Dacorum firms help to launch support website

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BERKHAMSTED companies have played a major part in the launch of a new Royal Mail national business support service.

Simple Ways To Grow offers small and start-up companies support in vital areas such as website-building and marketing.

John O’Sullivan, chief executive of Berkhamsted-based flexible working recruitment agency Ten2Two, provided provided strategic and marketing resource from the early concept last year through to launch.

Mr O’Sullivan said: “The Royal Mail was keen to ensure it was influenced and designed by the type of businesses the service would be aimed at – smaller businesses in local communities that are fuelling future growth and innovation for the UK.”

Breakfast networking groups Berkhamsted Business Leaders and Tring Businessmart gave insights into what was needed to shape the project.

Jacqueline Cohen, a freelance copywriter from Berkhamsted, helped write the website and Angus Grady of Customeyes Research, also in Berkhamsted, has given the Royal Mail team social media training.

The Dacorum town’s business community also gave the Simple Ways to grow project its first customer in Alison Page Marketing! She is featured as the first customer case study on the home page of the new site.

Alison specialises in supporting local businesses in developing and executing their marketing plans.

Alison, who has chosen a support package that includes a new website, said: “As a small business, it’s a challenge to handle some of the upfront costs involved in designing new websites and setting up email campaigns so the basic monthly fee is a real help.”

She will be giving Royal Mail feedback on how she uses the package and other services she would like to see included.

Mr O’Sullivan said: “How’s that for a collective effort? It’s great that Royal Mail have really listened to smaller businesses and used them throughout the process, when usually services for small businesses are designed by people in large corporates and great that we were able to use Dacorum businesses to help them do it.”

Royal Mail is developing a network of Local Associates who can promote the packages as part of their own offering.

Support also comes from Enterprise Nation and a host of other business service providers. Advice providers include affordable accountancy, direct mail, online marketing and delivery packages. Packages start at £28 per month.

Royal Mail’s head of innovation, Jonathan Tonge, said: “Each service provider is both an expert in its own field and in helping small businesses grow and manage their affairs – key criteria to join the scheme.”

Visit www.simplewaystogrow.com