A Birmingham marketing specialist is the latest consultancy to join one of the UK's leading business support programmes.

Start 2 Finish Marketing has become the 400th consultancy to be accredited to the West Midlands Supplier Register and is already promising to help fellow entrepreneurs make the most of their ideas.

It marks the latest milestone for the groundbreaking initiative, which has been designed to give the region's fastest growing companies independent access to a vast collection of expertise.

Andrew Cooper, brokerage development manager at Business Link West Midlands, said: "The Register works on the basis of providing a quality assured list of professional firms that specialise in providing advice and guidance and this includes accountants, design and marketing special-ists, manufacturing consultants and HR advisers for example.

"It is completely independent and only the most skilled consultants are listed, giving the company peace of mind that whoever they choose to work with they know they will be one of the best in their field."

He added: "The response has been fantastic and we now have over 400 organisations accredited, with another 100 applications in the process of being approved."

Established in 2005 by Steve Jolliffe and Warren Albutt, Start 2 Finish Marketing says its relationship with Business Link West Midlands has allowed it to assist numerous companies in strategic planning, direct advertising, public relations and event management, with many of its clients also tapping into its industry leading virtual marketing department.

"We are delighted to have been approved by the West Midlands Supplier Register and even more pleased that we are number 400," said Steve, who along with Warren has a combined 30 years corporate experience with a BP subsidiary.

"This new introduction is great news for local businesses as they now have a clear route to gaining the best support, from the initial review - carried out by expert advisers - to being able to search for the consultant that best matches their needs."

He added: "Start 2 Finish Marketing is not interested in fancy marketing jargon and blue sky ideas.

"We concentrate on making our clients more successful through carefully targeted and innovative planning. Having spent a combined 30 years with a multi-national, we feel we are well placed to transfer this unique knowledge to SMEs."

S2F, which has already introduced a number of its clients to the service, has undertaken its own business review so that it can understand how it works and what the benefits are.

When customers ring the Business Link West Midlands contact centre (0845 113 1234), their requirements are assessed and either information is provided there and then, or the client is supported by a business adviser, who conducts a more in-depth assessment.

It is at this stage that the new supplier matching service comes into its own.

"The adviser and a dedicated client relationship manager will help the business to achieve growth by searching for the best possible solutions via the online Supplier Register," said Andrew.

"Using an agreed set of criteria, they will search through the consultants and suppliers for a list of ones that best suit their needs. This could be by specific expertise in the first instance, sector experience in the second and then perhaps by cost, location and even by empathy with particular types of entrepreneur.

"At the very least, we will provide the company with the choice of at least three different organisations. "Although it will then be up to the business to work with their chosen supplier to improve their performance, they will be supported by their relationship manager throughout this process.

"The choice of suppliers is also always with the customer, which means they no longer have to be eligible for a particular programme or product, or be based in a designated geographic area to get our support - they can even use different consultants to work with them for each separate requirement."