Wed 16 / 06 / 21
How charities and small businesses can recover post lockdown. What will help your business grow?
Writing after their Bite-sized Learning for Brighton Chamber, Creative Bloom look at what ways charities and small businesses can recover post-lockdown - from making the most of Google Ad Grants, to utilising the fantastic shared workspaces Brighton has to offer.
By Maddie Breed of Creative Bloom
The pandemic has impacted UK businesses in all sectors over the last year with a huge number of redundancies, a record number of people signing up for universal credit and the economy struggling to stay afloat. Many business owners are finding it difficult to see a way forward after such a turbulent 12 months.
Following on from our ‘Google Ad Grants Training,’ we wanted to provide a few further ideas and tips on building your small business or charity and the help that’s out there.
Charity PPC grants
If you’re a registered charity and appearing at the top of Google search is something that could help raise awareness of your brand or increase traffic to your website, then PPC Ad Grants could be perfect for your business.
Any registered charity is able to take advantage of free funding from Google for their Google Adwords Account of up to £7,500 a month. Follow a few steps and once approved, your ad account is ready to be set up and you can start appearing at the top of Google search.
Taking advantage of local workspaces
If lockdown hasn’t already driven you mad working in the cold, damp room that once stored your rusted bikes that has temporarily been transformed into a similarly cold, damp workspace then you definitely aren’t alone! One of the most popular ways to combat the inevitable low-energy lull of working where you eat and sleep is taking advantage of coworking spaces.
In Brighton, we’re spoilt with an abundance of coworking offices of all shapes, sizes and styles and it’s really important that you find one that works for you and your working style. There will however, be a couple inevitable must-haves when deciding which is right for you, such as: affordability, networking opportunities, location and maybe a refreshments station also known as a cafe, to get your new six coffees a day, addiction satisfied. A great example of this are coworking connoisseurs Projects who provide entrepreneurs and new business owners a chance to get their foot in the door, start networking and supply a versatile work environment that helps motivate and inspire you as a new business owner.
You might have to do a little digging around online in your area to find out what’s out there and make sure you ask for a tour of where you're going to spend your days! Ask as many questions as you can and hopefully you’ll settle on your perfect new work-home, stepping up to the next evolution of your business.
Small business funding is available
A lot of new businesses often forget the amount of support that is available for start-ups and entrepreneurs, of which you may very likely be eligible for. There are a whole range of small business grants you can apply for - and remember that taking advantage of a grant is not the same as taking out a loan for your business! A loan you’ll have to pay back in an agreed timeframe, but grant money is yours and yours to keep, so no need to worry about monthly repayment plans. Here’s a few examples of a few that you may be able to get your hands on:
- The National Lottery Heritage Fund
- Innovate UK
- Research and Development Tax Reliefs
Get a young person on board through grant schemes
The Kickstarter scheme and other grant schemes encourage businesses to bring on a young person, providing financial support to help train them and develop their skills for 100% of National Minimum Wage - up to 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months.
Universities often have placement schemes and grants available to their students too. Brighton university for example has their internships and placement page that points students and business owners to great schemes such as Santander and Green Growth Internships. For your local university it may offer different schemes depending on the sector you operate in, so have a browse and see what’s out there.
Become self-sufficient with online training
Often, the more you’re able to do yourself, the more time you take to learn and improve your skill set, the kinder on the wallet your decisions become and the quicker you understand your sector and where to go next.
There is an abundance of material out there, free and paid, covering every topic imaginable. If you’re looking to build a new website for example, spend a day reading what experts say about the pros and cons of different website builders; what you can do to help your website get found; how it should look and feel - you’ll quickly get an idea of what you need to do without having to pay a penny! Or paying a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional to do it for you.
Check out online events that you might fancy attending that’ll give you a quick leg-up and help your business grow.
After such a daunting last 12 months it can sometimes feel a little lonely out there but there are so many ways you can meet other new business owners, network, improve your skills and grow your business without having to do it all alone. Plan, adapt, become financially savvy and take calculated risks that don’t spread you too thinly. Often, the hardest part of running a business is just starting at all and not wanting to accept too much help! We encourage you to take advantage of the help available and check back in when you’re inundated with new your visitors to your website!
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