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BLOG: Meet our Business Advisers – #1 Matt Bateman

1 April 2021

We caught up with Matt Bateman to see who’s been calling him and which issues Leicestershire’s businesses are thinking about, post-Covid.

“Quite a bit of my time is taken up with recommending the Investment Readiness programme to businesses looking for growth opportunities as that starts on 9 April. When we ran this course earlier in the year, it was very popular and I know that many of the businesses have put what they learned into action.

As I also work closely with the Creative Sector, I’m telling my clients about David Ross’s programme which will help them create an online shop and implement the digital marketing needed to attract and retain customers. The lockdown has demonstrated how useful websites can be in terms of continuing to trade during unforeseen circumstances so I am sure we will have a lot of interest there.

Recently I’ve had a lot of calls from sole traders and business start-ups and there have been some really exciting companies among them too. Most people are looking for financial support and wondering what they can and can’t apply for but that also gives me the chance to talk about the wider support we can offer.

Recruitment has been quite a hot topic recently too, particularly businesses look for staff that won’t cost them anything such as internships which some of the universities offer. And more widely, companies are looking at how to prepare for recruitment and how to ensure staff stay once they’ve joined. We’re helping them look at people management skills and business culture.

Among the grant applications, one company is looking for forklift trucks and racking for a warehouse because Covid has affected them positively in one respect. They’ve been asked to supply their products direct to customers rather than to the store, in order to reduce the amount of contacts each product has. Another company is looking at expanding into vegan food for which they’ll need separate equipment so that’s an interesting application too.

The type of business I’m talking to is really varied – this week I’ve spoken to an architect, a training company and a cast iron manufacturer. Right now, I think a lot of businesses are waiting to see what the lay of the land is and what growth opportunities there might be for them as well as what costs they can commit to. For smaller businesses in particular, they have to wait to see what their finances are like before they can invest in growth.

If you would like support from Matt or one of our team of business advisers, please call 0116 366 8487, email or leave a comment.