As well as the hectic day-to-day duties of running a business, we all need to keep an eye on what the future has in stall. Planning and investment is critical to moving forwards – and that is exactly what we at Colour Connection have been doing! This year we have successfully been granted nearly £17,000 to invest in a large-scale project for both internal and external benefits, creating new jobs for young Gloucestershire talent in the process.

Richard, MD, says ‘’This will improve the current service that we offer our customers. We will be able to recruit new talent into the business as well as being able to increase our skill sets, train new staff and upskilling existing team members.’’

How did we do this you ask? Let us tell you…

As a business looking to Grow in 2017 and beyond, it made complete sense to speak to the experts at The Growth Hub in Gloucester… and an expert is what we got! Dev Chakraborty, a Growth Hub Business Guide, pointed us in the direction of Seed funding and how it would fall in line with the goals of the business. As a part of the nationwide Regional Growth Fund (RGF), the University of Gloucestershire was awarded £2.3m to make available as grants for local SME’s, based on qualifying business projects. Some of the key measures for RGF are the creation of jobs and match funding from the private sector, with an emphasis on communities dependant on the public sector. So, apply is what we did!

Overwhelming? Slightly. Exciting? Oh yes!

On completion of the Seed funding application form, we worked tirelessly to detail: – the project we proposed to use the funding for, costs, how many jobs would be created and much more! As this was not a process we had gone through before, we called on a reliable ally in Gerald Crittle of G Acceleration who helped set up a Gantt Chart – which enabled us to demonstrate that we could use the funds within the deadline.

Our mission is to utilise this amazing opportunity to improve IT infrastructure and protect the business, after all, we are in the age of cyber-attacks and digital risks. Justin Richmond and Simon Leonard, from Tech Op, completed an IT infrastructure audit and from there provided a solution for us to move forward. We will be able to put a comprehensive threat management system in place to cover ourselves and our treasured clients. Not only that, we can back everything up to cloud services and replace existing computer hardware with shiny new equipment to increase productivity, thus stopping any ‘’Computer says…no’’ moments! Importantly, for our clients benefit, purchasing a new large format printer will make the quality of our service even better and even more cost effective! Win-win! It will enhance our existing reputation with the NHS and help with future tender applications.

‘’This funding is critical to our business for us to work smart and efficiently. Today’s technology is forever improving and providing more automated solutions, we need to keep on top of this as equipment is vital to our business as well as the people to operate it.’’ Said Leanda, our newly promoted Director.

The seeds have well and truly been planted so 2017 will see the implementation and fruition of our business plan and certainly see that this year and 2018 will be as colourful and creative as ever!