E-business Programme: Success Stories
The Music Place, Liliana Dimovska
Nestled on the top floor of one of Wanstead’s bustling High Street businesses is The Music Place, a space for people to learn instruments and engage with music through a variety of workshops and events, all whilst getting involved with the local community. Run by co-director Liliana Dimovska (M. Mus in Violin Performance, PGCE, MA) who has amassed two decades of experience as a string educator and musician, The Music Place has a strong ethos of all-inclusive education and community for children and adults alike.
As well as offering instrumental tuition on piano, guitar and ukelele, exam preparation and music theory to pupils aged 4 and above, The Music Place runs fortnightly music therapy workshops at local care homes. As a registered Community Interest Company (CIC) all profits made from their tuition fees directly benefit their local community of Wanstead.
In April 2022 Liliana approached Enterprise Enfield - looking to expand the reach of the business and to develop a marketing plan that connected The Music Place to the “grassroots” of its local community. Another major focus was to change and upgrade the business website and branding, with a vision to develop an online portal for teachers and students to streamline enrolment. Liliana registered to receive free digital advice and support to grow the business through the organisation’s E-Business Programme and was subsequently introduced to her appointed Business Adviser, Liz Gjoni.
The initial zoom session enabled Liz to undertake a ‘digital audit’ of the business to understand its current use of digital tools and technology – including online marketing; social media, the website and CRM system. Key actions were identified for Liliana to achieve her goals and were included in her bespoke ‘Digital Action Plan’ – she was then introduced to one of the Programme’s Digital Experts, Vernette John-Joiles, to receive specialist advice and guidance to implement the recommendations in the plan – these included: upgrading the website; implementing a CRM system and creating new digital marketing campaigns to attract adults to music lessons.
During the course of the support programme, in addition to Digital advice, Liliana continued to have regular advice sessions with Liz to discuss planning and financial forecasting. Taking on board both the Digital Adviser’s and Business Advisers’ guidance, The Music Place engaged a design company to help rebrand the business, develop its communication to the public, and create a new website- including a pupil's and teachers' account offering online Zoom music lessons through a ‘music education portal’. Throughout the development of the new site Liliana received continued advice and feedback from her Adviser, as well as guidance on making the most of social media – with better ways to plan and schedule posts using digital tools. In addition, financial forecasting advice has enabled Liliana to develop more robust systems to manage the business finances in real time. She said:
"Our organisation was very fortunate to have been a part of the E-Business Programme. The one-on-one sessions and live webinars with my mentors were invaluable. Their support and guidance helped us launch a brand-new digital marketing campaign, develop an online music lesson portal, and improve our bottom line.
The expertise in digital tools yielded more efficient business operations and opened our minds to many more new possibilities and options for running the business. Vernette’s and Liz’s support has given our small business a brighter and more promising outlook. We highly recommend this programme to anyone looking to enhance their digital presence and improve their business operations."
In an effort to increase student numbers, Liliana also contracted a social media company to run a pay per click marketing campaign across Facebook and Google. With the improvement in online marketing and a rebranded website, The Music Place has already reaped the benefits and seen a significant impact – with an 18% increase in turnover since embarking on the E-business programme. Liliana has ambitious goals for the future including to attract 100 new teachers and to enrol 1,000 students to learn instruments online. She will also be expanding the school’s outreach in Wanstead by exploring ways to partner with local schools to offer online tuition and community circles to provide more music therapy workshops to residents.
For more details visit: https://www.themusicplace.org.uk/
Free Advice and Support to Grow Your Business
For more details about how you can access free 121 digital advice and support to grow your business visit the E-business Programme webpage. (The programme is open to businesses which have been registered over 6 months and located in Enfield, Waltham Forest or Redbridge).
The E-business Programme is fully funded - and supported by Local London, Waltham Forest Council, Enfield Council and Redbridge Council.