A new West Midlands company believes it has a ‘virtual’ answer to help young businesses get through the difficult early years and to maximise their growth potential.
VHQ Solutions, based at the University of Warwick Science Park, has launched a range of online tools and support services specifically designed to help businesses to grow and develop.
“Many young companies have been set-up by people who have a specific skill or expertise.” said Denis Pelych, managing director of VHQ. “What they don’t always have is the understanding of what running a business is all about.
“We have found lots of examples of business owners who struggle with VAT returns, or knowing how much time their people are spending on projects, or where the next piece of work is coming from!”
VHQ Solutions has developed its WebOffice service to help its clients put in place the management processes that are vital if they want to make the transition to becoming “real” businesses.
Gareth Edwards, marketing director at VHQ, said: “Our experience of working with young companies is they just don’t have time to deal with complex software applications. We have built in our business experience so that our tools can be used straight away to give entrepreneurs control of sales, operations and finances.
“Being web-based it can be used anywhere you can get an internet connection. Our clients see that as a real benefit because they can put off paying for offices or moving premises until it suits them. It also means that staff or associates can work more closely with the business because they can get access to all of the services too.”
Both Denis and Gareth have extensive experience of working with small businesses through the National B2B Centre – the e-business centre of excellence at the University of Warwick. They have also both set-up successful businesses in their own right.
Denis added: “The business owners and entrepreneurs that we talk to are comfortable with the internet. What they want now are services that actually make a difference to the bottom-line and support from people who understand what the issues are and not just understand the technology.
“It is interesting that this approach applies to all sorts of businesses. We are now talking to companies as diverse as manufacturers and property companies as well as the consultancy related businesses that you might expect.”
Bill Taylor, of the University of Warwick Science Park, has given VHQ a helping hand along the way – particularly with marketing through the Ignite programme. He said: “I think many young companies will benefit from this service.
“The Science Park wants to encourage growing businesses to put robust systems and processes in place.
“This would ensure that there is a flow of strong and healthy firms around for us to take through the next stage of development.”