Survive and Thrive



Wakefield Metropolitan District Council has embarked on an ambitious programme to help promote the district as a great place to live and work. In addition to plans which are well resourced and will be delivered by talented people, we are committed to a range of major capital projects and a raft of business support activities.

Post COVID these actions have never been more important. The pandemic present the whole business community with huge challenges and creating more resilient new businesses is at the top of the list.

The detail of the programme is below and if you’re thinking of signing up, you may also wish to read this very brief blog, ‘Being Prepared’.


You will take part in a focused and bespoke programme of support with content and advice tailored to you and your business. The programme and course content will help you reset your business for the current climate and give you the skills, insight and confidence to ensure your business is fit for an ever changing future, whatever the challenge.

In addition to the expert mentoring and training from the team at BrownDog Agency and Wakefield, you will joining the programme alongside a cohort of peers which will give you the opportunity to build an invaluable network of likeminded people you can share your challenges and experiences with.


Planning & modelling

Business planning for resilience – where are the broad, varied and robust sales going to come from? What is your strategy?

We will take a long, hard look inside our delegates’ businesses to see if the key indicators for resilience are there.

We will review the strategies within the business to increase sales, and explore whether the current product or service offer is suitable for the demanding road ahead.


Finance – How will you fund your business?

According to recent research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), 17% of their members only have enough cash to support one month’s overheads, and only 36% could last 3 months.

Ensuring that your business will survive will inevitably come down to having sufficient funding. Your survival plan may call for hiring staff with different skills, investing in new technology, adding equipment and facilities, and creating reporting systems to measure and manage results, and all of these elements will need to be paid for, often before the additional sales revenue and profits start to kick in.

How will you find the money to allow you to survive, and then thrive?  From personal investment, external investors, crowdfunding, as well as potential partnerships, mergers or buy-ins/outs, there are numerous ways to raise the necessary funding, each of which come with pros and cons.

It’s also helpful to identify potential bank funds for working capital or growth plans, such as a loan or an overdraft– of course, they will need to see your plans and forecasts, which is where the previous session comes in handy.


Harnessing technology

Technology makes it easier and less expensive to scale a business, as well as helping to build a more resilient service proposition.  You can gain huge economies of scale and more output deliverable, with less reliance on your workforce, if you invest wisely in technology. 

Systems integration is a prime area for improvement in most businesses. Most companies today don’t simply use a single system; there could in fact be a dozen or more systems helping the business to run smoothly. If those systems don’t work together, they create silos, which in turn multiply communication and management problems as your company grows.

Planning for a resilient business model is the perfect time to evaluate the best products on the market that help save time and money, yet potentially accommodate higher volumes once your business starts to grow.


New Product or Service Development

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that the world is very different now to what it was like only 4 months ago, which means that your current range of products and services are very likely in need of a refresh too.

Whether you are looking at adapting products to be more secure, anti-viral, easier to ship online or simply re-positioned to meet evolving customer needs, you need to be able to move from ideas generation, to prototyping, and into production as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Likewise with your service offer, from re-branding to marketing support, everything needs to meet a new set of customer criteria – virtual, remote, secure and easy to implement are the new watch words.


Recruiting the right talent

Do you have the right people in place to help keep your business on track once the going gets tough? If not, how will you find them? And, once you’ve attracted them, how do you keep them?

As part and parcel of strengthening and growing a business, you’re likely to need more, or differently skilled, staff. Technology can certainly help reduce dependence on people, but at the end of the day you still need highly qualified and effective teams in order to succeed.

Key roles might include sales, production, finance, customer service, and marketing – not to mention a management team to look after everyone. Sometimes the answer is to outsource or look to partners, rather than hire internally, and a key part of your decision making needs to factor in whether to recruit internally or not.


Maintaining the Correct Culture and Values

With so many challenges to face at the moment, it can be very hard keeping your work culture in place, but everyone must realise the importance of your business values, especially when things take a downturn.

Consistency and quality are paramount. Create the right culture and an environment where people want to be and want to excel – then get out of the way and let them get on with it.

All team members must be properly engaged, motivated, recognised and rewarded, and never more so than right now, when they could well be the most visible part of your business, often whilst working remotely.


Marketing your business post Covid-19

One of the hardest things to combat with any marketing campaign is inertia, and if your customers have got out of the habit of working with you then you need to work extra hard to bring them back on stream.

Add to that potentially reduced resources and a limited budget, and every business is going to have to fight hard for every pound.

This is where a well thought out, strategically led marketing campaign can help, as we help you to stand out from the crowd and put compelling messaging in front of the key decision makers.


Enterprise Development Mapping

How do you turn all of the previous sessions into one cohesive roadmap for success?

One of the key tools utilised by leading innovation companies to visualise the journey from where your business is now to becoming the resilient, successful business of the future, this summary session will give businesses the opportunity to map out all of the factors we have covered in the previous sessions, and see it in a highly visual and easily understood critical path, through an Enterprise Development Map.

Encompassing the business structure, tasks performed, people, internal and external environment, along with how the business needs to evolve in order to succeed, we will work on a sample plan that houses all of the key components to a successful, strong and resilient business in one visual, wall-based planning tool.


To register your interest simply click here.

No trick questions, just some info to check you are eligible and make sure we know what your business is all about before we speak.

It’s that simple!

Once you have registered, one of our organisers will be in contact to undertake a brief eligibility assessment.

When you register, you will be required to complete a short application form which will help us assess and target your specific needs followed by a business diagnostic, all of which is supported by the BrownDog Agency