Glass half empty or half full? Depends on whether you have joined our programme yet!

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With the end of March 22 signalling the mid-point in the Start and Grow programme, you only have 3 remaining months to join and receive all the benefits that other local entrepreneurs and businesses are enjoying as our clients.

Those who have already joined will definitely see their glasses more than half full – in fact they are practically spilling over with the free support they are receiving from us.  Over 500 businesses have already used our simple expression of interest form to sign-up for the programme, and they now have access to grants, coaching, training and more.  The programme is completely free to join – funded by the government’s Community Renewal Fund – so what’s stopping you? Sign up today.

The programme is called Start and Grow because we provide two different versions of support: If you are an entrepreneur who is thinking of starting a business, or simply wants to find out more about what’s involved in doing so, then you will join the Start programme.  If you are a business that has been trading for less than 3 years with up to 3 full time staff, and want a little help in working out how to grow, then you will join the Grow programme.

The support via Start or Grow is tailored to where you are on your business journey. But both programmes provide skills training in the forms of workshops and access to our interactive learning platform; 121 coaching from our business advisors, and grants, which range up to £30k.

The Start and Grow programme is the largest programme running in the UK that is funded by the Community Renewal Fund. We have £2.4m in grants to give to start-ups and businesses across Peterborough, Huntingdon and Fenland, which most of our current clients have been taking advantage of.

Grants basically mean that you do not have to pay back the money. So – if you need a cash injection to start your business, or need to invest in digital, training, equipment or even new premises for your existing business, then you can get a grant of up to £30k.  The grants are provided on a first come – first served basis – so when the £2.4m pot is gone – it’s gone!

You have 3 months left to get a share of that start-up or growth grant funding – all you have to do is sign-up and our business advisors will help you with ensuring you fill out your grant application form to optimise success! It’s not hard to complete and once submitted, you should get your grant within 10 working days!


Some examples of our client’s whose glasses are now overflowing with optimism!

One of our clients has just moved to Fenland with his family, having had a successful career in London, and bought a listed building – a pub in the Fenland area, very rundown, in need of refurbishment. He came on the Start programme, where we helped him prepare a business plan and grant application – for which he’ll access about £20k – to get the business up and ready. That will be spent on bringing the building back to its former glory – it’s very dilapidated but it’s right in the heart of community, and he’s going to create a coffee shop and hub for the local community. So – not only will this client’s glass be overflowing, so will be those of all his new customers!

Another of our clients joined the Grow programme, having been in business for about two and a half years, and wanting some help in terms of growing her company. She makes small items and sells them on Etsy. We worked on a business plan and grant application, and we’ve also been able to provide her with a 3D printer and laminated cutter, which enables her to do so much more than previously. Before, she could do one thing and it took around 40 hours; now she can do probably 50 in half an hour. The cost has gone down, productivity has gone up – and she can offer a lot more. Definitely another example of her glass overflowing with productivity now!


Some more tips on how to always see your glass half full!

Research has found that seeing the glass half full not only makes you happier, it makes you healthier and wealthier.  Expecting good things to happen will lead to taking actions that produce positive results. Expecting only more bad stuff to come your way will keep you from doing the very things that might have minimised or avoided just that!

Below are some strategies for filling up your glass of optimism:


1. Analyse Your Thoughts, Giving Yourself Credit 

When something positive happens in your life, stop to analyse your thought process for a moment. Are you giving yourself due credit for making it happen? Think of all the strengths you possess and the ways you contributed, both directly and indirectly, to make this event occur.


2. Set your intention

Before you step out of bed, take one minute to set your intention for the day by coming up with one word that resonates with you about the attitude or spirit you want to bring to the day. Being intentional acts like a compass and helps you better focus your time and energy.


3. Do something outside your comfort zone 

Often the very thing we need to improve our circumstances requires courage. That is, closing the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be in life will require stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something that scares you in some way. There is no better way to build self-confidence than by doing something that stretches you as it teaches you that you are capable of more than you thought you were.


4. Minimize the negative, when it’s realistic to do so 

When negative events occur, think of the extenuating circumstances that could have contributed to this happening. If you have a particularly bad day, for example, were you especially busy in the preceding week? Were you somewhat sleep-deprived? What outside circumstances contributed to your failure? Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily a reflection of personal weakness.

You can’t solve your problems by complaining about them. But you can solve them (or at least  learn to accept them) by reframing them so that you can approach them from a new angle. To quote Einstein: “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking at which they were created.”

Where pessimists see problems, optimists find opportunities. If you change the way you look at your problems, your problems change and transform into a rich array of opportunities to grow, learn and discover inner resources you never knew you had!


5. Stay away from negative people

There are people who whine all day long and complain about everything. They have an opinion on everything — and always a bad one. These are absolute energy thieves — and you should avoid them if you want to become a little more positive and optimistic. Because they suck out everything positive from you. Your hope, your good thoughts, your goodwill, your positive energy.


6. Carry yourself like an optimist

Scientists have already proven that how you present and carry yourself on the outside has a huge impact on how you feel on the inside.

If you change how you hold yourself physically, it will change how you feel emotionally. So, stand tall, chin up, smile and engage with people as though you were the outgoing, confident, optimistic and successful person you aspire to be, and you will attract all sorts of positive people and opportunities into your life.

As people relate to you differently, you will gradually begin to feel differently – and more positive – yourself. Don’t feel like it? Do it anyway! The old saying “Fake it ‘til you make it” is literally true.


7. Remember: Tomorrow is another day 

Also, remember that you’ll have endless opportunities to do better in the future. Think of your next potential success or other areas where you can excel.

So – why not take that next step on your business journey and sign-up to the Start and Grow programme today, and tomorrow you can start to enjoy all the free benefits on offer to you! We can help you clear an optimistic path to your future, where your glass is always at least half full!

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Plunkett UK Grants

Plunkett UK Grants

With funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Plunkett is currently able to offer early-stage community businesses free advice and support on how to get their business off the ground, including guidance on community engagement, legal structures, business planning and raising the funds to do it.