I spent a glorious autumn afternoon at Wrest Park with the children this weekend. It is a great place to visit with acres of woodland, green space and pools in the landscaped gardens of the Versailles style mansion house. We are lucky enough to live within 5 minutes drive and are regular visitors, regardless of the weather.
Nic and I are committed to working locally in places that we know and mean something to us and with people that we enjoy working with. Not only does it make sense to us from a financial and practical point of view, but we think that working locally adds tremendous value to our work. It brings all kinds of benefits:
- Local knowledge – we can hit the ground running because we know the area and what matters to people– this is cost effective for the client and offers insights and experience that are not always available from the outside consultant
- Networking – we are experts in economic and community development but that is so much more effective when you know the key players and understand the organisations and their relationships – what works well and what doesn’t locally. We often know who to go to or know someone else who does!
- Trust – it is much easier to build a client/contractor relationship where you both know other people in the various economic or community networks. It helps smooth the wheels and builds trust which can bring added value and openness to a discussion.
- Value – it is cheaper to work locally – our additional expenses are low and we can often fit in meetings easily and at short notice.
- Green – it is much more sustainable – although we all use email and webinars as far as possible the relationships and benefits you have from face to face meetings cannot be under-estimated. A local contact can offer this while keeping things environmentally friendly.
- Commitment – this is the biggest for me! It really matters to me if skills levels improve in Bedfordshire – we are talking about my children, my community and my friends and I want this area to succeed – Nic and I both go the extra mile and add value because your East of England projects matter to us. We have both worked across the area for over 15 years and enjoy it!
Of course it is also critically important to use the national expertise. We spend time reading up on good practice, attending events and training and liaising with national bodies as part of every project. We have both enjoyed working in London, Wales, Oxfordshire, and Surrey earlier in our careers.
We believe that we offer our local clients excellent value for money, expertise and commitment – a big part of this is because we work locally with people and places that matter to us.
Best wishes for a good week,