Mid Devon Businesses Advice Service

Posted on: 26 March 2014

How I had a Helping Hand thanks to Advice and Support from the  Mid Devon Businesses Advice Service

Despite his ‘go-getting attitude’ and focus on the quality of the service he offers, James Marshall from Excelsior is an example of a business who is happy to make use of the BIP business advisory service available in Mid Devon thanks to funding from Mid Devon District Council.

James started his business back in 2002 offering his services as a sports coach, as he wanted the opportunity to just focus on delivering the best service he could for his clients as opposed to fulfilling the never ending task of completing reports, which seemed to be one of his main activities as an employee.

You only have to visit James website www.excelsiorgroup.co.uk and look at the testimonials from various impressive clients (such as paralympian  Dan James, Exeter Chiefs Rugby Academy, the University of Exeter and Millfield School to name but a few) to get a feel for the passion and ability he invests, and the benefits to his clients as a result.

James finds it particularly rewarding working with young people, and finds the challenge of liaising between the student, teachers and parents in terms of influencing a long term program for optimum results as opposed to a short-term ‘quick fix’ option very satisfying. The parents will ultimately have the most influence over the child, but James aims to educate all parties so they have a better understanding of what the best program is.

As with other businesses, sourcing funding is an on-going challenge for James, as well as keeping on top of his marketing activities, ensuring he continually up-dates his own personal knowledge and training- and of course, maintaining his objective to not only meet, but exceed his customer’s expectations.

‘I found working with BIP really useful, as the Advisor was able to view my business in an objective way, and was completely impartial- they weren’t trying to sell me anything. The experience was very positive; it was like meeting a critical friend. I had some clear guidance and suggestions as to what to do next’.

Through meeting a BIP Advisor, James was also able to access the free  ‘Superfast Business’ program. This allowed James to access eight hours of specialist IT support from Stephen Bateman, Concentric Circles.

‘Stephen really helped me developed my on-line sales. I have three books now published on Amazon and Stephen provided clear and practical guidance in how to best promote myself’.

When asked what his future goals were, James responded that he had already achieved the first, and that was to really bring out the best in children through the most effective physical training. All that is left now is to liaise with the Council, local organisations and communities to build a gymnasium with the ‘old school style’ of equipment as opposed to the modern ‘sit on’ equipment which is now common place in schools and gym

Mid Devon Business Advice Service

Businesses can access a free initial consultation and details of free workshops by calling 0800 592872 (free from landlines) or 0330 1000338 (free from mobiles and landlines). It is funded by Mid Devon District Council.  Following the initial free advice and / or workshop, businesses have the option to work with a qualified BIP advisor on a one-to-one basis to put their actions into practice for just £20 per session. 

For further information, please contact:

Petra Davies on 07966 900221.

 James Marshall from Excelsior can be contacted on 07976 306494

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