The Business Advocates offer specialist one-to-one business support advice to those businesses who just need a little help to grow.
It’s exclusive to Kirklees Business Hub members.
The Kirklees Business Hub and Business Advocate role came about in recognition that businesses, at whatever stage in life, needed a consistent and impartial place to go for advice for whatever question they might have. They also needed a system flexible enough to cope with demand in whatever area help is needed.
Who are The Business Advocates?
The Business Advocates are private sector providers who have pledged to offer their time and expertise to help stimulate economic growth across Kirklees.
Advocates have expertise in the eight areas of business support. Each Advocate can be identified by an icon on their profile page or by the clicking on the directory button below.
The Business Advocates are none partisan volunteers and are not employed to carry out this role. The Business Advocates are not governed on a daily basis by Kirklees Council or any affiliated organisation, however, Kirklees
Council do sit on The Advocates Steering Group, the overseeing committee.
Is being an Advocate an endorsement?
No. Having a badge on their profile page is in acknowledgement for the support Advocates give that otherwise would not be available. Kirklees Council and its affiliates do not endorse The Advocates. (work needed on how we word this).
How do I become an Advocate?
The Advocate Steering Group is always interested in specialists willing to help businesses in their chosen field. Register your interest by clicking on the button below and completing the eligibility criteria.
Whether or not a potential Advocate is selected, however, is at the discretion of the The Advocates Steering Group and will also be determined by a proven demand for their expertise.
What type of question can I ask an Advocate?
Whatever you need an answer to providing it’s within the eight principle topics.
The Advocates have a wealth of knowledge in their chosen field and can cross-refer to another Advocate if they feel a question would better suit them. In order to get the most out of the Advocates response, it is recommended, however, that your questions be concise and clear.
How does it work?
Questions are directed to an Advocate by means of an anonymous messaging system. The messaging system will allow you to select the nature of the enquiry based on one of the eight principle topics - such as HR or Marketing. The system can then ensure your question is directed to one of the Advocates with that specialist knowledge.
The Advocate will respond directly to your question within two working days.
You will be asked to rate the advice you have received and offer brief feedback.
Is there a cost?
You get the advice in exchange for Hub Credits which you receive when you sign-up and then earn by continuing to use the Hub.
You can ask as many questions as you have credits to exchange. The amount of credits you pay is fixed and not negotiable.
How long will an Advocate spend on a single question?
Half an hour. That includes the time to read the question, think about the answer and compile a response.
We don’t set a word limit so please be realistic about how much information you provide. If the question is too complicated The Advocate may simply respond asking for you to reword your question.
Can I link questions?
There is no framework in place to link questions and we would suggest making it clear to the advocate that it relates to a previous, closed enquiry.
Can I speak to the Advocate outside of the Business Hub?
Yes. The messaging system is anonymous for your own anonymity, however, if both parties wish to exchange contact information then that is beyond our control. For obvious reasons, contact outside of the hub is not regulated by the The Advocates Steering Group.
I am under 18 years of age. Can I ask a question?
Unfortunately, no. The Kirklees Business Hub is for members aged 18 years or over. If you are under 18 years of age please direct business support enquiries to the Kirklees Youth Enterprise Centre.
What if I don’t agree with the Advocate’s advice?
All answers and advice offered through the Business Hub are offered without obligation, liability, and without prejudice. It is recommended that you consider the advice received carefully and do not act upon it until you have satisfied yourself as to whether it is appropriate for your circumstances.
As with any free consolation, there is no obligation on either party and no formal contract of services.
You have the ability to rate the advice given and provide feedback if you so wish. At present, the ratings and feedback will be kept private and reviewed by the Advocate Steering Group to determine if the system is offering the support intended.
Is there a grievance procedure or any dispute resolution?
With regards the advice, no. The terms and conditions relating to the questions [show pop-up window] means that the Advocates will absolutely not be held accountable or liable for any information / advice given. You will have to acknowledge you understand these terms before every question is sent.
You are under no ablation to act on any advice given. If you seek certainty and clarity regarding specific business advice, we advise you seek out paid counsel which will come with its own terms and conditions mutually agreed.
With regards to conduct, yes, there is a grievance procedure. The Advocates, as are all hub members, expected to behave courteously and professionally. If you feel an Advocate’s behaviour fails to meet that standard then The Advocate Steering Group can investigate and determine what, if any, action should be taken. The correspondence via the messaging system shall be reviewed as part of this process. The Advocate Steering Group ultimately has the power to suspend or withdraw hub membership of the Advocate in question if they deem fit.
Want to become a Business Advocate? Register your interest now via our contact section