A pioneering partnership between two Yorkshire based entrepreneurs is offering SMEs a one-stop-shop for business growth support services.
ABL Business Ltd, launched this month in Moorland Mills, Cleckheaton, is literally enabling SMEs to ‘put their money where their mouth is’ by combining financial and marketing support in one accessible package.
The collaboration brings together the promotional expertise of Talk Direct Marketing and the financial know-how of ABL Capital, which helps businesses to source and negotiate the right financial packages for their particular needs. The service fills a gap left by the traditional old-style bank manager who would have once worked with business owners on a personal one-to-one basis.
Talk Direct Marketing owner Alex Beardsley is an MCIM Chartered Marketer and was Duke of York Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013. She explained that one of the main benefits of this new integrated approach is that it can be infinitely more time-efficient. Outsourcing both marketing and funding strategies to one central management company allows hard-pressed business people to concentrate on their core functions – and on doing the job they do best.
The innovative relationship began with Talk Direct Marketing taking on the branding and marketing for ABL Capital since the company was created more than two years ago by financial expert Andy Redman who ‘discovered’ Alex on Linkedin.
Alex said: “It soon became apparent that we had synergy businesses and were very often working with the same customers. The services we provide complement each other perfectly in helping SMEs to fund and grow their businesses. We realised it would surely be more cost-effective and efficient for our customers if they could access these strategic services as one tailored package and yet we found to our surprise that it was not common practice to combine these functions.
“The idea is that we work with businesses as part of their team on an ongoing basis to implement their marketing activity and develop their funding and working capital plans, improving cash flow and supporting long term growth.”
Andy works with a panel of more than 70 potential funders offering practical and commercial advice which he can use to source the best options for his customers. He also has access to a panel of business support programmes such as BEF (Business Enterprise Fund) – Growth Accelerator, which gives him direct access to funding for both commercial finance and marketing purposes.
He said: “According to recent ONS (Office of National Statistics) figures, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) together account for 99.9 per cent of all enterprises, 59.8 per cent of private sector employment and 49.0 per cent of private sector turnover. Yet most of the accessible support is aimed at start-up businesses. This led us to realise that there was a gap in the market – the option for SMEs to access practical marketing and commercial finance all in one place.”
In just one month since the businesses conception the team have already attracted 15 new clients alongside the many loyal clients who have migrated from the existing businesses.