Businesses look to raise profile after win in competition

BUSINESSES are hoping they can raise their profile and increase turnover in the forthcoming months after landing top prizes in a competition.

Northeast Press took part in the Local Business Accelerators scheme with companies across North Tyneside invited to bid for a chance to win support to help their business grow.

Dozens of entries were submitted to the News Guardian.

And those selected in the top three will now receive free advertising and business mentoring individually designed to suit their specific requirements.

Monkey Print, based at Henson House in Killingworth, were selected as the winning entry from North Tyneside.

The business – founded in 2009 – offers paper printing, leaflets, flyers, banners, posters and exhibition graphics.

Iain Inglis said: “Where we need the investment is finding customers. It’s good that the money is there where smaller businesses really need it, to attract customers.

“E-mail marketing and referrals is the current advertising and although we are predominantly online, the vast majority of people want to talk to us.

“If we advertise in the press, we can get the message across that we want people to talk to us.”

Second place went to Geordie Mugs, officially set up in Cullercoats by Jane Kelley and Jo Burrows last January.

And they have already exceeded expectation in the first few months, selling more than 24,000 Geordie Mug cards.

They also sell ‘Geordie region’ towels, coasters with more products in the pipeline.

Such as been their success that they are now selling ‘Scouse stuff’ after deciding to expand into Liverpool.

Jo said: “We have used social media as a way to promote our products as we had no budget for advertising.

“And with this support, we think we can now reach a whole new market with advertising.

“We find that our products are popular among the older generation and we’ll be able to reach them better.

“Any business help we get would be great. We’ve had to trust our instinct at times or used the internet.

“It would be really useful to pick someone’s brain to help us.”

Howdon Truck and Van Hire, of East Holywell, Shiremoor, was placed third by the judges.

It was established in 2010 by Steve Cardwell, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the motor trade and haulage industry.

And Steve was delighted to be shortlisted, never mind come in the top three.

“Coming third in the Local Business Accelerators competition means a lot to us as a small business,” he said.

“Most businesses need advertising to help the company grow and this can be expensive, so having a period of free advertising will allow us to spend the money we would normally use for advertising to buy other equipment or tools.

“Having business mentoring from some of the best and respected business people in North Tyneside is invaluable and to learn from them is an experience which will benefit the company immensely.

“I would like to thank the judges for awarding us third place.”

Among the judges was North Tyneside entrepreneur Paul Irwin, who was impressed with the standard of entries.

He said: “With Monkey Print, they are very forward thinking on a local level and a national level, with an interest in keeping abreast of new technology.

“I use a lot of this stuff with my business so I’m aware of the market; they’ve nailed it.”