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Monday, May 23, 2022

Mentoring sessions offered to help Shrewsbury town centre businesses

Traders in Shrewsbury are being given the opportunity to benefit from expert advice through a series of free retail mentoring sessions. 

Retail consultant Frances Riseley with Fleur Curtis, of Willow Millinery
Retail consultant Frances Riseley with Fleur Curtis, of Willow Millinery

It’s a continuation of the training programme introduced and run by Shrewsbury BID last year – a scheme which has already proved successful with many town centre businesses having signed up to take advantage of the advice on offer. 

The mentoring, co-funded by the Invest in Shropshire Economic Recovery Programme, is free and sessions can be organised via Zoom or face-to-face at a time to suit those taking part. Shrewsbury BID represents and works on behalf of more than 500 businesses in the town centre. 

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Stephanie Mansell-Jones, business liaison at Shrewsbury BID, said: “The training programme we introduced last year has proved extremely popular and has already benefited a number of businesses in the town. 

“We are inviting traders to sign up now and tap into the expert advice available to them on retail mentoring. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the support we are offering as a way of helping businesses develop and grow. 

“The mentoring sessions are for independent retailers and designed to make a difference, helping achieve results quickly. They are totally confidential and the sessions can be booked to fit in around those taking part. 

“They provide the chance to learn more about and understand areas including the direction and goals a business wishes to take and how they can be achieved through training, motivation, advice, success, coaching and support. 

“An initial session can take place in the business premises or on Zoom if that is preferable and will focus on marketing, visual merchandising, sales and service, shop front and signage, staffing and business strategy. 

“Coaching sessions are followed up with an action plan and summary of findings and a further session will review progress and ensure continued improvements. There are a limited number of mentoring sessions available and will be offered on a first come, first serve basis to BID members initially, then opening up to non-members if any spaces remain”. 

Shropshire Council is providing funding for the sessions through the Invest in Shropshire Economic Recovery Grant, and councillors have welcomed the training programme. 

Ed Potter, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Planning, said: “This scheme is yet another example of the good work happening in the county thanks to our economic recovery fund. 

“Businesses and communities across Shropshire are really benefitting from projects such as this as we look at ensuring our economy not only recovers from the pandemic, but thrives.” 

Belinda Griffiths from Wyle Blue World, who has taken up the offer of fully funded retail mentoring, added: “We had our first session with Fran and it was excellent. Lots of great ideas that were really useful, with lots of suggestions to work on, and we are looking forward to the follow up in January!” 

In addition to the mentoring sessions, Shrewsbury BID is offering fully funded First Aid Training and online sessions focussing on social media marketing and retail skills.

The next online event focussing on retail skills will be on January 25 and will look at customer loyalty programmes and how to go about getting more customer referrals. 

It will be hosted by retail consultant Frances Riseley and will cover different types of loyalty programmes, do’s and don’ts on customer loyalty, how and when to use loyalty schemes, refer a friend schemes and will also look at other ways to encourage customer referrals. 

This training and mentoring programme, delivered by Shrewsbury BID has been made possible with funding from Shropshire Council’s Economic Recovery fund.

To see the full program visit www.shrewsburybid.co.uk/upcoming-events

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