Beacon Initiative shines a spotlight on SME’s

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 09.59.58As Manager of Cork County Council’s Beacon Initiative, I am very keen to reach as many SME’s in County Cork as possible, to let them know just what supports are readily available to them through the Beacon Initiative. I strongly feel that while there are various supports available to other business sectors, the SME category does not have access to the same initiatives or resources to help address their growing business needs.

Over the past year, we have travelled the length and breath of Cork County in order to meet with business owners from all sectors, to give them the opportunity to discuss with us, the challenges their business face on a daily basis. Every business was different – for some it was how to grow their sales and increase market share, for others it was a review of their current processes and efficiencies and for others still, their concerns were focused on how to improve customers satisfaction ratings. You can read some of their experiences on the Beacon Initiative HERE.

Because every SME has a different need, the approach we take focuses specifically on the company in question. It starts out with a one to one meeting between the SME owner and myself. We openly discuss where the business is currently at, what their plans are and how they are working towards achieving these plans. Having reviewed the business, we then discuss the Beacon Initiative supports available to them and arrange a follow up meeting with the SME and a key member of our Advisory Team – In some cases the business may work with more than one team member, depending on the expertise required.

At this stage, the Beacon Advisor designs a strategic working document, addressing all the challenges which have been identified and this will set the direction and milestones to be reached to help move their business to the next level. The Advisor will work with the SME for a set period of time, during which the working document will be reviewed at key stages to ensure it is implemented as outlined, by all parties.

It is worth noting that the Beacon Initiative is heavily subsidised by the Cork County Councils Economic Development Fund with 75% of the cost covered by the fund, leaving just 25% to be paid for by the SME.

If you are an SME’s in the Cork County region interested in moving you business forward and have at least 10 personnel, then I would be very interested in hearing from you.  I can be contacted on 021 4285140 / (087) 7730019 or email padraig.osullivan@corkcoco.ie.

We can also introduce you to companies who have benefitted from the services we provide, to give you a clearer indication of how the Beacon Initiative may be of similar benefit to your business.