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Practicalities_Fotor_CollageBizcamps are here to help you with practical advice and insights.

Hence, the second of our three themes.

Entrepreneurs can be so focused on their products and services that they wind up working in the business, not on the business. These seven speakers will offer a view into what might help. We may be encouraged to think about what we don’t know, or have even had the time to consider.

Gavin Walker
wears many hats. In each of his varied roles, he delivers on his passion for Northern Ireland businesses and regional economic development. Whether mentoring for The Prince’s Trust & Young Enterprise NI, serving as an Ards & North Down Councillor, supporting the work of The Living Wage Foundation or in his day job as the editor responsible for the content of Business First Magazine, the message is the same: all of Northern Ireland is “open for business”. His strategy is to empower local businesses to market themselves effectively, while providing the vehicle to do it. Who better than a business editor and entrepreneur to speak on the best way to get your press releases into print?

Kevin McCaffery is a veteran BizCamper, both as an attendee and speaker. We’ve watched his journey into self-employment, so in addition to expertise in lead generation, he’s ‘walked the walk’ alongside us. A view of the testimonials on his site and his confidence in offering a “no risk, money back guarantee” on the services is to the best measure of the value of his expertise. He presents regularly as an outreach of his own marketing strategy and many attendees report the benefits of implementing the strategies he shares. There is much to be gleaned from his own site, Conversion Rate Services. Find out how best to increase the effectiveness of your website.

Bill Ellisons training and mentorship is well known to the Ards & North Down start-up community, something we view as critical to BizCamp presenters. Theory is fine, but SME’s and micro-businesses need practical, actionable and uncomplicated methods to manage finance. Most entrepreneurs start businesses in line with their passions, few are expert in accountancy or setting the kind of strategic financial goals that drive growth. Strategy matters, simplifying it matters more! Bill and the Clear Accounting NI team deliver exactly that.

David Steele is here to help you expand your market by trading 24/7 globally and not just 9-5 locally. Export is key to growth for most of our businesses and he has over a dozen years in eCommerce. He and his team offer expertise in selling on Amazon and eBay, among other platforms. Anyone who has tried knows, it is not as easy as it looks. Whether it’s developing a strategy, getting assistance with product listings, translation services or sorting the logistics, he and the team at Amazin Sales can help. Find out what it is that you don’t know and need to.

Michael Gerner joins this line-up to help uncomplicate the process of bid writing to win key tenders and grants. He has worked in the field for for over twenty years and as a Bid Manager since 1998. It’s safe to say he’s seen it all. Beyond writing the bids, he and his associates help you develop strategies and learn best practices. Precise Proposals‘ describe their approach as unique and pragmatic. We appreciate their bespoke approach to small businesses. The fact that they are achieving a 90% success rate was all we needed to know to peak our interest. Even better, Michael has promised us a humorous delivery which is how his pitch proposal prevailed. Which makes for a 100% success rate with BizCamp! 

All of the above wisdom would fall short if we couldn’t get and keep up the necessary financing for our collective businesses. We’d like to thank Bank of Ireland for their generous support of #BizCampAND. “We’re Open for Business” is clearly more than just a tagline. Their sponsorship, along with that of the Ards & North Down Council has made delivering this event possible.

And they didn’t stop there. John Barclay, Branch Manager in Newtownards and an Agricultural Specialist will present on available funding packages tailored to SMEs. Keep in mind that it’s not all about funding. His 30 years in departmental and branch banking makes him an expert on the challenges unique to start-ups and small businesses. Introduce yourself and take advantage of the advice and expertise at hand.

Leigh Curran also joins us from Bank of Ireland, where he’s a Retail Banking Manager in Belfast. He will provide an in-depth look at the credit process SMEs face. Learn first hand the “dos & don’ts” of approaching an application. There is wisdom to be gleaned from his years of experience evaluating business plans across a range of businesses. Whether you produce a product or provide a service knowing what to expect matters! He’s here to answer your questions.

Our speakers are generously giving their time to share this expertise; we can’t thank them enough.

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