Support networks hold the key to Borders business success

Power Textiles Limited - (l-r) Dr Robert Matherand Professor John Wilson with the solar material
Power Textiles Limited - (l-r) Dr Robert Matherand Professor John Wilson with the solar material

In the current economic climate it is clear that businesses across the Borders will need to look at new ways to grow their ventures – and there is no doubt that the area’s network of support organisations will play a key role in this process.

Business Gateway’s extensive support network stretches across the region and provides new and established businesses with access to a range of services, including an experienced business advisory team; an extensive training programme, local networking events and business information and market intelligence through the website

One operation that has seen benefits from working with Business Gateway is Selkirk- based company Power Textiles. Founders Dr Robert Mather and Professor John Wilson, pictured, who have developed a technology to embed solar panels into polyester, turned to Business Gateway for advice on where to focus their commercial activity.

“Business Gateway has been extremely helpful over the past 18 months,” says Dr Mather. “I meet our adviser on a regular basis as I find it a useful discipline to get an ‘outside’ view. The strategic session she organised was extremely useful and helped us focus our efforts on how best to develop our idea.”

This one-to-one advice is a key element of Business Gateway’s support network in the Borders and the organisation has a team of specialist advisers at various locations. With more than 10 years e-business experience, business adviser David McLean is ideally placed to provide support and guidance to both new and established businesses.

“Economic conditions have certainly been challenging over the past few years, but there are still opportunities available, and with the correct support and advice there is no reason why you can’t make a success of your venture,” explains David.

Adviser Hot Topic: Google Places

Each month, a member of the Business Gateway team will briefly discuss a topical issue for local businesses.

This month, David McLean highlights a powerful new online tool called Google Places.

“With one out of every five searches on Google being related to location, Google Places now offers businesses the opportunity to make sure they can be found quickly and easily when users are searching for local services, by registering your Place with Google,” explains David.

He also reveals that more than four million businesses have so far claimed their ‘Place Page’ on Google and recommends local businesses should act swiftly to make sure they don’t lose out.

“Adding a listing is simple and within no time your entry will be seen by local searchers or by people searching for the services offered by your business in your locality,” continues David.

“You don’t even need a website – as your places listing can provide the essential information about your business, including your location and opening times.”

Businesses can find out how to make a Google Places listing and a whole lot more during the free Business Gateway workshop “Improve Your Search Engine Ranking”.

Visit to book your place or give David and his colleagues a call on 0844 875 0171 for advice.

To find out how Business Gateway can help your business visit or call 0845 609 6611.