Huge numbers of business owners and budding entrepreneurs are turning to the service. The regional network of Business Link providers reached just under a million customers in the 2008/2009 period and the website businesslink.gov.uk hosted more than 14 million visits, proving itself as a favourite site for business.
The Minister for Regional Economic Development, The Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP said today: “The recent surveys asked Business Link customers to provide feedback on the service and the impact it has had on their business. The figures clearly demonstrate the service is making a difference to their bottom line; and in addition, over 103,000 businesses since October last year have benefitted from a free health check offering them an impartial and objective assessment of their business.”
In the surveys businesses reported that they:
SAVED MONEY: they saved roughly 5.7 million hours (which they valued at approx £121m) and £158 million in cost savings by using the free information and advice on the Business Link website
INCREASED THEIR PROFITS: they attributed additional sales of £360 million and increased profits of £54 million to using the information and guidance on the website
SAVED VALUABLE TIME: the advisory service saved them valuable time researching and gathering information – an average of 17 hours per customer
Commercial lawyer Penina Shepherd of Acumen Business Law is one of the businesses who took advantage of the Health Check. “At first, I was a little sceptical,” she explains. “Acumen Business Law was already a successful business and I couldn’t see what value Business Link could add. I now know that, had I not taken Business Link’s advice, our success would have been short lived. The advisers had plenty of business expertise, practical experience and provided a five star service. As a result of meeting them, we made several significant changes, and put fundamental systems in place to measure financial success. We recommend that all our clients use Business Link. It can save a lot of time and money, and provides a trustworthy service completely free of charge.”
As the figures were released a selection of the UK’s top entrepreneurs were also in attendance to sign up to the official Business Link Ambassador Programme. Karen Hanton of Toptable.com said: “Business Link is a service that is performing extremely well and delivering fantastic free support and advice to businesses at a critical time. I am happy to show my support and do all I can to encourage those budding and existing business owners to use and benefit from the vast free support and guidance they are entitled to.”
The Minister continued; “Business Link is a vital resource for businesses, however big or small, providing them with the advice and support they need and enabling them to run their businesses more efficiently.
“The Business Link Ambassadors’ endorsement will act as a spur for other businesses to take advantage of the free, expert advice and support available.”