Healthcare marketing specialist given shot in the arm by Boost
A Lancashire-based marketing agency which helps businesses in the healthcare sector is expanding fast after receiving support through Boost, Lancashire’s business growth hub.
Founder Michaela Barker set up her business in 2016 and entered the programme shortly after. At that point, she was working from home with one client on her books.
Now she has two full-time and two part-time staff, whose digital and creative skills include web design and social media marketing. Her client portfolio now includes six regular clients and she is currently in the process of acquiring additional space to house her growing team.
Michaela found out about Boost by searching online for business support and approached Boost as she needed a business development strategy. Following an initial interview, she was matched with Yusuf Musa, a specialist business adviser at Enterpise4all, which delivers the Growth Support programme for Boost alongside Winning Pitch.
Michaela said: “Yusuf is amazing. He is always there in an advisory role and has been so helpful in making the necessary introductions. I still receive ongoing support from him, and I guess you could say he is my Guardian Angel.”
Guardian Angels Marketing is a digital agency that delivers bespoke services to healthcare organisations looking to improve their brand image. Clients include national and international specialists in biotherapy, pharmaceutical and medical devices.
Michaela previously worked all over the UK and globally for large healthcare organisations. She set up her own business after deciding to cut down on her travelling.
Originally from Yorkshire, Michaela has lived in East Lancashire all her working life. She hit on the name of her business after her first client told her, ‘you are my guardian angel’ and the idea resonated.
Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Michaela benefitted from attending a number of workshops run by expert advisers that explored topics such as diagnosing business needs, partnership working, delivery support, and understanding business finance.
Michaela continued: “Through Yusuf, I have met many other business owners going through the same process and we all support each other. I found trust through the network. People are highly supportive and we share advice and ideas.”
Yusuf commented: “Michaela had all the marketing and strategic knowledge but lacked experience in other areas, including preparing a specific niche-focused business plan and understanding how to concentrate on being a specialist provider.
“Michaela also knew she needed networking opportunities to find potential partners, clients and suppliers. The collaborative nature of Boost’s support enabled her to do this and she is now helping other Lancashire entrepreneurs by giving up her time to deliver marketing courses to other new enterprises in Lancashire as part of the Growth Support Programme.”
Boost has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.