Help to Grow, a new digital initiative from the UK government, gives small businesses free and heavily discounted CRM and accounting software, as well as expert guidance. We look at what’s available, and how it could help your business.
The goal of the government’s Help to Grow programme is to encourage and facilitate the use of digital technologies by smaller enterprises as a means of expansion.
We’re huge fans at Flywheel, as we used the scheme ourselves to give our CRM a boost, and we’re extremely pleased and excited with the results.
Why is the Help to Grow scheme important?
Businesses of all sizes and in all industries have been put through a steep learning curve as a result of the rapid digital transformation they have been compelled to undergo over the past two years.
Although tools like customer relationship management systems (CRMs) might increase productivity, they can be prohibitively expensive for small enterprises. According to the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), organisations who implement CRM systems enjoy an average 18% increase in productivity. Given these findings, it’s easy to see how a significant price cut on CRM software may aid expansion. Additionally, ERC data demonstrates that companies utilising digital accounting software can see a rise of 11.8% in employee sales over a three year period.
The government initiative is just one of many modest ways that eligible enterprises might increase growth in the coming years. Software price reductions of this kind might potentially serve as an additional growth strategy for small firms. Small businesses need all the help they can get, and free assistance like that provided through the Help to Grow portal is sure to be appreciated.
Many small firms may have to wait longer to reap any value and benefit from the programme at this time because of the limited number of certified suppliers and software types available in this round of the programme.
Help To Grow: What’s on offer?
Customer Relationship Management and Digital Accounting Systems
In the areas of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Digital Accounting software, each qualified business is limited to a maximum discount of £5,000 (not including VAT) to be applied toward the purchase of a single authorised software package.
The government has promised that other types of software, such as e-commerce software, will soon be eligible for the discount. The price cut will apply to the base price, before taxes and fees, of the approved software package for a full year.
Which programmes are available?
Capsule CRM, Zymplify, Livepoint Software Solutions Ltd, Gold-Vision CRM, and Deskpro Ltd. are the initial vendors whose customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions qualify for the discount as part of the pilot programme. This offer is valid for purchases of select digital accounting software from Sage, Intuit Ltd., and Crunch.
Advice and help available free online
The Help to Grow programme provides open, free, and unbiased online resources and guidance for improving a company’s operations through the use of digital technology.
In addition, businesses in all industries that qualify can receive a 50% discount (up to £5,000) on the cost of certified software (from a list of recognised providers).
The Help to Grow eligibility requirements
- Companies must be headquartered in the UK and either be incorporated with Companies House or a mutual society registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
- Having from 5 to 249 employees.
- Must have been in business for at least 12 months and incorporated for at least 365 days before applying.
- The accepted software must be brand new to the company.
The Help to Grow Management Scheme
As part of its larger attempt to support firms and “level up” the economy, the government already provides a “Help to Grow: Management” scheme, introduced in 2021.
The “Help to Grow: Management” programme offers a 12 week course that can be completed in conjunction with a business owner’s regular work schedule. The programme is designed to help businesses expand by providing them with a customised growth strategy, one-on-one guidance from an experienced entrepreneur, and opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals. Participating businesses only need to pay £750, as the government will cover the other 90% of the cost.