IN THE competitive world of business, contacts and marketing can be crucial.
And that applies to those trying to make a living in the arts just as it does to anyone else trying to build a company.
Helping new and established arts businesses in the Colne Valley is part of the work of Loca, Kirklees Council’s arts-and-regeneration agency.
They have a Creative Business Support programme which runs until the end of the year.
Musician and guitar teacher David Whitaker is one of those who has already benefited from working with Loca.
David runs Slaithwaite Guitar School and wanted to expand his business to be able to teach more students and focus time on recording and producing music.
“I really needed help with marketing and financial planning and I’ve found the Loca workshops and one-to-one support have helped me focus my business better,” said David.
“I’ve also made some good contacts. One of them has resulted in me being offered a music production deal with Sunshine Music Publishing in Sheffield.”
Beverley Addy, who runs Addy Media, is a writer and filmmaker living in Linthwaite.
She wanted to use her writing and digital media skills to run her own business but wasn't sure whether it was a viable proposition.
“Taking part in the programme has helped me clarify what it was I had to offer as a business and the workshops have been a great help with some of the skills I needed,” she said.
“I’ve found it invaluable to be able to develop a network of contacts in the area and share ideas and experiences.
“It is a lot easier when there are people around to offer advice and support when things don't go quite as planned, or new opportunities arise that stretch me.’’
If you are self-employed, based in the Colne Valley and are either starting out in arts or creative business or already running one, then Loca might be able to help you develop your company.
Robin Widdowson, Projects Manager at Loca says: “A wide range of creative people have taken part in the programme so far and they have received tailored advice and support which will help them survive and thrive as small businesses.
“They have also had plenty of opportunities to network with other creative businesses in the area, to share ideas and benefit from the experience of others.
“If anyone hasn’t yet got involved in the programme I’d like to hear from them. We are running events until mid-December so if any creative business needs an injection of support they should get in touch.’
To find out more contact Loca on 01924 488844 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org