"Superb" council support takes Go Cotswolds to next level
"This whole process has opened our eyes to all the different support that is available. When you are running a business, sometimes you think that it's all down to you, but there is actually a lot of support out there."
A Warwickshire tour guide company is "almost overwhelmed" by bookings after enhancing its customer experience with support from Warwickshire County Council.
An Adapt & Diversify grant from the council enabled Stratford-upon-Avon-based Go Cotswolds to take its business to the next level.
Go Cotswolds director Tom Benjamin rates the council support as "superb" - not just in terms of the financial fillip, but also the advice and signposting to other potential avenues of help that came with it.
"This whole process has opened our eyes to all the different support that is available," said Tom. "When you are running a business, sometimes you think that it's all down to you, but there is actually a lot of support out there.
"The Adapt & Diversity grant has been ever so beneficial in several ways. The funding itself was really important. On our minibus tours we used to hand out hand-drawn, paper maps but the grant enabled us to get a graphic designer on board and now we have very polished, attractive booklets which really improve the customer experience.
"We also used the grant to enlist a videographer and well-connected marketing guy who have taken our social media and graphic imagery to the next level. The impact has been amazing - we are almost overwhelmed by bookings at the moment.
"As well as the grant, we took part in the county council's Future Skills project where they made us fantastic videos to showcase our businesses. At some stage soon we will be looking to recruit and Heather and Niki at Warwickshire Skills Hub will be our first port of call.
"Overall the support we have received from the county council is superb."
Go Cotswolds is one of many SMES to have strengthened in the last year with the support of a grant from the Adapt & Diversify scheme which awarded a total of £1.5 million to 118 business.
Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Kam Kaur, said: "The Adapt & Diversify scheme has been an unqualified success in helping more than 100 small businesses to thrive in challenging times.
"I am delighted to hear that Go Cotswolds are enjoying such growth and success following the grant and also that they place such a high value on the range of support from the county council and the way it was delivered."
Go Cotswolds have also benefited from the business support delivered by CW Chamber of Commerce as part of Project Warwickshire. This programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council, provides a range of support opportunities to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector including one-to-one business coaching, workshops and networking opportunities.