Experts give investment and sales help

An entrepreneur who established a peer-to-peer lending platform for businesses at the height of the banking crisis, and a sales and training guru with more than 30 years of experience, are the two latest speakers to be unveiled for our Business Growth Conference.

Why would anyone want to invest in your business?

Speaker Kevin Caley at Business Growth 2019Kevin Caley began his career as an engineer in the Midlands car industry and used his MBA to get into early-stage venture capital.

In November 2009, at the height of the banking crisis, Kevin established the world’s first peer to peer platform specialising in making secured business loans. Called ThinCats, it allowed private investors to lend directly to businesses cutting out ‘fat cat’ bankers.

At the conference, taking place on the morning of October 22 at Repton School’s 400 Hall, Willington Road, he will explore with delegates the questions: Why would anyone want to invest in your business? Why would you want them to?

Kevin will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of raising external finance and explain the differences between loans and equity. He will be highlighting the problems and the risks involved and suggesting ways to minimise them.

How to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’

Sales guru Ian Preston speaks at Business Growth 2019Also speaking at the event, which is sponsored this year by the Federation of Small Businesses, is Ian Preston, a leading business coach and trainer who has led high-performing sales teams and taken a particular interest in the art, science and psychology of selling, which he has shared by training and coaching many teams and individuals over 30-plus years.

Ian said: “Selling is a skill like any other. It needs familiarity with the requirements and lots of practice to be proficient at it.”

He’ll be looking at issues including, how to turn a NO into a YES! – and how to prevent a NO in the first place – and what to say when someone says ‘It’s too expensive’.

The Business Growth Conference is in its fourth year and designed to support local firms, sole traders and freelancers to gain the skills, advice and guidance to grow their business.

Fighting business cybercrime

Tickets are now available at  for £20, plus online booking fee, for those taking advantage of the early bird offer which lasts until October 7.

The conference will be officially opened by the National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Mike Cherry, who also owns a long-established family business in Burton.

There will be a total of eight speakers during the morning, including Channel 4’s Gogglebox star and education consultant Baasit Siddiqui who will talk about the role of lifelong learning in business growth.

There will also be stands from business support organisations including the Burton & District Chamber of Commerce, Derby Hub networking group and Staffordshire and Derbyshire Police who will provide free advice on fighting business cybercrime. The event will end with a networking buffet lunch, between 1pm and 2pm, provided by Burton-based caterer Helen Wheat who runs Helen’s Bakehouse and Tearooms in the Market Place.

Tailored support for businesses

Other speakers include Joe Burns will share his inspirational business story. When he was 21, he co-founded a business that later sold for £1million. Sarah J Naylor will help delegates understand how to align their vision with business growth. Tilley Bancroft, of Red Door Studios and project manager of the Burton Swans 2020 project, will look at alternative marketing methods that can make your business visible and memorable.

Karen Woolley, development manager for the FSB in Staffordshire and the West Midlands, will give an overview of how and where businesses from start-ups to mature companies can find business support and advice in the Midlands.

Karen said: “At the FSB we have access to a wide range of organisations that can offer free advice and support. Being in business can be hard and it is sometimes difficult to know where to turn. Through the Business Growth Conference, I hope to be able to offer tailored support that can signpost businesses looking to make that next step on their journey and help them get the support and guidance they need.”

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