Case studies, fact sheets and interviews offering hints, tips, and inspiration to help your business grow. 

From 7 May 2024, the North East Growth Hub is a project of the North East Combined Authority. We may still refer to "the North East Local Enterprise Partnership" (or "the North East LEP") in some of our older articles. 

Why you don’t need to be an expert in everything to start a successful business

Janice Ross started work at 17, choosing a career over university. She built her knowledge gradually and eventually started her own marketing business, delivering training and mentoring to startups. Seeing the difference it made to have support in the early stages of business, she vowed to help as many people as she could to take the leap of faith into self-employment. In 2019, she was awarded an MBE for services to small and medium-sized enterprises and the community in North East England.

Now Janice is part of the team at TEDCO Business Support Ltd and uses her 30+ years of experience to encourage others to explore working for themselves.

Here, she explains why you don’t have to be an expert in every aspect of business to be successful. 

I challenge the thought that you need to be an expert in everything to start and grow a successful business. You just need good support.

At TEDCO, you can access exactly that type of support. Individuals from every background and age group seek our help, from college students to retirees and those seeking a change of career or lifestyle at any age. Some know their skill or craft, but don’t know how to do the finances and marketing, whilst others have business skills but haven’t settled on an entrepreneurial idea.

Real-life stories are at the core of what we do at TEDCO; they inspire others as well as raising the profile of the start-up businesses. Amongst the most popular stories are people like John Seed, who founded Apex Male Grooming after training at the prestigious SB Barbering Academy in Sunderland, and Andrea Holman, who decided to move into self-employment as a virtual assistant.

We support people who start businesses across all sectors, like ReGreen, a gardening-focused community interest company, and Frontline Integrity, an engineering consultancy business. 

The reason you don’t have to be an expert in everything…

The reason is because it is you that has the spark of an idea! The thing that makes your idea stand out from any other business is the person behind it, you. All you need from us is help with learning the facts and figures of business, for us to encourage you and build your confidence.

For those who are growing their business, they may already know about the day-to-day running but need a sounding board and guidance as they progress their plans for expansion.

Whatever your level of knowledge, another pair of ears is always useful. And whatever your strengths and weaknesses, ask for support. The world of business support is a generous one and you will receive a warm welcome wherever you go. 

Let’s learn about the other stuff (i.e. training on ‘everything’)

You might know where you need support. It could be that you want help with accessing finance, or finding customers, or developing products, or you might need to get to grips with the basic numbers. 

All TEDCO business advisors are business owners themselves (now or in the past). That means when they deliver in-person events or online workshops they can share real-life examples with you. You’ll find workshops on the basics of bookkeeping, tax, raising finance, marketing, social media, leadership and business growth. Each session is flexible, so we can make sure it’s appropriate for everyone in the room. 

Our team is out and about right across the region every day, attending events, presenting workshops and networking, and it’s the experience and personality of our advisers that ensure entrepreneurs take the most from our sessions.

Take the next step and access support now

The best bit of advice I ever heard was ‘leap and the net will appear’. So who will act as your safety net?

In my experience, entrepreneurs often share the characteristics of being determined, willing to work hard and open to receiving support. Of those who are successful, the common denominator is often the person who has a desire to succeed and is willing to build their safety net of support sooner rather later. 

You can find out more about the business support available through TEDCO here. And you can access more business support and advice for startups in our Startups Toolkit.