Buckinghamshire Business First has been supporting local businesses across the county for more than a decade – and now we’re right here at Westcott every week to meet and support you in person.
If you’re not yet familiar with what we offer, here’s the key idea: knowing what support is available for your business can be a complex puzzle and it’s not always clear which way to turn for help.
At Buckinghamshire Business First, we make it our job to understand all the support that is available for businesses in the county, and we then join the dots for what is relevant for your business – thus saving you hours of trawling the web!
As the central information and support hub for all businesses in Buckinghamshire, we provide knowledge, support and opportunities for growth thanks to our teams of experienced Business Advisers, supported by businesses in our BBF community, partners and local authorities.
That means that whether you’re looking to innovate, improve workforce skills, grow your business, recruit, become more sustainable or get connected with fellow business owners, we’re here to help with fully-funded, connected business support.
What we’ve delivered for businesses
In the last 15 years, we have awarded more than £10 million in grants to businesses at the coalface, helped businesses to create over 2,500 jobs through our grant and project activity, and helped them safeguard thousands more jobs. We have also funded sustainability projects that have helped businesses save 1.2 million tonnes of CO2e.
We have a great team of 50 people proudly supporting the whole of our beautiful county with advice, grants, networking and a whole lot more.
Nobody knows how tough running a business is quite like those that have done it themselves. Our Business Advisers have experience of running their own businesses that they bring to their discussions and ideas for your business, so you can be confident the advice is coming from a knowledgeable place.
Meet our Westcott-based specialist Business Advisers
We want to introduce two members of our team to you - John Browning, our Workforce Skills Manager, and Russell Wood, one of our Business Advisers.
Based at Westcott one day a week, these business support specialists will be on-hand to provide face-to-face information and support.
John and Russell will be on-site on Tuesdays – sometimes both of them will be here, sometimes it will be one of them. They will soon be doing the rounds to introduce themselves to companies at Westcott, so don’t be surprised to see their friendly faces pop in and say hello!
You can also arrange a specific time for one or both to visit you at your premises for a chat about the support we have available to you and to help tackle any specific challenges or opportunities you face.
When they’re not visiting companies on-site, John and Russell will be based at either the Incubation Hub or Building 330 (see the below chart for dates and locations). So please feel free to pop by to see them throughout the day on a Tuesday. You can arrange this in advance too, so you don’t miss each other.
To learn more about this support, or to arrange a visit from John and/or Russell, contact them directly via the below details:
Uniting as Team Bucks!
When you engage with Buckinghamshire Business First, you not only benefit from our support, but you also become part of a vibrant Buckinghamshire business community.
By joining thousands of other local businesses benefiting from our bespoke business programmes, tailored advice and guidance and a whole host of topical events, you can:
Hear what Westcott companies say about the support we provide:
Rob Armitage, Director of Optec Group Ltd at Westcott said: “Russell and the BBF team have been a pillar of support throughout Optec Group’s first year trading.
“Thanks to Russell’s guidance and first-hand experience with ISO accreditation we achieved silver Safe Contractor accreditation. More recently we have adopted balanced strategic scorecards to refine existing and develop new processes.
“The digital marketing masterclass was a brilliant resource for me personally, as I have had no previous experience with this. John Browning also imparted valuable advice for the recruitment of apprentices and made us aware of the potential of distance learning enrolment (if courses are not available locally).”
Duncan Lee, Owner of XYZ Music Academy at Westcott said: “The Growth Programme Advice service has given me structured guidance on how to summarise my business which has led to a much clearer overview on how things work.
“I’ve been able to look at my business from an objective standpoint which has led to more meaningful communication with staff and prospective schools to work with. We are now looking to our next academic year with a plethora of opportunity in front of us.”
Kelvin Hamilton, Managing Director of Flare Bright Ltd at Westcott said: “The business review with Russell helped me realise that my goals were a little unfocused, and so with Russell’s help they became very clear and achievable. It was also evident that we were already doing a lot of stuff right, such as the planning and forecasting tools we have created.
“The Strategic Growth Planning masterclass highlighted some clear areas in which the business could be improved and showed areas to me that I had not appreciated such as the ‘5 forces’ analysis, and the importance of getting away from the grind to ensure that the strategy is clear.
“The Finance Masterclass was invaluable as I am an Engineer by background and struggle with the financial side of the business, I now have a much better basis for making decisions throughout the business as everything is driven by the numbers.”
See the upcoming dates and locations below, and:
John visits Westcott every Tuesday and Russell will also be on hand regularly. They are based at either the Westcott Incubation Centre or Building 330 so business owners can just pop in for a chat or they can visit individual companies by appointment.
One of more of them will be on site on 3,10,17, 24 and 31 October; 7, 14, 21 and 28 November and 5, 12 and 19 December.