This month Andi, our creative director went to an exclusive meeting, held at 10 Downing Street. She went to discuss how the government can help small businesses.
Andi met with the Prime Minister’s Business Engagement Manager, Niamh Mulholland. There were entrepreneurs from twenty other businesses from the North of England. The purpose of the mission was to tell Niamh about our business and provide one suggestion for the government. A suggestion that could help small businesses. These ranged from help with rates and covering living wage for staff, where wage bills had increased largely for small businesses.
Enterprise Nation, who organised and led the meeting, invited Andi to participate in discussions because of their previous experience and involvement in government support programmes with Business Growth Hub and Growth Accelerator, Google Elevator & Greater Connected to name a few.
Factory has benefited extensively from being involved in government support programmes over the last two years. Andi was keen to share her views at the meeting. She raised questions about new funding and investment opportunities for small businesses wanting to grow now that the Growth Accelerator programme had ended. We wanted to discuss the growth voucher scheme that recently ended.
We work primarily with businesses that have gone past the start-up phase. Maybe you are at a point in your business growth where a brand refresh is needed. It could be full-scale digital transformation. Small businesses often miss out on the huge boost they could receive from a well created digital presence and marketing strategy.
Currently, growth funding covers advice on “how” rather than “what”. So you could receive advice that tells you that you need to improve your digital presence, but not the funds to do so. Wouldn't it be better if you could spend your growth vouchers on growth? Instead of 'how to grow'? Companies like ourselves could help them to access this kind of support. Several of the other delegates expressed similar desires with growth funding.
We left our suggestions in the hands of Niamh who will pass them on at the next policy meeting. We look forward to seeing any possible changes.
After our parliament visit, we were visited by our local MP Simon Danczuk. We chatted about the work we do, all things digital and the Borough of Manchester.
Simon Danczuk visited web and graphic design agency Made By Factory recently. The company based at The Old Post Office in Rochdale say they are ‘founded with friendship’ and that is evident in the way they operate.
“It was a breath of fresh air for me,” said Simon Danczuk following his tour of their offices.
“It is great to see such an innovative company operating in our town. There is a real family feel within the organization and it is run by a network of dedicated young creatives. It was good to get a behind the scenes look at the way the company is run and see all the fantastic work they are doing in the Manchester area and beyond.”
Factory has also secured Google Partner Status and they are the only company in Rochdale to hold the accolade. It means they are certified in all five areas of ‘pay per click advertising’. This shows that Factory manages a consistent level of client spends regularly. They also have a direct point of contact on the Google team.
Andi Wilkinson is a director at Factory. She said: “We explained to Simon that we’re a full-service digital agency. We specialise in working with businesses who have seen growth but need to bring their online presence up to speed.”
Factory has been responsible for some fantastic projects for the people of Manchester. They have run some of them on a voluntary basis. The company created a blog for the Manchester Youth Council and trained their members on how to use the site. They also worked on developing the web presence for the Borough of Manchester Homeless Action Information Network (BRHAIN).
“Simon explained how he was very keen to promote the borough in parliament due to the number of thriving business he has met and as such, we are keen to be involved. It was a very positive meeting for us and we are really excited to assist Simon in promoting the town in any way we can.” Andonette concluded.
Danczuk finished by saying: “It was so great to see a company like this with the best interests of the people of Manchester at heart. For them, to volunteer time on these fantastic causes says a lot and it is wonderful for the people of Rochdale to have companies like this at their disposal.”
We are grateful to Simon for his kind comments & have continued to remain good friends.