Growth for small businesses

When your Sandwell-based small business is ready to grow, Think Sandwell can help you ensure your growth is realistic, manageable and successful. We have a vested interest in seeing your business thrive, because it’s important for you and also valuable for jobs, skills and our local economy. Ultimately this benefits people and communities.

This page was last updated in August 2020.

Growth for small businesses banner with green shoot in soil

If you’re just getting started, you may also like to check out our support for start-ups page, and our main business growth page for more ideas about marketing and funding.

This is an extra specially difficult time to be running a business, let alone looking to expand. Please see also our extensive pages on coronavirus support for Sandwell businesses.

Please feel free to contact us if you need further information – or when you’re ready to talk more.
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Work with Sandwell Council

If you’re thinking of growing your business within the public sector, looking at Sandwell Council’s procurement opportunities is a great place to start. We’re proud of being a transparent and approachable council to work with: we’ve even won ‘Small Business Friendly’ awards from the Federation of Small Businesses.

In order to maintain high standards, be fair to all and meet procurement rules, we do have a set of criteria and policies you need to put in place before we can accept a tender from your business:

* Equal opportunities and diversity policy
* Quality policy
* Health & safety policy and accreditation
* Environmental policy
* Insurance certificates: employer’s liability and public liability (minimum £5m)
* Business continuity / disaster recovery policy
* Corporate social responsibility policy
* Testimonials and references (relating to similar services / similar size contracts)
* Certification from relevant governing or professional bodies.

With construction-specific contracts the tender may state that you need to be accredited by Constructionline  (www.constructionline.co.uk) and/or CHAS (the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme: www.chas.co.uk. These are government-run schemes to ensure prospective suppliers are correctly set up with the right health & safety standards.

Visit Think Sandwell’s procurement page.

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Aim For Gold

The Think Sandwell business growth team delivers the Aim for Gold business growth programme, which provides support to SMEs by helping them identify areas for business growth.

Receive one-to-one support and help to find funding, as well as professionally delivered masterclasses to help you develop growth plans.

On joining this business support programme you will receive:

* One-to-one support from a member of the business growth team to complete a business review and action plan
* Support to equip you with the skills to produce and implement your growth plans.
* Access to grant funding, if appropriate.

To find out more or register, contact us.

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Bid writing

Klick Business Solutions

Do you need help with tenders? Think Sandwell has teamed up with Klick Business Solutions to help you create original, compelling content that shows your business in the best light for winning new contracts.

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls while finding ways to excel at PPQ (prequalification questionnaires) and ITTs (invitations to tender). Visit
www.klickbusinesssolutions.co.uk to find out more and tell Klick Business Solutions that Think Sandwell sent you.

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Business advice

SWEDA2

Think Sandwell is always on hand to offer business support and advice. You may also wish to contact SWEDA (Skills Work and Enterprise Development Agency) here in Sandwell, whose services include support for businesses and social enterprises.

Find out more at the SWEDA website.

The Creative Scale Up Programme is a two-year programme funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. It aims to help creative businesses in the West Midlands with support on areas such as access to finance, marketing, value and pricing, intellectual property and contract law, and sales, pitching and presenting. Applications are open (August 2020) – you can express your interest by answering a few short questions at the Creative Scale Up Programme page on the West Midlands Combined Authority website.

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Employment and skills

When you’re ready to grow your business by taking on new people and upskilling your team, Think Sandwell is the place to go. We can help with all aspects of recruitment, and advise you on available funding to support your ambitions. Visit our recruitment and training page for more information – or contact us today.

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Funding

Please visit our access to finance page for information about grants and loans to help you achieve your business goals. We have also set up a special page on guidance and grants for businesses in response to the coronavirus crisis.

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Leadership skills

Aston Business School logo

Aston University offers business support in the form of people development, recruitment and access to business expertise. Learn more at Aston University’s Aston Business School website.

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Marketing

Although marketing your small business is a broad topic, Think Sandwell can always point you in the direction of learning opportunities (such as local workshops and seminars) and possible funding. Our events page is a good place to start – and you may also find the government-led Business is Great initiative a useful resource: www.greatbusiness.gov.uk.

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Property

When it’s time to move into a bigger workspace to accommodate your growing Sandwell business, the Think Sandwell team is on hand to advise of suitable premises: feel free to contact us today.

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Support for social enterprises

scvo

SCVO promotes opportunities for organisations to collaborate with one another, and helps public-sector partners to inform, involve and engage with the voluntary and community sectors. For more information about SCVO’s work and how it might help your social enterprise, visit www.scvo.info.

unltd_logo

Unltd is a UK charitable organisation working to promote social entrepreneurship within local communities. Unltd offers cash awards, networking and mentorship opportunities to support new social enterprises to grow. Visit www.unltd.org.uk for information.

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Innovations and technology

If, in order to take your Sandwell small business to the next level, you find it’s necessary to embrace new technology or invest in research and development (R&D), ask the Think Sandwell team for details of valuable grants, training and forthcoming events.

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Overseas markets

If you’re thinking of growing your business in overseas markets, take a look at the information on our page dedicated to growing your business – especially regarding the government Department for International Trade (formerly UK Trade & Investment).

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