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Meet the Boost team: Lateef Badat

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If you are an early-stage business, or an aspiring individual with a great business idea, Boost’s Flying Start service can help you to grow. Aimed at leaders who have a bright and growing vision for their new business, the service focusses on building business and financial acumen and the core skills needed to establish a new business and drive sustainable growth.

Boost Flying Start business adviser Lateef Badat, a seasoned business coach and mentor with a particular niche in the creative, digital and media sectors, talks about his role in supporting Lancashire businesses.

What motivated you to want to help other people in business and to become a business adviser?

From as long as I can remember I have wanted to help and empower people. Whilerunning my own business and confidence coaching practice I took a part time position as a business adviser, mentor and coach at UCLan’s award winning Business Incubation Programme, Northern Lights (now Propellor). It gave me the opportunity to work with hundreds of pre-start, new start and existing businesses from across Lancashire and further across the North West.

Why is Lancashire a great location for a business?

I am a proud Lancastrian and have worked across Lancashire for many years. Lancashire offers an enticing blend of strategic location, skilled workforce, and supportive business environment, making it an ideal location for businesses to thrive.

Events such as the BIBA’s, Red Rose Awards and Downtown in Business reflect the quality of businesses we have in Lancashire. Also it provides easy access to major cities, ports, and airports, facilitating both domestic and international trade. 

The region boasts a diverse economy, with flourishing industries such as aerospace, advanced manufacturing, and digital technology, offering ample opportunities for collaboration and growth. 

Finally, Lancashire's excellent infrastructure, quality of life, and cost-effectiveness contribute to its appeal, providing businesses with the resources and environment they need to succeed.

How do you like to start your working day?

I start my day with meditation and yoga which help me balance, focus and ensure I am working at an optimum level for the clients I support.

I love what I do, so motivation has never been an issue. Preparation and planning is something I find helpful when preparing for client meetings. 

What do you consider to be the greatest challenge for Lancashire businesses in the current economic climate?

In the current economic climate, one of the greatest challenges for Lancashire businesses revolves around adapting to rapid technological advancements and digital transformation. While Lancashire boasts a diverse economy with thriving industries, the pace of technological change requires businesses to continuously innovate and embrace new digital tools and processes to remain competitive. 

This challenge is particularly pronounced for traditional sectors such as manufacturing and retail, which must navigate the shift towards automation, e-commerce, and digital marketing. Overcoming this challenge necessitates investment in technology, upskilling the workforce, and fostering a culture of innovation to ensure that Lancashire businesses can leverage digital opportunities and sustain long-term growth in an increasingly digital economy.

What are your three top tips for anyone looking to start or grow a business?

1.  Do what you love and love what you do . . . it will never feel like work!

  • Carry out thorough market research: What problem do you solve? Who for? How? Before diving into a business venture, it's crucial to conduct thorough market research. Understand your target audience, their needs, preferences, and purchasing behaviour.
  • Analyse your competitors to identify gaps in the market or areas where you can differentiate your product or service.
  • Market research provides valuable insights that can inform your business strategy, product development, pricing, and marketing efforts, increasing your chances of success. It will save a lot of time and money in the long run!

2. Focus on customer experience: Make the customer the hero of the story!

  • Customer experience is paramount for business success.
  • Focus on delivering exceptional value and service to your customers.
  • Listen to their feedback, address their concerns promptly, and strive to exceed their expectations. Building strong customer relationships not only fosters loyalty but also generates positive word-of-mouth referrals, which can be a powerful driver of growth.
  • Prioritise customer satisfaction at every touchpoint of your business to create a loyal and satisfied customer base.

3. Adaptability and innovation: In today's dynamic business landscape, adaptability and innovation are essential for long-term success.

  • Be prepared to adapt to changing market trends, consumer preferences, and technological advancements.
  • Stay nimble and open-minded, willing to pivot your business model or strategies as needed.
  • Foster a culture of innovation within your business, encouraging creativity and continuous improvement. 
  • Embrace new technologies, processes, and opportunities for growth, always striving to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving business environment.

About the author

Lateef Badat SHOUT Boost Flying Start 400Lateef has a long track record in supporting people working with SME’s to help the business and people grow. He has a particular niche in the creative, digital and media sectors where people may struggle balancing their creativity and business skills. Through his coaching, Lateef helps them to develop a business mindset by addressing areas including imposter syndrome, business focus, time management, confidence and resilience, business strategy, leadership, and accountability.

As a Boost Flying Start business adviser, Lateef provides one-to-one business advice, mentoring, coaching to pre-start and startups. Coining himself as a ‘mindset magician’ Lateef helps business owners and teams to work smarter and perform better through empowerment, motivation and inspiration.

If you’re looking to grow, scale or start your business, use Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. We offer a range of funded business support services. Call our Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057 to find out more or complete our enquiry form.

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