Posted: Fri 23rd Jan 2015
Small business network Enterprise Nation asked businesses to nominate an adviser who has helped them to build and grow a sustainable business. The awards, which set out to highlight the work done being the scenes by experts helping Britain's army of small businesses to build and grow, revealed a rich vein of dedicated supporters for the UK's expanding entrepreneurial culture.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: "These business advisers are the unsung heroes behind Britain's booming small businessculture.
"The awards have uncovered some incredible work that has helped fledgling firms take steps towards sustainability and growth by taking a strategic look at their business.
"Research shows that those firms that take advice do better than those that don't - and it stands to reason that good advice can help avoid some of the damaging, early mistakes entrepreneurs can make that can often force them to give up.
"Thanks to the government's £30m Growth Voucher initiative, there is now an increasing interest in taking strategic advice to overcome some of these behavioural barriers and unlock growth potential.
"The awards were designed to show this important work in action, in order to help more start-ups and small firms find out about the benefits of taking advice."
The 50 advisers were chosen from hundreds of entries from around the UK, with ten outstanding experts picked out as the top ten. These are:
Alison Edgar, an accredited sales coach and Growth Voucher adviser from Chippenham, Wiltshire
Martyn Benson, a start-up adviser working with Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RIDO) in Rotherham
Adrian Ashton, a start-up and growth adviser working with ex-offenders in Todmorden in West Yorkshire
Kieron O'Toole, a specialist in leadership and management advice for growing firms, based in Redditch, West Midlands
Philip Dyer, a passionate supporter of small businesses and an accredited marketing specialist working in Preston, Lancashire
Quentin Pain, a marketing coach based in London
Warren Knight, a social media expert and entrepreneur operating in London
Jo Sealy, a food and creative marketing adviser from Walthamstow, London
Jon Green, an accountant from Havant in Hampshire
Bill Fox, a small business adviser, based in Ashford in Kent
Alison Edgar said: "I'm delighted to have been chosen as one of the top 10. The most common mistake I see is not to put a sales strategy in place. It is very important to dedicate time to sell your product or service, if you do not sell, you do not have a business.
"I work with clients not only to put together a short, mid and long term strategy but a sales process strategy of how to access people who make decisions to buy, and what to say when they meet them."
Entries were judged by a distinguished panel including Emma Jones, and representatives from professional bodies including the ICAEW, as well as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, StartUp Loans and James Layfield, the founder and entrepreneur behind Central Working.