Starting a business is hard work!

Posted: Monday March 2 2020

By: Ad Venture Programme

An interesting thing I’ve discovered since we started delivering our AD:VENTURE business support programme is just how surprised new and young businesses are when they realise this type of high value professional help is available. With very little in the way of funded support for early stage businesses available a few years ago, start-up businesses were expected to learn from their mistakes, which at the very early stages can be more costly and catastrophic than you might realise.

While there is still an element of trial and error with any enterprise, there is now a constantly evolving network of support across the Leeds City Region LEP that new and growing companies can access to help with a variety of growth challenges.

Seeing businesses access the help they need, and thrive as a result is hugely rewarding, particularly when it might just be one or two aspects of the business that were creating a barrier to their success.
We can’t know everything. What’s that old saying “We don’t know what we don’t know”

This is very true in business. Start-Ups often evolve from someone who has a great idea, who has seen a gap in a market they understand and knows they can offer a solution. This doesn’t mean they should also immediately be a HR expert, Finance specialist and Marketing aficionado – These things take time, and there are ways to learn the fundamentals so the business can move forward without dipping into that essential early stage cash flow unnecessarily.

For example, our AD:VENTURE programme, funded by regional partners and ERDF, is a business support programme that delivers practical guidance, workshops and growth grants to companies that have been established for three years or less.

Our events cover a range of topics including fundamentals of finance, marketing for growth, the art of selling, resilience, legal essentials and social media masterclasses. There are also networking events bringing the business community together to share experiences, advice and contacts.

Whether it is business planning, process, legislation or something very specific to a given business, our AD:VENTURE advisors have become an invaluable asset to a growing number of young companies throughout the Leeds City Region and have worked with over 1600 individuals in the last 18 months.

Ours is not the only programme in town either – There are schemes focussed on digital development, manufacturing, innovation and productivity, with loads of events focussed on connecting, creating networks and gaining confidence in your business idea.

A client I recently did a case study on articulated the value of taking advantage of this sort of help perfectly:


“Starting and growing a business is bloody hard work and any help you can get is great, but when you are able to access professionals from the highest levels – for free – you would be silly not to!”


So in summary, yes – Starting or scaling a business is hard work, but remember, you don’t have to go it alone.