A gateway to the information our local businesses need to succeed

A FREE business support service is helping companies across the Borders, large and small, secure the information they need to make a success of their ventures.

The Business Gateway Information Service (BGIS) can help businesses at every stage of development with everything from market research, statistics and news reports to demographics and statistics. It can also help to locate premises that fit with the particular ambitions of enteprises.

The service uses a range of databases and resources to answer queries and any Scottish company can utilise the information available.

Every year Business Gateway helps thousands of businesses to realise their goals – companies of all sizes from all sectors across Scotland. It can provide specific responses based on the requirements of a particular business and aims to answer queries within three working days.

The range of services provided by the BGIS team includes:

z Market research – It is now possible to access summarised reports from market research providers. Reports typically include market size, trends, key companies and forecasts: all information which can help a business find opportunities and make informed business choices.

The team can also provide credible statistics to back up a business plan or reports. The service has access to an array of authoritative sources where it can obtain demographic information which can help identify potential customers. It can also help businesses stay up to date with changes and developments within the industry with a range of newspapers, journals and trade press information.

z Business premises – Using its property database the service can search for premises throughout Scotland. Whether a business needs somewhere to start up or a business has outgrown current premises, the service can help to identify something suitable to help a business make the move forward.

z Identification of competitors – Finding new customers helps businesses to stay healthy and to grow. Being aware of competitors or potential new suppliers helps companies to respond to changes in their market. Using a company listings database, the team can create targeted lists of UK limited companies or international organisations. Details of up to 1,000 companies can be provided per financial year per client.

z Credit checks – The risk of problematic business relationships can be minimised by having access to the right information at the right time. Using a variety of specialised databases, the service can provide a business with company reports, Companies House accounts and credit checks. These resources can provide peace of mind, confirming potential suppliers or partners as financially viable.

z Web statistics – Hitwise tracks the performance of companies and industries online; it can help to understand the performance of a website, competitors’ sites and a particular industry. Individual web support packs can be produced on web rankings and comparisons; UK demographics; popular search terms; visitor times andClickstream information.