East Herts offers so much for businesses large and small, so it’s not surprising people find it a great place to do business.
1. Close to London but without the London prices
If you want to be close to central London but don’t fancy paying London prices, East Herts is a fantastic compromise. There are good transport links (see below) which mean you can be in The City in less than an hour – or your City clients can be with you within an hour. There is an additional benefit in that East Herts is a popular area for London commuters to live, so the likelihood is that clients based in London will probably be more than willing to have meetings closer to home to give them an excuse to avoid rush hour traffic.
2 . Great transport links
Trains – Train lines connect East Herts towns with Kings Cross St Pancras and Liverpool Street/Moorgate stations, with connections to the Underground at either Tottenham Hale or Finsbury Park. And if it comes to fruition, the proposed Crossrail 2 would provide more frequent and faster links to central and south London stations.
Roads – East Herts is very well placed for access to the A1, the M11 and the M25.
Air – Both Stansted Airport and Luton Airport are almost equidistant from the county town of Hertford, providing great access to flights for your overseas business trips, or relaxing getaways to reward yourself for all your hard work!
3. Help and support for business start ups
If you’re about to set up your own business, contact Wenta, an organisation that offers advice – online or with specialist consultants – as well as training courses and events (many of which are free), networking and office services. In addition, they run a My Incubator programme offering three months free consultancy and workspace designed to really get your business moving.
4. Help for established businesses
Even when you’ve got your business up and running, the support will continue in the form of the Hertfordshire Growth Hub. If you have more than 10 employees or a turnover of more than £1m and are still ambitious to expand, the Growth Hub’s specialist advisers will help you free of charge thanks to funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and the EU. It’s open to companies whatever line of business you’re in, and will help you look for financing, with HR issues, sales and marketing, exports, investments… basically anything you need help with in order to achieve your potential.
Entering business awards is not self-indulgent, it actually makes good business sense. Being a finalist or winning an award give your company a lot of very positive publicity – you can use news of your success on your social media posts, and also send press releases out to the local paper in the hope of getting editorial coverage. But you can also learn a lot about the direction you need to take your business in – answering the questions is a good way of ensuring you are going in the right direction.
If you’re entering a business award for the first time, it’s a good idea to concentrate on the local rather than the national ones. In Hertfordshire the best ones to go for are:
Inspiring Herts – This award is run by the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and includes a category for East Herts Business of the Year: this year, it was won by Hoddesdon-based Ashbourne Insurance. Check the Chamber’s website in the second half of January for details of the 2018 awards.
SME Hertfordshire – Run by the local Federation of Small Business to celebrate local companies, the SMEs also have an East Herts Business of the Year category. The 2017 Awards are closed for entries and the winners will be announced at the end of July. If you want to apply in 2018, check the website in the second half of February.
Hertfordshire Business Awards – There’s still time to enter the 2017 Hertfordshire Business Awards as the deadline isn’t until 3 October. And if you’ve only set up your company in the past few months, you can still enter as there’s a category for New Business of the Year.
6. Support on social media
Every Monday evening between 8 and 9pm, local businesses get together on Twitter for @HertsHour. If you have something to promote, tips you want to pass on, something you’d like to ask other people’s advice on, or just want to connect with other small business owners, dip into Herts Hour every Monday night.
7. Sales and marketing
Small businesses based in East Herts understand how difficult it can be to market your brand and sell your products or services if that sort of thing doesn’t come naturally to you. So they got together to create the Ambition conference, a one day event affordable for solopreneurs and small business owners which has advice from top speakers from the sales and marketing world. Ambition 2017 will be held in Hoddesdon on 15 November. Its an early bird rate is only £75 if you book before 31 July (and is still an eminently affordable £95 afterwards) – for a whole day of business knowledge and networking, you’d have to have a very good reason not to go!
Digital Marketing Agency, Cariad Marketing is one of the sponsors of Ambition 2017, so we hope to see you there! In the meantime, if you would like help with your SEO, social media, website or any other aspect of digital marketing, get in touch and we’ll tell you more!