Those people who know me well, are aware that I am a very proud Prestonian. Preston is a great and new city with a tradition that goes back nearly 1000 years, therefore, it is great to see it finally receiving the credit it deserves.
In a recent article in the Guardian, 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. However, you may be surprised to know it isn’t the only thing Preston the gift for business 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 take interest in ways to grow businesses and create explosive growth in sales figures.
So we are very interested in a new Preston initiative that helps small businesses in the city thrive.
And other cities worldwide are starting to take notice.
Preston the Gift for Business is now leading the way nationally, and internationally, in how its local government procures their services, ensuring local businesses don’t miss out in becoming suppliers in local government contracts.
Preston city council completed some research and discovered small businesses tend to live and work in the area. Therefore, money spent with them will stay in the local economy, whereas, contracts by bigger public companies, have profits outsourced.
In 2011 the 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 Prestonian method”?
The Preston Method has been put into place by a small group of collaborators. These include Housing Associations, University of Central Lancashire and the small businesses of the northern town are all working towards the same goal.
By working together, they can share information, know-how and resources to help the whole group thrive together.
At Kennedy Ross, we use this principle and have close relationships with a number of companies who we share values with and consistently share work between ourselves.
So, ask yourself the question. Which other businesses, do you know, who you could share work with?
It has been said that we all like to do business with people we know, like and trust, therefore, it is safe to say that the quickest and easiest way to find these people is to take 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”
If you manage to help other businesses in your area link up with potential customers, you can be sure 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 the gift for business 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.
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. However, if we want success in the long term, creating Social Value we must consider factors other than cost.
Often, paying a little extra in the short term by 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 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 way internationally, in how its local government procures their services, ensuring local smaller businesses don’t miss out in becoming suppliers in local government contracts. Essentially, 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. 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.