Nicola Irving, Head of Marketing at Newcastle-based GT3 Architects, shares how the Growth Hub has helped the practice grow, and develop an ‘honest and open-minded approach’ to business support.
How did you hear about the Growth Hub?
Having had previous engagement with Craig Harrison, we kept in touch and he came to introduce the Growth Hub. Our Director had heard of the Growth Hub through RTC North too.
What happened when you got in touch with the Growth Hub?
We initially got in touch with the Connectors because of some international work we were starting to look into. We spoke to Craig to understand what business support options were available, and how we can raise our profile.
We weren’t really sure what we wanted, but we knew we wanted to be on Craig’s radar. He shared lots of useful links and advice that allowed us to access different types of support. Prior to this year we didn’t do any business internationally, but since discussing our options with the Growth Hub, we have a couple of over-seas opportunities on the horizon.
What did you hope to get from the service?
I had quite high expectations of what would be delivered as I know there is growing momentum in the North East, and I wasn’t disappointed. Having come from a background with a more global focus, I wasn’t sure what kind of local support there would be, but it was an eye-opener to see how much was available.
Craig was very forthcoming and proactive which was great. If there was something he thought would be of interest to us, he would make sure it was on our radar and follow up to make sure we were embracing each opportunity.
What was the impact on your business?
I think having business support through the Growth Hub has definitely stimulated debate within the practice. After one-to-ones with Craig, we follow up with a discussion internally about initiatives we should be taking, and it has been really powerful. The support provided through the Growth Hub has acted as an anchor and instigator for different conversations which have led to a number of new opportunities.
What advice would you give to other businesses seeking business support?
I think it’s really important to have an honest and open-minded approach to business support. It can sometimes be easy to be commercially sensitive about your own company, but by taking that honest approach and sharing what your challenges are with people who want to help, they can direct you to the support that’s right for you. It’s about not being scared to share what your ambitions are. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up and ask for help, because that’s exactly what Craig is there to do.