A family-owned office furniture and business supplies company, is already reaping the benefits of marketing support and mentoring through Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub.

Lomas Office Furniture and Stationery Ltd, based in Blackburn, specialises in the supply of new office furniture, office design and re-fits, stationery, IT and educational supplies; and its customers include both public and private sector organisations across the country.

The business, which employs 14 members of staff and has a turnover of £1.4m, embarked on a mentoring programme through Boost, which has already led to the recruitment of a new member of staff to meet the demand from increased enquiries.
That support came through Boost’s fully-funded Growth Mentoring programme delivered by Orvia.

Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The business identified support was needed with its marketing strategy, to improve its social media presence and refresh its website content.

Help was also needed to review internal processes, and ensure marketing and communications initiatives across the organisation were working efficiently.

The business was matched with specialist marketing mentor Jean Atkinson, a chartered marketer and owner of Eden Marketing, who conducted an audit to assess current activity and identify areas for improvement, review sales systems and processes, assess the CRM system capabilities and investigate website and social media platform analytics.

Mark Rolfe, sales and marketing manager at Lomas Office Furniture & Stationery Ltd, said: “We had a great experience working with our mentor Jean Atkinson. She focused our attention on what we needed to do to achieve what we wanted.
“Jean helped us to put processes in place for managing social media and website content, and developing a growth action plan which we continue to work with.

“We are already seeing the results of the mentoring with enquiries on the increase and being able to readily identify the source of our conversions.

“We envisage that the mentoring will have an impact on our turnover over the next few months. We have already recruited a new member of staff in our sales team to focus on the increased number of enquiries.”

Ann Holcroft, operations manager at Orvia, added: “Mentoring is all about giving a business a new perspective or learning from people who have been there and done it. Jean was a great match to the business and was able to help the team identify small yet effective changes to its marketing strategy. We’re pleased to hear this has already had a positive impact on the business and hope those enquiries keep coming.”

Boost Business Lancashire has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information, visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

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