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A new way to help your business grow!

If your business (whether new or already established) is looking for ways to flourish, The Growth Vouchers programme may help you just do that!

What is a Growth Voucher?

The Growth Vouchers programme is a new government programme built for businesses who are seeking business advice. It is caters for businesses who have never sought business advice before. It aims to support up to 20,000 small businesses in the United Kingdom.

What advice will I get?

This programme aims to give you extensive advice in 5 different areas:

Developing a financial strategy for growth, manage cash flow, and negotiation with financial sources

Getting the best out of staff

Unlocking the leadership potential of business owners by helping them with planning, change management and any other essential skills a leader must possess

How to get the most out of modern digital technology tools

Am I eligible for this?

Bespoke Training Eastbourne  - The questionnaires/assessments will determine whether or not you are entitled to a voucher.

  - You will also need to meet the following criteria:Your business must be an active seller of
  goods and/or services

  - Have a turnover no greater than £45 million

  - Own at least 75% of the business

  - Have fewer than 250 employees


How can I apply?

If you feel like your business can benefit from gaining advice in any of the 5 areas mentioned (you are free to choose one or many), you can apply to the programme online by clicking HERE where you will be randomly assigned to an online questionnaire or a face-to-face assessment.

If you are chosen, your business will receive a voucher for £2,000 matched-funding to help pay for support. You may not need the whole £2000 - you can choose what you need and who to supply the service from the approved providers, of which I am one.

What if I want to give advice?

If you’d like to be a part of the programme as an adviser, feel free to register on the Enterprise Nation Marketplace by clicking HERE

Is there anything else?

You would have to match the amount with your own funds. The amount can fall within the range of £300 to £2,000, where 50% of it will be covered by the voucher. The scheme closes to new applicants on March 31

There is a reason why it’s called Growth Vouchers – to help your business grow. If you want your business to go beyond being a ‘small’ business, this scheme will really help you.

If you would like to know more details, feel free to contact Rachel Stone at 07545 217 966.

What is more effective, managing time or managing yourself?

The old saying that ‘No one ever found time they only made it ‘ is so true. It is a fact. There are only ever going to be 168 hours in a week. Find out how to make the most impact in that time.

There will always be too much to do and not enough time to do it in, especially since the wonders of technology have provided us all with so much to do! (Social media was never part of the ‘to do’ list ‘ as recently as 5 years ago and now it is a joyful, additional, time - consuming and essential activity required in the of a running a successful business.

How does a successful person manage to get through with fewer traumas and more effectiveness?

The secret is making sure that they have time integrity. Awareness is the first important step to getting more done. Knowing what you do with your time but more significantly what the impact is on your business is a sure way to improve your time management.

Stephen Covey has a great way of looking at it. Most people are not careful enough about understanding the significant difference between something being important and something being urgent. He writes about this in his excellent book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” in his ‘Important/ Urgent Matrix’.

Important things have a high consequence and a long term impact, but they are not bound by a time constraint. An example of this is building good relationships with people in your target market.

Urgent things are those which are bound by a time frame which has become quite short-term. An example of this is when a deadline has to be met for flyers to go out before a planned event. Not getting them out on time would mean that people would not know about the event etc. The timing is key.

Another way of looking at how to use your time more effectively is to be very aware of the effort your activity is taking compared to the impact the activity has on the achievement of your goals. Ideally you would like to focus on the low effort but high impact stuff and avoid the high effort but low impact things where possible. Sometimes, though, investing high effort on a high impact activity pays dividends. It’s all about awareness and discernment. Think about the last time you consciously noticed the impact of what you do with you time….

A truly effective leader maximises the skills involved in managing himself or herself first and then can inspire others to do the same. How effective are you ….?

If you would like to focus on your own personal effectiveness as a leader contact Rachel today to find out about her next leadership workshop on November 20th at the Grand Hotel Eastbourne. Call 078545217966.

What is the most common problem when a person gets promoted?

Man and woman talkingPeople usually get promoted because they are at good at their jobs.  Then they become a leader and may not have the skills that this role needs. What are the two key ingredients a leader needs?

It is not uncommon for people to be promoted away from what they do best!  In many organisations a really good worker moves up the hierarchy to a place they are just not comfortable – but only because they have not learnt the skills of managing people.  You can probably identify at least one person for whom a promotion was the beginning of the end!  Stress? Lack of confidence? Irritable? Losing control of what they are good at?  The effectiveness of the people they lead decreases?

The whole nurture versus nature debate about whether someone can be a born leader is still bubbling on, but you can’t get away from the fact that leadership skills are just that:  ‘SKILLS’. 

When people first sit in a car to learn how to drive they are very probably very bad at it until they learn what they need to do. Then they practise those new skills.  It is the same for the set of skills required for leadership.  They can be learnt, BUT there are two main considerations.  Firstly can the person use emotional intelligence to learn how to deal with different people with different approaches?  (According to  this is 58% of a leader’s performance- the ability to use emotional intelligence.)

Secondly, is the person willing to GIVE AND RECEIVE feedback?

For effective leadership to happen there must be a culture of learning- shared learning.  A leader needs to be able to develop an environment where learning through effective feedback is part of the way of life. This way performance improves. 

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

If you know someone who could benefit from some support as a leader ask them to call Rachel on 07545217966.  The next training day for leaders - ‘Having an Impact- Performance Matters’ is November 20th. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book. 

Business Ignite Provides the Spark


You might have heard the buzz about our new monthly group coaching scheme. The long and short of it is that, for a select group of willing and committed business leaders, Bespoke Training Eastbourne will be running extra group coaching sessions every month to help them unlock the secrets to success. So, why do we think group coaching sessions are so amazing?


Coaching is an amazing way to get ahead in business. The help of someone with an outside perspective is invaluable, and provides you with an objective point of view free of emotional baggage. More than that, though, a coach helps you as a capable and competent business leader by being someone who holds you accountable to the commitments you make towards growth.

Evaluation and Review

Sometimes you need to talk over your successes or failures with someone to find out how to draw out the best practices and turn them into your modus operandi, or highlight your weaknesses and help you to improve on them. Working with a coach can help you to pick up on things you might have been missing about your normal business practices. It could be the spark you need to ignite your inspiration.

Group Working Skills

Working in a group, even without the added bonus of coaching, helps to strengthen communication skills and develop your interpersonal skills. In small businesses you can often be one of a team of only two or three people, sometimes even the only person in the business. This can be isolating, but being a part of a group that is focusing on success will boost your confidence and empower you to take those next steps with certainty and accountability.

There’s really no reason not to find out more, and the advantages of a good coach and a strong support network will reap rewards. This group is formed by applying to be part of it so please call to chat about whether it's right for you. 07545217966. The first group is nearly full and starts on Monday 3rd November 2014 at 6.00pm until 8.30pm.  It runs the first Monday of every month. You will need to commit to the whole 12 months. There is a waiting list for other groups to run on a different day of the month so see what's available to suit your schedule. 

Is it true that only 7% of what we communicate is the words?


We cannot not communicate. How can you enhance your personal brand to improve your business success?

When we talk to people, especially in business, we are keen to make sure that the communication is effective. Our success depends on it to a large extent. It has been widely reported that there is a breakdown which says that what we say (the actual words) only counts for 7%, whilst 38% is the tone and the inflection and the remaining 55% is body language.

This is discussed in this article by Dr Gary Wood ( in which he comments that this is a myth.

Whatever the outcome of this debate it is important that business people communicate effectively and that there must be congruence between what we say and how we operate. Personal branding is all part and parcel of being a successful business person. We do business with people we know, like and trust. We make working relationships with people based on alignment of values. We come to these judgements by a process of discovery which is dependent on effective communication.

We cannot NOT communicate. What does your personal style say about you? Have you ever stopped to consider what the message is that you convey when you appear in a meeting. Your lips may be moving and your body language will be working to send signals and part of this will be made up of what you are wearing and how you present yourself.

It is happening without a great deal of conscious decision making - most of this is programmed into the very primitive section of our brains which helps us survive based on instinctive assessments, ‘flight or fight’.

How much time do you spend considering how effectively you are communicating? Have you ever sought feedback to discover how you can improve the impression you create? Might there be a few simple adjustments you can make to enhance the image you present. does your image match your brand values?

Some top secrets around building your personal brand are dealt with here by Brenda Bence from