The Yorkshire Powerhouse project is the brainchild of Stewart Leahy and is based on a simple concept - to provide high quality, truly independent business advice and helpful planning documents to small and medium sized businesses in the Yorkshire region ... all for FREE!
Stewart's background and training is centred on a blend of straight selling with ninja style marketing thrown in. For the last 20 years he has been advising businesses on marketing and growth strategies as the owner of a leading marketing agency in the region, and his complex thinking and strategic approach led him to create the Yorkshire Powerhouse. Seemingly run as a 'not-for-profit' business, there is a commercial business model in the background, but it's not what you'd expect. There is no cost to access the information or downloads and no subscription fee. Whatsmore, all the revenue from the website's advertisers gets channelled over to Google pay-per-click marketing campaigns to promote the site and attract more end users - creating a virtuous circle of growth.
So, where's the thinking for a profitable business? Stewart explains "It's actually based on a very subtle, and almost insignificant part of the site that offers finance to businesses in need of an investment - the concept being that if the Yorkshire Powerhouse website becomes the most dominant and busy business site in the region, enough lending and investment opportunities will end up presenting themselves for consideration."
"The alternative route to 'selling' equity investments would be to become an 'Angel Investor' and start attending the Angel meetings where businesses 'bid' for investment and Angels 'bid' against each other to win the investment. But the problem with this model is the size of the average Angel ego and the 'politics' surrounding these investor meetings; strategically, it's much better to create a demand for your investment and drive the need to you, rather than have to go and compete with the ego's of other investors."
So, essentially, it's fairly easy to understand but complicated and hard work to deliver; continually driving new business and working for the benefit of the (non-paying) end user. But the end rewards are not just based on profit. Stewart's passion for small businesses and his drive to support them has been pervasive throughout his career with various free business support and mentoring roles. He reveals "There's simply the pleasure of being able to give something back that's driving the Yorkshire Powerhouse and, running a business with these levels of passion and a cause to drive you on means the hard work pays off in the end."
If you'd like to find out about the more strategic thinking that's brought the Yorkshire Powerhouse to fruition then why not take a look on the website (www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com) where you'll find a 'Growing a Business' section in which there are a number of articles on strategic thinking for growing a business successfully, and an opportunity to subscribe to a weekly email with new articles and blogs on a wide range of business subjects.