Meet the Portsmouth business group that is helping businesses to thrive after Covid

BUSINESSES are being urged not to struggle alone and to join a business group to get help and support.

Promoted by Federation of Small Businesses
Monday, 2nd August 2021, 9:38 am

Ian Skinner set up the Portsmouth-based Business Improvement Group two years ago and since then he’s helped scores of businesses to grow and flourish into thriving ventures.

Royal Navy veteran Ian has a raft of business experience as he had a successful catering career on leaving the forces. He now runs a successful cleaning firm and he has also set up, run and sold five other businesses.

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Successful family-run national deep cleaning firm Diverse Cleaning Company with ...
Ian Skinner - Business improvement Group. Picture: Mike Cooter (200721)

Through his Business Improvement Group, he is now offering business mentorship, guidance, support, coaching and networking.

He said that the pandemic has seen more business owners turn to him for advice – and he encouraged others to do the same.

He said: ‘I had more time left over from my existing business which allowed me to spend more time on the Business Improvement Group,

‘A lot of businesses have been going through a very difficult time and they needed help so it was a perfect time to promote our group and make people realise that there is help out there.

Ian Skinner, Business improvement Group. Picture: Mike Cooter (200721)

‘The businesses that we have worked with have not just survived the pandemic, they have thrived.’

Ian has helped a wide range of firms – from helping a fellow cleaning firm to double its turnover in just three months to helping a firm in the building industry go from a £250,000 to a £1m turnover company.

He urged people not to be put off by the price, and encouraged them to get in touch for a free, no obligation chat. ‘There is no need to suffer alone, there is help out there,’ he said.

Ian Skinner, owner of Portsmouth-based Business Improvement Group, which has launched a new scheme

Story by Kimberley Barber

Promote your business with The News

We have seen how tough the past year has been on businesses so we’ve decided to do our bit to help by offering a new way for businesses to market - and a lower cost.

Ian Skinner, Business improvement Group. Picture: Mike Cooter (200721)

The scheme, sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses, will help businesses promote themselves at a fraction of the usual advertising or marketing costs.

As the pandemic ends, there’s never been a better time to promote your business and make it stand out.

Come to us and take up this one-time only opportunity for the lowest-ever cost to appear in the area’s biggest news outlet with authentic, interesting copy.

- How much does it cost?

75 per cent off normal rates. A one off, one time fee, no contract

- What do you get?

A guaranteed published article in The News - and online at

- How does it work?

Our business editor Kimberley Barber has been helping businesses to stand out for 10 years. She will help you identify the thing your business needs to shout about, in order to get it noticed.

Whether that’s a new product, an expansion to your team, an award win, or even just simply a change of opening hours - there are many reasons that a business would need to shine a light on itself.

Kimberley will help you to find your ‘top line’ and her team will create an authentic article to appear in the pages of The News.

Your company doesn’t need to employ somebody to find the best news, or even write it, let the experienced team at The News do it for you.

Not only will your article run alongside the daily business page, putting it in the perfect spot to reach engaged readers, it will benefit from the News’ insider track on what makes attractive content that will engage your customers.

- What could happen after appearing in The News?

Our newspaper is read by thousands of people everyday. It’s been the traditional route to reach people in Portsmouth for hundreds of years.

It is read by all major news outlets, and is often the starting point of national stories.

Being in The News gets your story in front of the right people.

If your story has editorial value, it will appear on our website - reaching worldwide audiences of hundreds of thousands of people.

As well as this, with the right tweaks, it could appear on The News’ Facebook page - reaching a following of 120,000 people who all have an interest in this area instantly.

The News also has Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter followers - if appropriate for these audiences, your story will be shared on these accounts too.

Being published in The News is just the start, with our help, we can get you on the path to national recognition.

- What else do I get?

As well as the pride and prestige of appearing in the biggest and longest-serving news outlet in Portsmouth, you will become part of our network.

You’ll join a group of like-minded businesses and individuals who all have Portsmouth at their hearts.

You’ll also get access to special advertising packages and discounts, should you wish to further promote your message.

Join us, it’s the start of our business community coming together and working together for the benefit of our community.

- How do I sign up?

Email your local rep Liz Wiffin on [email protected] to get signed up

For further business support contact Emma Weatherstone, membership advisor Portsmouth & Solent Federation of Small Businesses on [email protected] or 07764432489