Small businesses given i-centre help in Mansfield


Starting up a business is always difficult, especially when you are on your own with no colleagues to turn to.

Oxford Innovation’s i-centre in Mansfield’s Oakham Business Park says it has the solution to help start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses grow.

With the closure of Business Link in November 2011, it has been even harder for start-ups and small businesses to develop, as the Government-funded support network has not been available. Businesses have had to seek other support that often has a high consultancy fee attached to it.

The Mansfield i-centre has the solution to this dilemma by providing businesses not only with low risk office space on a rolling monthly contract, but also invaluable business support from Oxford Innovation.

A Business Coaching Service is available to customers of the Innovation Centre which is free of charge and helps entrepreneurs and management teams to improve the sales and profitability of their business. Oxford Innovation specialises in providing coaching to high growth potential business and, over its 19-year history, has worked with over 5,000 start-up and small businesses to help them grow and succeed.

Purpose Media is a web design studio which started its life in the i-centre in 2009. Since then, the business has successfully grown to a turnover of £0.75m. The company offers content managed and e-commerce websites including Sage integration, on-line marketing and search engine optimisation marketing services to clients who want to be successful online.

The directors of the company felt that they needed to step back from their day to day operations and plan their next phase of growth. A comprehensive review of the company was undertaken and a vision was created from which a business plan and marketing strategy has been developed.

“Taking time out to discuss the way forward with external advisers has enabled us to be very clear and focused with regards to the future direction of our business,” says Matt Wheatcroft, managing director. “We now know how to get there, what people we need around us, and the type of clients we wish to attract going forward.

“With help from Oxford Innovation we have grown confidence in our ability to expand our client base by focusing more on e-commerce websites which help to raise the average value of our projects and also creates a recurring revenue base.”

The Mansfield i-centre has its own ready-made business community that businesses can benefit from. These are great for inter-trading, or to simply use as a forum to ask for and give advice. With an on-site café as the hub of the centre, there’s also an ideal place to meet for coffee and chat, and to also hold client meetings.

“We decided to bring all the council’s innovation centres in to line and managed by one organisation so that we could provide high quality business support as well as an excellent working environment,” explains Keith Girling, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Business Engagement Champion.

For more information about Mansfield i-Centre, click here.