In the coming weeks The Yorkshire Post will highlight the role of relationship managers, and look at how they are working with smaller companies across the county to ensure the economic recovery continues.
THE long and brutal recession was one of the worst in modern times – but as the recovery gathers pace it has at its heart the unsung heroes of the economy.
Small businesses across the country, who first had to steel their resolve as the crisis took hold, are now embracing fresh opportunities to help Britain back on its feet.
Latest statistics show that business, while not yet booming, is beginning to flourish, and the driving force behind this are small businesses, led by the entrepreneurs who first spotted gaps in the market and who then developed their own ventures which have turned into thriving concerns.
Statistics from the Federation of Small Businesses show that out of 4.9 million businesses in the UK, 99.9 percent in the private sector are small and medium sized ventures, which account for almost 60 percent of private sector employment.
They employ more than 14 million people, and have a combined turnover of some £1,600 billion – a huge player in the country’s economy.
Professional guidance is vital for all businesses, whether you are just starting out or are an established operator. Support from banks and professional bodies is crucial to turning an initial idea into a commercial success.
RBS has recognised the importance of having experts not just in each field, but also based in each region. This means they can offer not just sound business support, but can also bring local contacts and local knowledge into play.
Rob Pailin, RBS regional managing director for the north, said the aim has always been to focus on providing local support across different communities in Yorkshire.
There are more than 60 RBS relationship managers covering Yorkshire and the north east, and with such a diverse range of industries across the patch, it is crucial to have people in place who understand the dynamics of the local market and what makes the businesses tick.
The relationship managers work closely with businesses to help them realise their ambitions – whatever they may be. They work alongside other colleagues, such as product specialists or those working in credit, so that as a team, RBS is doing all it can to support business.
Mr Pailin said: “There is a very strong ethical and community agenda. Our relationship managers operate with a strong focus on their particular community.
“For example, in Doncaster we have relationship managers looking at what they can really do to support businesses in the Doncaster area. This approach extends across the region.
“We want to help local businesses develop and grow. People running these businesses focus on the day to day tasks and don’t always have the time to think ahead. Strategy and long term planning is an essential ingredient to stay ahead as well as having the right connections.
“We have a duty to our customers to be able to connect them to the people they need to make their business successful – their success is our success.
“It is about sharing our business knowledge and contacts to help businesses network with each other. It’s about adding value, for example by introducing them to another local business who could be a supplier for them. It’s great to help customers forge new relationships for their benefit.
“We want to be doing things because it’s the right thing to do – adding value and being viewed as more than just a finance provider. A key part of our role is sitting down with customers and asking them what plans they have for their business and finding out how we can help them. Not just in year one but throughout the relationship.”
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