions