In business being prepared is key to dealing with all the challenges posed by fluctuations in markets, suppliers, staffing, technology and many other factors.
Last year East Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development team recognised this, with the launch of their hugely popular “beReady” programme, which has just celebrated its first anniversary with a special event at the Park Hotel, Kilmarnock.
In the first year beReady workshops were attended by 162 local businesses, 50 companies received grant support, 270 one-to-one consultancy sessions were delivered and all the targets set for workshops and assistance were exceeded.
Guests at the celebration included people whose businesses have already benefited from beReady, and some who will be participating in this year’s programme. A particular highlight was the Questions and Answer session with Malachy Ryan from Alan White Design – who gave a very positive overview of his engagement with the beReady programme. And a fun interactive presentation from Michael Kearns on Tools for Business Growth was very well received. Of course it couldn’t be a birthday party without cake. The special beReady cupcakes went down a treat!
Malachy Ryan first encountered the Economic Development Team when the company relocated from Glasgow to Kilmarnock, seeking bigger premises. They helped him recruit and support a new local graduate, access financial support to secure industry accreditations and then introduced him to beReady when it was launched last year.
He explains why it proved so helpful “We’ve doubled our team since moving to Kilmarnock and that has meant we’ve had to think about the way we’re structured and managed. This is why we have found the Council’s beReady programme so useful. We needed policies, planning and achievable targets to expand. By going through the beManagement Ready, bePeopleReady and beFinanceReady programmes we’ve laid the foundations for future growth. It has allowed us to expand our workforce, increase our turnover and it’s allowed us to put systems in place that mean that that expansion has been seamless to manage.”
The beReady programme gives businesses access to a hand-picked team of specialist consultants, working through a mix of workshops and one-to-one consultations to address any or all of seven key business themes:
For this year the beReady programme has evolved to include separate delivery of beSalesReady and beMarketingReady. Three new themes will also be introduced, including Export, Media and Third Sector. Reflecting the continual change experienced in the business world, the programme will continue to evolve in response to local need.
To find out more about beReady or any of the other services offered by East Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development and their partners in Invest East Ayrshire, www.InvestEA.com or email: beReady@east-ayrshire.gov.uk