Secure extra sales to navigate the downturn

Following the success of Invest Northern Ireland’s “Challenges and Opportunities” series of seminars to help businesses manage their way through the Credit Crunch, the next phase of these events will launch in Ballymena, on 26 June.

At “Securing Extra Sales”, businesses will be offered practical support and guidance to help them manage their operations successfully through the economic downturn.

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, said: “Invest NI’s initial series of events to help businesses successfully navigate the economic downturn was attended by well over 1,000 representatives of local companies. Following these seminars, over 500 businesses have been offered free diagnostic support, and £1.3 million of financial assistance has been offered to date through our Accelerated Support Fund to radically reduce costs, increase sales and secure almost 100 jobs. In addition, Invest NI specialist staff are assisting clients with a further 149 projects through other programmes and services.

“Already this support has resulted in projects aiming to secure over £13 million of additional sales and identified almost £1.5 million of cost savings for local companies.

“At the initial series, securing export sales was the primary business area identified by companies, so it was natural that this was the topic selected for the first of these, more targeted, seminars.

“The seminar in Ballymena will help companies overcome the impact of the downturn by developing a robust sales strategy, improving their sales skills and working in partnership with other businesses and stakeholders to capitalise on emerging opportunities. Workshops at the seminar will be coordinated by sales experts who will provide advice on activities including the sales process, market identification and access, international best practice in sales, as well as sales pitching and evaluation.”

Information will also be provided on the wide range of Invest NI support that is available to help companies, including the recently announced £15 million Short Term Aid Scheme to help businesses in difficulty to retain and develop key skilled staff while they plan and restructure for the future.