Argyll and Bute Council free expert business advice

Support provided by UK Shared Prosperity Fund - LOGO ONLY Argyll and Bute Council

What does this involve?

If you are looking for free specialist advice for your small business, Argyll and Bute Council can provide up to 2 days of fully funded expert help to businesses based in the area. 

You'll have access to one half day or 2 full days of support from a specialist adviser, with meetings carried out either by phone or video call. You will be able to get advice on a range of topics, including:

  • HR — recruiting and developing people, becoming an employer, legislation, leadership, managing change, performance management, redundancy
  • digital — content management tools, website building, development and review, using social media for business, online trading, planning digital marketing, social media platforms, improving website performance, SEO, digital and video content creation, app development and usage, new technologies, IT connectivity, cyber security, infrastructure and communication equipment, choosing and briefing contractors
  • marketing — planning, competitor and market analysis, customer profiling and segmentation, branding and brand development, reviewing and improving activity, implementing offline marketing, choosing and briefing contractors
  • PR — planning and delivering PR, storytelling and writing content, managing negative PR, reviewing and improving activity, choosing and briefing contractors
  • business strategy — Growth & Resilience - eg setting objectives and organisational goals, evaluating current performance, identifying and assessing opportunities, defining priorities, creating action plans to achieve growth and resilience, identifying the resources required
  • tendering and supply chains — understanding and preparing for the tender process (private & public sector), creating tender documents, analysis of tender feedback and improving bids, managing supply chains, expenditure analysis, sourcing suppliers, contracts and agreements, added value and community benefits
  • finance and funding — financial analysis, financial planning, mergers, acquisitions, identifying funding gaps and funding sources, profit analysis, debt management, tax obligations
  • internationalisation —  preparing for export, choosing markets, identifying opportunities, international sales online, finding agents, distributors and suppliers, legislative requirements, importing

This support is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Am I eligible?

You are eligible to apply for expert help from Argyll and Bute Council if your business is:

  • based in Argyll and Bute
  • micro or small-sized, with fewer than 50 employees and a turnover of less than €10 million or a balance sheet total of less than €10 million
  • actively trading 
  • paying you or a member of staff the current Real Living Wage or more, or demonstrate clear potential to do so within 12 months
  • operating full-time (35 hours or more per week) or part-time (16 to 34 hours per week)

What does this cost?

This is a free service, but you will have to justify your need for the support.

Who is this for?

Businesses based in Argyll and Bute looking for expert help to support their business growth or recovery.

How long does this take?

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 1 December 2024, although the programme will close for applications sooner if funds are fully allocated. 

All support must be fully concluded by 31 March 2025.

After you submit a fully completed application form and any supporting documents, you will meet by phone or video with a business adviser from Argyll and Bute Council's Business Gateway to discuss your application. 

You should receive a decision on your application within 10 working days of meeting with the adviser.

Important information

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 1 December 2024, although the programme will close for applications sooner if funds are fully allocated. 

All support must be fully concluded by 31 March 2025.

The expert help is awarded at Argyll and Bute Council’s discretion.

If successful, you'll be appointed a specialist by Business Gateway. You cannot appoint your own specialist adviser and claim the costs from Business Gateway. Business Gateway will pay the contractor directly.

You can access up to 2 specialist advice sessions.

Next steps

Visit the Argyll and Bute Council website for more information and to download an application form. 

Support provided by UK Shared Prosperity Fund - LOGO ONLY Argyll and Bute Council

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