What is Innovation?

Grow a Business | Frank Given, Director of Close Focus Limited

How to grow your business? And what role can innovation play in building your company? Sustainability and compliance consultant Frank Given shared his business expertise during a ProfileTree Business Leaders video interview.

Frank, Director of Close Focus Limited, also discussed how to ‘pivot’ your business (ie, make a substantial change to its business plan).

He began by explaining the work of his company and a little of his own working history: “Close Focus Limited is a consultancy practice based here in Northern Ireland working predominantly across Northern Ireland but also into the south of Ireland and across the UK as well.

“We started the company about three and half years ago, after I had been working in the south of Ireland and South Africa and a few other places as well. When I came back home and moved in with my partner Ruth we set up shop in Bangor, and we’ve been growing from there.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind journey to be honest with you, but it’s going in the right direction.”

Frank outlined the three main activities carried out by his company, specifically research work on behalf of clients, looking at key technical issues or key industry segments being considered by the client. Advice is provided as a follow-up from this, as well as training.

How can these services be used for business growth?

“Small businesses are getting pulled apart, there’s every type of technical service you could imagine and there’s every type of support package you could imagine.

“It’s often a bit overwhelming for businesses, so understanding where they can go to get the right advice early on and be able to map that journey is key to them being able to grow their business in a more structured way, so they’re not caught short in terms of finance and have all the processes in place to grow and scale properly.”

Frank encouraged the creation, and ongoing development of a good business plan.

“My business plan started off as a one pager, and it has quickly developed beyond that. It is a key document in my business and it helps me articulate what I’m doing, where we’re going and, as I grow my business and look for additional help and support, what I’m going to go for.

“So I’m not pulled from pillar to post, as it were.”

Frank’s company helps clients by looking at these factors plus help with understanding the right support packages available to the business.

“There’s a wealth of funding options for businesses in Northern Ireland, it’s knowing which ones are right for you at the right time. There are lots of them that look very attractive early on, but they aren’t right for your business. They’ll be great to go on, they’ll take up a lot of your time but they won’t actually add any real value for your business.”

To discover more see Frank’s full ProfileTree video interview.

Close Focus Limited – https://www.close-focus.co.uk/

Have you ever thought about what is innovation and why it might be important for your business? Innovation can be simply defined as a new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in the form of a device or a method. The thing is that innovation is always viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.

Understanding the meaning of innovation will make it easier to understand why it is considered part of growing a business and that’s what Frank Given was sharing with us through this interview about managing to grow the business and really getting to know what innovation is.

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Should your Business be Concerned about Brexit?

Brexit NI | Frank Given, Director of Close Focus Limited

Brexit for businesses; should you be concerned about your business when it comes to Brexit? That’s the question we are getting its answer from Frank Given who is a Brexit adviser for businesses and who is going to tell us about the current updates and news for Brexit.

“The important thing for businesses now is not to panic about it, this is part of a longer process that this phase of it concludes on the 19th of March next year, so being ready for that transition is their next main step” That’s what Frank mentioned when he started talking about the Brexit news and what businesses should do about that.

“If there is no deal then the important thing for businesses is to look at the new deal information on the government’s website and what that means for your business. The key part of it will be around taxation for most businesses and how they will be affected by that”

“The other part of it is to really think about your customer and supply base, so think hard about how your customers are really managing Brexit, whether or not they impose a risk onto your business, think about your suppliers that are fitting into your business, are they secure or not because if they are not secure, you won’t get products and services from them and this is the same with the customers, if they are not secure then they may not be able to pay”

“The third thing is to look at your stuff, we assure that your stuff are very very important that if they are from the European Union, there is a mechanism where they will be still able to stay within the UK and if they are from the UK and Ireland, they will be looked after as part of the common trouble area”

There are lots of questions which the people of Northern Ireland might be asking and searching for the answers when it comes to Brexit and what might happen when Brexit happens. There are lots of answers which we managed to get from Frank Given and which we hope have been of any help to answer some of your questions – you could get to know all the details through watching the full video.

“There are two elements that businesses could come to worry about: the first one is from the political point of view and it is ‘will Therese get a deal from the government?’ and that’s one aspect of it, and then will there be enough changes in the European side, and you will see some of the information coming there in the last couple of days from different countries within the EU 27 of their own ideas with what should go into it”

“So the most important thing for a business is to maximize the opportunity and to build cash into their business, and that’s really important because they will have a bit of a cushion and a bit of a buffer to survive a shot after a few months if something doesn’t go to plan”

Are there any programs which people could depend on if they want to learn and know more about Brexit?

“Yes, there are actually two different programs and they are both currently available and which I am actively involved in, the first one is indicate Arlen’s plan for Brexit program, they offer up to 2,000 pounds worth of funded support for your business which are cross-border trading and have a specific Brexit issue. The second program is Invest Northern Ireland that is going to be launched shortly on their think ahead program which is not just a funded support for an adviser to come in but it also help companies with the great funding beyond that as well”

That’s the best kind of advice about Brexit that Frank Given shared with us, but if you still have any kind of question that you want to ask or you want to contact him directly, the best way would be through his website www.close-focus.co.uk and type all the details or call him on the phone number provided in our video.

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