Member News: New Kind Of Business Support Network Launches In Manchester
Jun 18th, 2012 - Last updated at Jun 18th, 2012
“Our network is unique in combining knowledge gained at the highest level with the passion of being small business owners. We think that SMEs want not just expertise but the commitment that comes from actually running a business yourself."
Picture caption (left to right) Nigel Sarbutts and Oli Randell, founders of Local Business Partners.
A new kind of business network offering flexible, senior support in finance, HR and marketing for SMEs has launched in Manchester.
Local Business Partners is aimed at business owners who need director-level expertise to drive growth but find hiring a full-time director is too great a commitment or cost.
The company has assembled a growing network of senior specialists in all three areas who work on flexible terms, taking the risk out of growth decisions.
All the members of the Local Business Partners (LBP) network have had successful careers in large blue-chip organisations and have gone on to create their own individual advisory companies. LBP claims that this combination of plc experience and SME entrepreneurialism is what is lacking in many traditional advisory companies and mentoring schemes.
Oli Randell, one of the founders of Local Business Partners, said: “Our network is unique in combining knowledge gained at the highest level with the passion of being small business owners. We think that SMEs want not just expertise but the commitment that comes from actually running a business yourself."
Randell has had a career in finance with multi-nationals like Nestle and now works with Beer & Partners the VC and angel investment firm.
His co-founder Nigel Sarbutts is a marketing specialist, who was on the UK board of global PR firm Burson-Marsteller before setting up his own consulting practice in 2010.
Local Business Partners will work with clients as part-time directors of finance, HR or marketing to free business owners to concentrate on strategic actions affecting growth and putting in place procedures and campaigns based on experience with high performing companies. Assignments are based on a simple pricing model with a commitment from as little as half a day a month, which can be scaled up or down as the business requires it, avoiding the risk of a full-time appointment in terms of cost and commitment if the person turns out not to be ideal.
“Small business owners have to spin so many plates that strategic opportunities are lost but it’s a massive financial and organisational decision to free yourself up by bringing in a director who is likely to cost £100,000 and more." said Randell.
“The alternative has been to outsource to an accountant, lawyer or hire a consultancy firm, but none of these offer advisors whose fortunes are so closely tied to success measures as our own entrepreneur advisors.”
The company is initially targeting SMEs within an hour of Greater Manchester and says its ideal client is an established business of between £2m to £20m turnover, which is capable of growth or improving its performance through a revised finance, HR or marketing plan.