It’s that time of year when we are busy pitching for new work for 2018 and helping clients plan ahead. It’s important to reflect on the highs (and lows) of business throughout the year.

It’s been an InCredAble year. For our copywriting friends, you’ll notice the mis-spelling of the word incredible, and that’s for a reason. Earlier this year we were put forward by the lovely Helen Lee from the North East LEP and super business connector, Caroline Theobald to join a gathering of of other guinea pigs in the InCredAbles mentor scheme

The focus of the scheme is to assist companies to overcome barriers to growth, however, knowledge and information sharing from both parties is encouraged where relevant and appropriate.

There is some research led by Teesside University which is running in parallel to the scheme, to better understand the impact of the InCredAbles intervention for the benefit of future companies.

The above is the official statement. When people ask me what InCredAbles is I reply with – A team of self-made successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who are putting their bit back in for the Region and to help move a few of those growth barriers for smaller businesses.

The support and advice from InCredAbles has really enabled me as a business owner to take a step back from our business and finally push me out of my comfort zone and concentrate on our model for growth, which has led to the successful launch of Stone Collective.

2017 has seen the continued success of our lunch and learn events which have now evolved into evening marketing mixer events every quarter. The first mixer was on November 30th combined with Stone Collective’s launch.

It was a real mix of marketers and entrepreneurs, who can learn a thing or two from one another about marketing.

The next event is in March, so watch out for the announcement via our social channels.

Through our time at Entrepreneurial Spark, Newcastle we’ve made friends with some inspirational individuals and even had the chance to work with some start-up and existing businesses on their marketing strategy like Storage Shepherd (who are disrupting the self storage market) and Iles Tours (who are launching their city tours to the corporate and consumer sectors).

 

I don’t think there’s an award the team at Storage Shepherd haven’t won this year – from Virgin Voom to the If We Can You Can challenge.

We’re really proud of them, getting their business idea off the ground so quickly and even Richard Branson thinks it’s a good idea (as I keep saying much to the delight of the team).

Well done team Storage Shepherd.

 

 

 

 

This year we’ve also had the pleasure of providing marketing support for Emmersons Solicitors, which is led by entrepreneurial business leader, Jacqueline Emmerson.

Their compassionate, understanding approach is why many clients come (and stay with them) for practical, hands-on legal advice. Jacqueline, Michael and the team have been great to work with and their hard work and passion certainly rubs off on us.

 

 

We continue to admire the achievements and outstanding contributions to charity our clients make, especially Michael Offord, from Michael Offord Optometrist, who in particular stands out for us.

This year Michael visited Ghana for his annual trip with Vision Aid Overseas. He has been working with the charity for over 15 years, both locally and Internationally.

Keep up the good work Michael and the team both for Vision Aid Overseas and the practice in Kingston Park : )

 

 

 

 

So many more clients to thank for their existing and loyal business and one in particular who has proved that with a bucket load of grit and determination, you can achieve. Nham and Jon are just beginning their own business journey around their full time careers (5-9’ers).

They are revolutionising the ready made sauces market with the launch of their ‘free from’ Vietnamese sauces Vi Kitchen.

Vi Kitchen sauces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks again to our clients, referrers, suppliers and enablers in 2017 and despite the Brexit and pre-Election wobble, we remained to sustain new and existing business. Here’s to a Happy Christmas and prosperity for 2018.