Business Squad reaches 1250 members
With 58% of businesses in Yorkshire not reaching the five year mark, local business experts Gary King, Mike Hall and Clare Taylor wanted to create a support network to help reduce this figure. As a result, ‘Business Squad’ launched on Facebook in February this year, and through recommendation already has over 1,250 members.
The ‘Squad’ is a collaboration of three businesses coming together – Tendo (Business strategy and mentoring), ThinkSMART Marketing (Marketing strategy) and Your Hidden Gem (Admin support) to share more than 80 years combined experience.
Group members can either request to join or be recommended to the group by other members. They are then able to post questions asking for help in a similar way to LinkedIn, but with a group of likeminded business people who can then offer advice and support or share their own experiences. The intention being that business owners don’t feel so alone, they have a support network in which they can share key challenges and be offered useful advice. The group members are predominantly from the Yorkshire area, but it is now attracting business people nationally and internationally.
According to co-founder Gary King, ‘following research we carried out, we felt that SMEs needed a life line to improve their chances of success, so we wanted to provide 24/7 support for them to prosper and not feel so alone. Over 86% of business owners that we spoke to didn’t feel they have a work/life balance with nearly a third saying they were losing sleep with concerns over cashflow’.
The group also has specific days of the week for businesses to share their challenges, successes or to thank others for their help. ‘#MyTimeMonday’ reinforces the need to take time out from a business, whether it is family time, or just to switch off. ‘#WakeupWednesday’ is a time to share any inspiration or small wins had during the week to help fellow Squaddies over the hump day! ‘#ThankyouThursday’, so often in business we don’t take the time out to thank those who have supported them, so this day is to thank fellow Squaddies for any referrals they have made or support/advice given to overcome challenges and #FabulousFriday not only celebrates the end of the week but gives the opportunity to share successes into the Group.
Once a month the Group runs #PromoDay when Squaddies have the opportunity to promote their business or a specific event they may be holding to the over 1,250 Group members.
Gary King, Mike Hall and Clare Taylor regularly post hints and advice tips from their experience, as well as useful download documents and live training on key topics across business strategy and marketing. Squaddies are encouraged to do the same to maximise the benefit from the different business sectors and experience within the group.
Squaddie Danny Lacey, Founder and MD of Stada Video comments ‘There’s a real buzz about the Business Squad community with an incredible amount of business insight being shared daily. I’m hooked!’
As Clare explains ‘we actively encourage our Squaddies to share their experience, whether it is questions about GDPR, accountant or courier recommendations, or advice on how to get their marketing working and delivering results. These are some of the challenges facing every small business and providing a forum to openly discuss some of these issues with likeminded leaders really is working. We have had over 4,000 responses to posts that Squaddies have posted in the last month alone.’
The group has grown through members recommending friends to join and is increasing on average by about 200 new members each month.
They also run two #BeMore Bootcamps a year, covering all aspects of running a business from developing your business model to creating a marketing plan that delivers, and how to outsource tasks like admin. Over 100 business owners attended the camps this year and priced at £45 it is available to businesses of every size, with a money back guarantee if not satisfied.
Diane Benn, Squaddie, Business Owner and #BeMore Bootcamp attendee comments ‘I would definitely recommend #BeMore to others who want a direct approach to growing their business. It was brilliant!’
Mike Hall told us ‘as part of the research we did, 74% of businesses said they needed help with all aspects of their business from trying to find the right kind of customer, to over half desperate for help with their admin. Our goal was to help these people realise they are not alone with these challenges, but also provide a means of asking others for help and opportunities for training. The rate at which the group has grown clearly shows the demand for this type of support’.
With the aim of the group being to help businesses to be more productive, effective and successful, it is certainly highly rated by its members. Group member Julie McGeever who is the MD of training company DIB Development Ltd stated ‘Running your own business, you can feel isolated at times. Business Squad is a welcoming group of likeminded people who share similar aspirations and challenges across a broad spectrum of experience, happy to share and support each other’.
For more information about either Business Squad, or the next Bootcamp in 2019, contact Gary King on 0113 8970 900 or search for Business Squad on Facebook and ask to join the group.