RDM Services are a small construction company that specialises in internal renovations, house restoration, garden design and landscape construction. They have 7 employees and use local teams of sub-contractors from other trades.
Like many other business owners Neil Radnedge faced financial uncertainty as the UK went into lockdown in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although furlough was an option for Neil’s staff, Neil found that his business was in the ‘grey’ area of businesses who were not covered under any local authority grant schemes.
“It was a very stressful time for me as I wasn’t sure if my business would survive the crisis. I wanted to help my business and be proactive so I checked out local forums and support groups, including Bath & North East Somerset council, to see what they could offer me. I knew there must be other business owners in a similar situation.”
Help came in the form of the Universal Business Support programme from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), delivered in partnership with the local councils.
Neil was connected to the Invest in Bath team who registered him with Cool Ventures, the delivery partner for the programme in Bath & North East Somerset.
The opportunity to take part in free business coaching sessions meant Neil found something positive to work towards, Neil comments: “I saw the opportunity to learn more skills, which would enhance my business, putting things in place to make sure we hit the ground running after lockdown.”
Working with Sue at Cool Ventures, Neil put together a list of issues that he wanted to overcome and was able to work on some of the barriers that were stopping his business from growing. The advice offered by Sue covered everything from cashflow forecasting, time management and personal resilience through to business rates and outsourcing.
“Every time we spoke things became clearer to me. I could see where my time was best spent and where I could outsource to make my business more efficient” said Neil.
The support Neil received through the Universal Business Support programme has helped him understand the needs of his business and how to be clear in his growth plans. The programme has been invaluable to Neil at a time when many small businesses have been struggling: “Sue is a great mentor and she took a vested interest in making sure my business didn’t just survive the crisis but came back in a better place than it was before.
"I would recommend business advice and support to anyone. Running a business by yourself can be tough with no-one to bounce ideas off, and not knowing where to turn for advice and guidance. Having support in the form of the Universal Business Support Programme has been such a fulfilling experience and I now know that there is help out there.”