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Style and Growth as Covid Start-Up Business Flourishes

Style and Growth as Covid Start-Up Business Flourishes

Blyth based start-up styling business, DW styling has flourished despite establishing the business at the beginning of a global pandemic with the help of two Northumberland based business support programmes.

With over 30 years of experience in the retail industry Debbie Waddle Managing Director of DW Styling established her business at the beginning of March 2020 and boasts a host of services including; style consultancy, personal styling, wardrobe decluttering and outfit sourcing for special occasions, but with social distancing measures in place this has limited the original offerings of the business.

Determined to follow her dream of setting up her own business, Debbie knew she needed to alter the way her business would run and so enlisted the help of Business Northumberland and Northumberland Covid Business Response Programme (NCBRP) both delivered by Advance Northumberland.

Debbie heard about Business Northumberland through a friend and after registering to the programme in June has since attended six fully funded virtual digital workshops including; Microsoft Excel, SEO, Social Media and Pinterest workshops.

Debbie said: “Business Northumberland has given me the confidence to do things I wouldn’t have done previously, like setting up paid ads which has helped my reach of customers, I have worked really hard on getting more followers on Instagram and expanding my online presences since attending the workshops”

Business Northumberland provides support to small and medium enterprises across the North East who are looking to sustain and grow their business online. The fully funded support programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Advance Northumberland, so there is no cost to eligible businesses when accessing the support.

After working with Business Northumberland Debbie was then introduced to NCBRP and took part in the Business Advantage segment of the programme, which offers 12 hours of fully funded 121 coaching.

NCBRP is a new service for businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19. The Project is funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and will be delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of Northumberland County Council and the Northumberland Business Hub and has two elements; Business Advantage and Digital Advantage, you can find out more about the programme here.

Debbie utilised the Business Advantage element of the new programme. Since then Debbie has already completed 12 hours of 1-2-1 support with a dedicated coach provided by NBSL, focusing on her business planning and helping her to understand which direction DW Styling should take to ensure maximum coverage and engagement with potential customers while adhering to social distancing rules.

“Creating a business plan has supported the growth of my business, I didn’t have one in place prior to the support (from NCBRP) and now I have something to look, follow and look back on to help continue to grow my business, connections and online presence”.

The support has been really valuable, without it I wouldn’t be as far as I am now…I would recommend any business to apply to both programmes, even if you think you know everything about a subject, there will be something you don’t and it can set you on the right path. Register for as many courses as possible”

Emerging out of lockdown with a successful business plan, full ecommerce website and a new found confidence with social media, Debbie looks forward to the continued growth of her business and attending more digitally focused workshops.

For more information about Business Northumberland and/or the NCBRP fund, please contact business@advancenorthumberland.co.uk

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