Preston is for life, not just for Christmas
Preston, the gift for Business, that keeps on giving.
Those people, who know me well, are aware that I am a very proud Prestonian.
Preston is a great and very new city with a tradition that goes back nearly 1000 years and it is great to see that it is finally starting to get the credit it deserves.
In an article in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago, Preston was voted above Manchester and Liverpool as the best place in the Northwest to live and work.
This of course comes as no surprise to us, proud citizens of Preston and you may also be surprised to know it isn’t the only thing Preston is one of the main cities in the UK for.
At Kennedy Ross, we are business consultants as well as sales experts, so we are always interested in proven ways to grow businesses as well as create explosive growth in sales figures.
So we were very interested to find out about a new initiative Preston has put in place to help small businesses in the city thrive.
And other cities worldwide are starting to take notice.
Preston is now leading the way internationally as well as nationally, in how its local government procures their services, ensuring local smaller businesses don’t miss out in becoming suppliers in local government contracts.
Why is this a good idea?
“None of us is as smart as all of us.”
Because Preston city council completed some research and discovered small businesses tend to live and work in the Preston area, so money spent with them stays in the local economy, whereas contracts awarded to bigger public companies result in profits being taken out of the area.
In 2011 Preston city council set about making sure that as much money as possible from the Preston Economy stays in the local economy.
As well as cost and quality, the council started to evaluate “Social Value” of tenders for services which means how much good it will do for the people of Preston.
…and this results in an extra £4 million per year revenue for the 5,000 or so small businesses in Preston.
So what can we learn from “The Preston method”?
- Understand the Power of Collaboration
The Preston Method was put into place by a small group of collaborators including Housing Associations, University of Central Lancashire and the small businesses of Preston all working towards the same goal.
By working together, they can share information, know-how and resources to help the whole group thrive together.
“Our greatest strength lies in collaboration, not competition”
- Joseph Rain, Author
At Kennedy Ross, we use this principle and have close relationships with a number of companies we share values with and we consistently share work between ourselves.
So, ask yourself the question. Which other businesses, do you know, who you could share work with?
- Being part of your local network can pay off massively
It has been said that we all like to do business with people we know, like and trust and it is safe to say that the quickest and easiest way to find these people is to take full advantage of your local business networks, where other businesses can get to know you personally.
“Alone we can do little, together we can do much”
- Helen Keller
If you manage to help other businesses in your area link up with potential customers, you can be sure that they will do the same for you when the time arises.
At Kennedy Ross, we regularly attend a number of the great networks in Preston and we love to listen to success stories, share news on business opportunities and jobs and most of all create those long-term business relationships
- Long Term Thinking always wins.
If we can learn one thing from the city of Preston and their new approach to local government spending it is this.
Sometimes keeping our eyes on only the bottom line might pay off in the short term, but if we want success in the longer term, creating Social Value we must consider factors other than just the cost.
Often paying a little extra in the short term in using a local business can create better results for everyone involved if we have a clear idea of what we are working towards.
As well as businesses looking at what they can take from their local business community in terms of leads, prospects and customers, sometimes looking at what we can give back in those same terms can help all of us grow and thrive.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
Preston is making some great strides forward as a city and I am proud to be part of the thriving business community that calls this city home.
As I mentioned earlier, Preston is now leading the wayinternationally, in how its local government procures their services, ensuring local smaller businesses don’t miss out in becoming suppliers in local government contracts, this means better long term opportunities for the people of Preston and most of all the children of Preston.
Merry Christmas everyone, and see you in 2017.
Thank you for reading my blog and if you have an opinion of how Preston is doing or an idea of how we can make it better for all of us, I would love to hear from you.