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27 October 2004

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Business profits from keeping ahead of the game


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Peterborough-based companies are becoming more profitable and winning new sales opportunities that help them ‘keep ahead of the game’ thanks to an effective Investor Development business support service. The Investor Development service is provided by Greater Peterborough Investment Agency (GPIA) and helps firms identify the issues that are affecting their success. It then provides guidance on obtaining professional advice that can make companies more successful.

Around 100 business managers heard more about the service from GPIA business development manager Marija Lysak during a breakfast seminar at the Bull Hotel, Peterborough, on Tuesday (27 January).

Marija said the service is equally available to start-up enterprises, recently relocated businesses and well-established companies. It works closely with Business Link Cambridgeshire in providing advice on such topics as marketing, recruitment and training, exports, benchmarking, networking and property and relocation.

The scale of its success was illustrated by Business Link Cambridgeshire chief executive Stephen Hampson, who said a sample of 50 Business Link customers throughout the county were expecting to add more than £26 million gross value in the coming year. Seven Business Link customers in Peterborough were projecting an added value of £3 million.

“We are growing fast and achieving more success for more companies,” he said. “In Peterborough we have 1,300 customers, 953 of which are established businesses – equal to 17 per cent of the business population. We are also securing high customer satisfaction, with 89 per cent of our customers placing our service in the very good or excellent categories.”

Mark Fenyes, managing director of Omega Foundry, and Mark Powell from Swedeponic, presented case studies illustrating the value of Business Link services.

Katie Hart, manager of the Peterborough Enterprise Programme – another Business Link service – also described how it helps new start-up businesses with a range of advice, seminars and workshops. “Independent research demonstrates that professional advice improves a business’s chances of success by 20 per cent and that can make a real difference in securing faster growth,” she said.

The meeting also heard how logistics contractor Norbert Dentressangle overcame staff recruitment and retention problems when it began managing the IKEA distribution centre in Peterborough. Human resources manager Diane Hickey described how an advertising campaign attracted more than 300 people to a recruitment day and how training initiatives are being used to encourage employees to develop long-term careers with the company.

For information about Investor Development and other Business Link services call Marija Lysak on 01733 404395. For Business Link services call 0845 609 7979.

January 2004

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