Whether you’re starting a new business, in the early stages, looking to scale-up an established business or simply looking for some great business support, the Boost Relationship Management team can help you navigate the business support landscape to find the right support for your business.
Today David Baker, a former chief executive and previous owner of two manufacturing companies, talks about his role as a Boost relationship manager.
What do you see is your role as a Boost relationship manager?
My role is to determine where a business is now and where it want to be in three years’ time. From this information I can signpost the business to what help is available out there from the 70 programmes available, most of which are fully-funded.
What kinds of businesses have you helped recently and what areas of support were they seeking?
I utilise my long experience of working as a business advisor and mentor throughout the North West with businesses in many sectors including manufacturing, digital and creative, agriculture and hospitality. I have worked with established as well as pre- and new-start businesses where I have helped them get established, utilising the many BOOST programmes, as well as what other support is also available in Lancashire.
How do you feel you have helped them?
Having been both a chief executive with responsibility for several businesses, as well as an SME owner, I can draw on this extensive experience to help business leaders, as ‘I Have Been There And Done That’.
I know how difficult it is to develop a business, manage staff, find new customers and be better than competitors, as well as managing a work-life balance.
What are the key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?
As well as raw materials shortages, which are affecting the whole country, companies in Lancashire are finding it difficult to recruit skilled and trained staff, particularly into manufacturing. The role of an engineer needs to be perceived on the same level as a doctor, solicitor or accountant. Engineers are professional people.
Lancashire has a great high quality manufacturing base in automotive and aerospace, nuclear, and green energy, and we need young people to come into these industries
Why it is so important to help Lancashire business leaders?
Business leaders in Lancashire need to be able to work ‘On The Business’ not ‘In The Business’. To enable them to do this they need good skilled and trained staff, and to be able to delegate responsibility to these staff, to enable the leaders to work on the strategy for the business.
Lancashire has some of the best universities in the country, turning out highly skilled graduates and we need to be able to make Lancashire an attractive area for them to stay and help grow our economy.
David started his career as a laboratory assistant and rose to become a divisional CEO of a multi-national Plc with responsibility for eight manufacturing companies and two retail outlets. After selling his division he raised venture capital funding to acquire two manufacturing business and exited in 2001.
Since then David has been a mentor and business advisor for many business support programmes, drawing on his experience to help Lancashire businesses develop and grow. He recently received an Outstanding Contribution Award by the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining in recognition of the services he has provided, over a number of years, to Manchester Polymer Group.