Monday 27 February 2017

Plus Dane Tenant Samantha Foley Changed Her Life With New Business; Simply Angels

Samantha Foley, a Plus Dane tenant from Halton made massive changes in her life after her daughter began school and decided to start her own business, doing what she had always been passionate about; healing others.

‘I have worked in television for 17 years on shows such as Hollyoaks, Brookside and Grange Hill as a Script Supervisor and also working with continuity. But once my daughter, Angel, started school, I found that filming 60 hours each week was very difficult!’

Samantha had always had an interest in different types of Holistic Therapies and it was at this time that she began to try and juggle both her television work and also her alternative therapies. ‘I began to train as a Script Supervisor back in 2001 and at the same time began to train in Reiki. I was finding both quite tough. But I was really encouraged by the reception from those that I worked with. I would be asked why I hadn’t started my own business and I realised that this was my calling and it was time for me to learn about how to start my own business.’

If like Samantha you would like to access expert advice to start a business, contact the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8111 or email

Friday 24 February 2017

Jim Gale Kicked Off 2017 With His Business Launch; Nutri-iQ

Local man Jim Gale has kicked off the New Year by launching his new online software Nutri-iQ, a bespoke piece of software designed to be used by Personal trainers (PTs) and nutrition coaches to write meal plans for their clients.

Nutri-iQ is a web based nutrition plan development tool that provides an efficient and easy to use platform where personal trainers will be able to create full comprehensive meal plans for their clients in a fraction of the time that it would take to be written manually and with twice the precision.

Jim says “Nutri-iQ will provide professionals within the health and fitness industry with the tool to improve their clients' overall well-being and the website will allow all ‘fitness professionals’ to create comprehensive and in depth nutrition plans in a fast and informative manner”

Jim first approached Alt Valley Community Trust in April last year with the possibility of helping him put his Business Plan together with a view to submitting a Start Up Loan application to the Start Up Loan Company.

Nutri-iQ is a membership based website taking monthly subscriptions on various membership types. The company also aspires to create partnerships an affiliations with leading training providers in the fitness industry.

“My perspective from first-hand experience will also allow Nutri-iQ to market its product at the correct sector in the correct way. I understand what a trainer would want to see from such a product and can therefore present it to the market in such a way that they immediately understand why a membership will be an investment as opposed to an expense” said Jim.

Jim who holds an MSc (Hons) in Sports coaching has worked as a Personal Trainer himself for the last three years decided to set up his own limited company which he did with the help of Alt Valley Community trust (AVCT) in September last year.

Through a combination of specific workshops which covered the Start Up process, digital marketing, including Search Engine Optimisation and Business Planning, as well as several bespoke one-to-one sessions, the Advisors at Alt Valley Trust have helped Jim with his successful application for the necessary Start Up Loan funding, via the Start-up Loan Company.

Alt Valley Trust are one of the delivery Partners of the Enterprise Hub Business Start Up programme covering the whole Liverpool City Region.

Jim praises the contribution of the Alt Valley Business Support Team:

“Alt Valley took all of the disorganised craziness in my head and helped me to organise it into an actionable plan with the workshop events and one-to-ones: I was able to get funded and starting planning the actual business”.

Alt Valley Business Advisors John Mathias worked with Jim. John adds:

“I was impressed with Jim not only did he have a great idea but also the enthusiasm, drive and attitude to take the idea forward. It was great to see Jim develop his business idea and bring it to fruition, it’s a great concept and Jim has already made significant headway setting up his business and launching Nutri-IQ. Jim was able to modify his Business Plan and Cash Flow forecast resulting in a successful Start Up Loan application. In addition we were able to provide as much knowledge and information as he needed in order to ensure his business gets off to a great start.”

The Enterprise Hub Business Start Up programme runs until the end of 2018 and people thinking about starting up on their own or forming a company can access a huge range of start up support designed to give their business the best possible chance of success.

Thursday 16 February 2017

Digital Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

More people are searching, comparing and buying online than ever before, making online marketing more important than it’s ever been. With social media and other forms of online marketing changing so often, it is constantly providing new ways for businesses to reach and connect with their customers.

Before talking about ways to improve your online presence however, it is important to be aware of what opportunities you miss out on if you don’t plan your social media strategy properly:

·                  If you don’t have a proper plan in place, you risk getting lost amongst the crowd. There are many businesses on the same platforms fighting for the same customer base. Having a clear plan helps you identify your unique selling points to make you stand out.

·                  Failing to use social media means you miss out on the opportunity to connect with a much larger customer base than you would expect to find just using more traditional forms of marketing (which of course are still important!)

·                  Finally, it is easy to waste time and money on social media if you don’t know who you want to reach and how you are going to reach them.


Many small businesses struggle online because they’re not entirely sure who they want to target. Once you have decided the type of customer you want to attract, it becomes much easier to work out how to reach them. This gives you an idea of what sort of content they are interested in, which leads me nicely to my next point.

Content marketing:

Content marketing involves you creating and sharing valuable, and of course free, content to attract and convert followers into customers, and current customers into repeat buyers. The content you share should be closely related to your product or industry, as to make it interesting for the people who choose to connect with your online channels.

This type of marketing is very powerful because it shows you as an educated business that they can follow, like and trust enough to do business with you.

Content can include anything from weekly blog posts responding to relevant and industry specific news articles, to sharing links, videos and photos. It’s important to remember content should be focused on quality information, not your product.

The advantage of being a small business is that you can bring a personal touch that bigger companies can’t always achieve. You should also utilise the fact you are local and becomes a valued member of the community.

Engage with your customers:

Social media provides you with the perfect platform to talk to your customers which is invaluable. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions. What do they enjoy? What would they like to see more of? Is there anything they would change? Regardless of your industry, you can be the expert. Answer your followers’ questions, be happy to talk to them and show it. It’s all part of the customers experience after all.

Measure your results:

It’s important to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. What type of posts do people respond to? Digital platforms all for quick change, which means if something didn’t quite get the response you were expecting, learn from it and change it moving forward.

Digital marketing is vital to small businesses, no matter how resistant some may be. If you identify what platforms potential customers are using and how they communicate, this will have a huge impact on the success of your business. With a well thought out digital marketing strategy, businesses of any size can really thrive and achieve amazing results.