LONDON, October 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Retail is the second biggest employer in the country after the Government. While the politicians need to cut these numbers, they are now urging SME and start-up businesses to increase theirs!
400,000 of these SME's are in retail and, in 2010, Rowland Gee, himself from a family of West End retailers and a previous CEO of Moss Bros, realised that many of these companies, if they wished to expand, or start-up, had no-one to turn to for an experienced view as to what to do next.
Head-hunters, red tape and onerous contracts would only add to their problems, commercially as well as financially.
Yet, on the other side, there was a growing pool of older in age perhaps, but younger in spirit, people, who had held senior positions and still had plenty of experience to offer from buying to warehousing, from staffing to exporting - but there was no means whatsoever of the two coming together.
In June 2010, Rowland Gee launched Grey4Gold.com as a professional business skills matching service, specialising in retail. The website http://www.Grey4Gold.com is designed to eliminate the barriers between those who are looking for some affordable and mentoring help for their business and those with the right experience and the time to be able to provide it.
The first task was to populate the site, get it used and trusted and to open a dialogue with trade bodies, government departments, local authorities, property companies and banks.
It is working and it has built a database of over 1000 top quality people, from many different backgrounds and specialism's, willing to join in the initiative.
Grey4Gold is a founding company on the British Bankers Association http://www.mentorsme.co.uk website and has carried out a 'health check' on an initiative being developed by the National Skills Academy for Retail, http://www.nsaforretail.com. Following that, it has written - a new 'fit for purpose' 3-Part Business Course, called the Guide to Successful Retailing for the NSA.
G4G has developed and implemented plans for Shropshire County Council (25% of shop space in Shropshire is vacant, about, 550 sites) and is working with Cheltenham, under the Town Centre Improvement Programme to help local businesses under pressure and to advise start-ups, in order to help fill empty shops.
Working with Grey4Gold, Jane Rexworthy CEO of NSA for Retail said the scheme had been designed to help independent retailers grow their businesses and to support start-ups in their first, and most vulnerable, year of trading.
The scheme will offer retailers and town centre managers access to a team of retail experts from Grey4Gold who will offer support and guidance on subjects such as business planning, financial management, merchandising and buying, marketing and PR, property acquisition and multi-channel retailing.
Jane Rexworthy, said: "The benefits of business mentoring are difficult to overstate. Each Grey4Gold mentor has considerable retail experience and a specialism in everything from management to logistics." She added, "Whether leading group sessions focusing on certain skill areas, or one-to-one sessions with new or struggling businesses, the Grey4Gold mentors will strengthen existing owners and help others turn retailing ideas into reality. There is so much untapped talent in the UK."
In May 2012 Grey4Gold was retained by Sahara Group of India to develop a new luxury retail Brand, scheduled to open its doors, in London in 2013. The objective of the Indian Brand (jewellery/fashion/home) is to work with the world's very finest designers and manufacturers in their respective fields. The project is being led by the daughter-in-law of the owner, Mr Subatra Roy and will create hundreds of jobs in the UK.
On the lighter side of life, G4G have just helped the Trustees of the sculptor, Barry 'Leaping Hares'Flanagan to re-organise his work and legacy. They have advised on a new corporate and accounting structure, as well as their website and an up and coming exhibition.
Other examples include 'Tiny Tots Boutique' - a complete start-up in Market Drayton, Shropshire and 'Elegant Steps' a more established shop in Liverpool, which needed to re-organise prior to expanding.
Mark Prisk, the then Minister for Business & Enterprise said earlier this year, "It is essential that the UK makes full use of the skills and talents that already exist in the community. I am delighted that Grey4Gold has risen to this challenge and is providing real hands on help to start-ups and SME's."
Notes to editors
- Grey4Gold.com was launched on 1 June 2010 as a professional business skills matching service.
- Its aim was, and continues to be, to attract people with proven experience, initially in the retail industry, and connect them SME's and businesses of all sizes.