Last week, I wrote about the Growth Vouchers scheme, which is a new initiative from the Government giving small business owners the chance to apply for up to £2,000 worth of business advice and guidance.
To be eligible for the scheme, the advice sought needs to fall within five different categories (raising finance and managing cash flow; marketing, attracting and keeping customers; making the most of digital technology; improving leadership and management skills; and recruiting and developing your staff).
The vouchers must be match funded by the business owner and the scheme is run in a lottery style (with very good odds!)
It’s great to be able to shout out about new opportunities for businesses, and this initiative comes with not just one but two. If your business excels in any of the five areas, then why not put yourself forward as an official Growth Vouchers approved advisor?
Being accepted as an advisor adds to your general credibility of course, as well as expanding your marketplace and hopefully attracting more clients, some of whom may not have been able to afford your services without the Growth Vouchers scheme. Definitely a win-win situation!
Criteria for Growth Voucher advisors are as follows:
1. You must be a member of a professional body recognised as the lead authority (or one of them) in the area in which you are offering advice. Advice about which professional bodies might be included and what level of membership you would need to have are detailed at http://bit.ly/GVadvisors.
2. Three years of working in, or advising, small businesses. I was surprised about the ‘working in’ part. If you are not currently giving advice as part of your business but you have considerable personal experience in one of the five areas, why not consider mentoring someone else through how you did it?
3. Professional Indemnity Insurance. Of course, this is something that every small business should have anyway.
The Growth Vouchers scheme is a unique opportunity. So what are you waiting for? Visit www.gov.uk/apply-growth-vouchers, call 0800 652 6254, or email Sheryl Tipton, the area’s Growth Vouchers ambassador on email@example.com.