Every business wants to succeed and thanks to a scheme run by Cumbria Business Growth Hub small and medium sized enterprises across Cumbria are benefitting from a Family Business Placement Scheme.
The overall aim of the scheme is to share knowledge and insight, which can then be practically applied to a variety of business scenarios, either in the same business sector or in a completely different sector.
Lisa Smith, owner of Ginger Bakers, artisan cake bakers, based at Plumgarths, Kendal, signed up to the scheme earlier this year. Her business alongside a diverse selection of others from across Cumbria; including Out of Eden, Thomas Graham, Playdale Playgrounds, Lakeland Retreats and Armstrong Watson, are sharing their hard-earned business insight with others seeking to become as successful.
The first business Lisa worked with earlier this year was The Chocolate Cottage, Grasmere, an artisan confectionary business owned Richard and Angela Barker. They were paired up with Lisa by the Growth Hub, because they specifically wanted to learn from a food business and discover how Lisa’s journey had developed and how she had succeeded in scaling up her food business; taking it from a one based in her home kitchen to one based in a purpose built production facility.
During their time with Lisa, Richard and Angela gained a valuable insight into some of the processes used in her business; including quality management, compliance, business planning, financial management and growth strategies.
Not content with helping one business Lisa recently played host to Caroline Neil from RPS Partnership, based in Cockermouth, a specialist risk management and security consultancy that delivers training to businesses which operate in complex, remote and hostile environments.
Whilst both businesses operate in a totally different sectors, Caroline and Lisa were able to share a number of mutually beneficial ideas. They spent time comparing notes on business growth, development and cross sector opportunities; including contingency planning, risk mitigation, training and crisis management. Both learning a great deal from each other during the day.
Lisa Smith, owner of Ginger Bakers, commented: ‘’It’s not easy for anyone wanting to turn a passion into a business. It may be the ultimate dream, but that dream doesn’t come easily. You have to work at it and inevitably there will be challenges along the way. Fortunately, in Cumbria small and medium sized businesses don’t have to go it alone. The Family Business Placement Scheme increases their chance of success with access to the business knowledge and guidance of experienced professionals, who like me have been through this cycle.’’
Caroline Neil, owner of RPS Partnership, said: ‘’The Family Business Placement Scheme is an unmissable chance to share issues and ideas, gain valuable insights, broaden skills, experience and understanding and develops idea to help your business grow and be more competitive. I’d highly recommend getting involved especially as everyone benefits.’’
“We’re delighted that Lisa at Ginger Bakers has been able to support other Family businesses through the placement scheme. It’s a great opportunity to find out how others do what they do and gain useful insights to take back into your own business. It’s not only the placement that benefits. The host business also gains from this cross-pollination of ideas. It’s a win-win.” said Suzanne Caldwell, Deputy CEO, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.