Be the business and be more productive…

Cumbrian food business Ginger Bakers is the latest participant in the Be The Business Northwest Family Business Advisory Boards programme.

This programme is designed to help family businesses to look objectively at a number of key areas such as creating new products and their entry to market, planning for growth, risk planning and mitigation and raising funds for business growth and development whilst working with experts from industry specific SME’s or larger partner business who have provided experts from specific disciplines such as legal, finance or HR..

Outside voices can be crucial in countering stagnation in family businesses. The  North West Family Business Advisory Board programme runs for 12-months and is designed to challenge participants, to interrogate their strategies, give them confidence in their decision-making, overcome potential barriers to growth and enhance their professional network. They are also there to act as a sounding board for new ideas, provide management counsel, assist with business development, governance and accountability, and above all else to assist the business owner improve overall business effectiveness.

Be the Business’s North West Family Business Programme is facilitated by The Family Business Network. The Family Business Network fosters positive change, growth and sustainability for family businesses; creating experiences of value, shared learning, collaboration and insight for family businesses and the generations working within them.

Lisa Smith, owner of Ginger Bakers, Kendal, is one local business leader currently taking part in the programme. During the process so far, Lisa has given an in-depth overview of her business, describing current trading patterns, current barriers to growth and her ambitions for the future. So far Lisa has received support from an Advisory Board as part of the programme, who have worked with her to develop a broader business overview to help equip her with the tools to begin to evolve and broach her specific set of challenges to growth in her sector.

Lisa Smith of Ginger Bakers commented: ‘’This is a great opportunity to tap into the experience of some much bigger longer established businesses.  Initially we’ve begun to focus on the marketplace and product development. I’ve also started thinking about areas like productivity and management of staff. This process has already enabled me to start to focus particularly around long-term planning for the business. Alongside this the way I work has become more structured and I’m also looking at working with other mentors further down the line, as well as encouraging some of my senior staff to take part, too.”

Sue Howorth, Founder and co-director of the Family Business Network said, said I’m delighted that Lisa has joined the advisory board programme and has experienced some immediate benefits for Ginger Bakers. This specific programme presents an excellent opportunity for businesses of all sizes across the North West to work with a very credible talent pipeline of leaders and business owners, to implement learning and actions to sustain and grow their businesses, whilst gaining support from one another.’’

For more information about Be The Business North West Family Business Programme visit: or