Fancy being the next Branson? GrowthAcclerator offers galactic growth
How to achieve at least 20% growth year-on-year
Every entrepreneur dreams of being the next Branson, Zuckerberg or even Mittal, but few have the ideas, resources and the know-how to teleport themselves to the big leagues.
A few years ago, London-based, IT, design and telecoms consultancy ContentandCode was in just this kind of a position, it was already thriving but getting explosive growth was like licking the elbow.
So setting himself a Herculean task, CEO and co-founder Tim Wallis bought out his partner in 2011. He restructured the firm and hired a new management team which was given a rather galactic goal – triple ContentandCode’s size in three years.
And that’s where GrowthAccelerator stepped in.
What is this GrowthAccelerator I hear you say? A no-questions-asked, as long as you pay the whopping interest rate, loan company? A subdivision of some Qatari investment firm? One of Branson’s new weird schemes operating out of the the BVI?
Not quite. GrowthAccelerator is a service that helps ambitious businesses hungry to achieve their goals. It works specifically with SMEs to identify any barriers to expansion and it then creates a tailored growth plan to help overcome challenges and optimise opportunities. It’s a partnership between private enterprise and government, and has been set up to help businesses achieve 20% growth year-on-year.
Basically they’re there to help a premium crop of SMEs fulfil their maximum growth potential. But how exactly do they do that? Well, for the most part they take the direct, personal approach which is completely tailored to a business and its specific growth needs. GrowthAccelerator teams businesses up with Growth Managers who put an action plan in place to help overcome a business’ specific challenges - whether those are accessing finance or creating a sales and marketing strategy.
And when we say experts, we mean experts. The Growth Managers and coaches understand what it takes to achieve significant growth, and have a highly diverse experience of running, managing and rapidly growing businesses, so they understand exactly the challenges and opportunities you would encounter when growing your business.
So far, GrowthAccelerator has supported 2,500 businesses from a diverse range of sectors, ranging from fashion to manufacturing, and also tech-focused businesses just like ContentandCode. Currently, 250 of these businesses and 13 coaches are right here in London.
GrowthAccelerator is suitable for any company with high growth potential, with less than 250 employees and with a turnover of less than £40m.
How is GrowthAccelerator helping ContentandCode?
ContentandCode had previous experience of business coaching so Wallis knew straight away that this could help his newly-formed leadership team, as well as the company.
“Following the restructure, we knew we were in a really strong position with various sales opportunities, but it was important that everyone understood the priorities and that we were all on the same page,” says Wallis.
The company was paired with Growth Manager Lou Williams, and Growth Coach Shaun Frohlich. The pair worked with the budding tech company to create a more robust business plan and a detailed sales plan. They also formalised the talent management process and worked to implement a unified approach from the management team to help them agree on company priorities.
“Growth Coach Shaun additionally supported ContentandCode with developing better people management skills, to ensure that the rapid growth and change was fully supported and understood by all 55 members of staff,” says Wallis.
The impact is already apparent. Thanks to GrowthAccelerator, Wallis now predicts that turnover will exceed expectations, increasing by 30% year-on-year – pretty impressive even for the dizzying world of SMEs.
If that wasn’t enough, Wallis now also expects his beloved but so-far untapped sales opportunities with Microsoft will be fully realised. Woohoo Wallis.
What type of businesses can GrowthAccelerator help?
GrowthAccelerator isn’t necessarily right for everyone. It works best for small and medium businesses from any sector, that have under 250 employees and a turnover of less than £40m, but most importantly they must have lots of ambition, and the untapped potential to grow virally.
And, even if you might not see it in your business yet, the dedicated team of coaches could well be able to identify and help you unlock your potential.
“ContentandCode has grown steadily since its inception, but there were obvious opportunities to accelerate this growth, which we helped them to exploit,” says London-based Growth Manager Lou Williams.
“However, the service isn’t just for companies who know what the growth opportunities are. Our role is to also help businesses identify opportunities which can sometimes be hidden or less obvious.
“We know that sometimes it’s hard to look at the bigger picture when you are so busy running your company, and that getting an expert outsider perspective can prove invaluable,” adds Williams.
And it is not all just about what GrowthAccelerator can do for you, it is also about what it can do for this country at this difficult economic time.
“Achieving 20% growth year-on-year is a remarkable achievement for any business, but this also has a significant positive impact on the UK economy,” says Simon Littlewood, Director of GrowthAccelerator.
That’s all well and good, but what can GrowthAccelerator do for me?
If you have a business and are thinking big, then there are various ways that your very own Growth Manager can help you experience your very own Cinderella moment.
The point where the fairy godmother turns the pumpkin into the carriage obviously – not the point when it turns back.
But whatever has been holding you back, your Growth Manager will identify the best plan of attack to help your businesses overcome the most common growth barriers. These are usually centred around leadership and management, access to finance, innovation, and business development.
Once they have worked with you to create a detailed and bespoke growth plan, your company will be ‘matched’ with an expert growth coach from a nationwide network of 800. The coach you’re paired with, will have the right skills, experience and approach to ensure they you get the most out of your coaching programme.
And their proven technique is achieving results time and again. Hackney-based digital content creation agency The Operators is another firm that has seen its profits soar since joining GrowthAccelerator.
Director Kai B says the whole coaching experience has been like “going back to school.”
“It gives you the tools to realise how you should be doing things, makes the whole process easier and smoother and ultimately, has made the business better,” he adds.
When The Operators first launched five years ago, offering post-production services to photographers, Kai operated as a sole trader. The business has now grown to offer a full suite of post-production facilities across both still and moving images. It encompasses in-house photography and has a team of nine employees.
Growth’s been steady, but a few months ago The Operators nonetheless decided to seek GrowthAccelerator’s help. They wanted an outside opinion to assist in defining the future of the company, while working to identify the key values that would shape The Operators in the eyes of the industry.
Above all, The Operators wanted to make sure that they were operating in the most growth-efficient way and for them that meant putting its staff at the heart of everything they did.
“GrowthAccelerator helped us define how important it is for us to build a really defined culture, look after our employees and show them by the way we treat them how valued they are,” Kai said. “We want our staff to grow and develop with the company, and our focus is on being really clear and transparent about our strategy for future growth.”
Just a few months in, and Kai and his team are already well on their way to achieving their ambitions.
“I was impressed by Kai’s ambition and plans for his company from the very first phone call with him,” says Clinton Bell, Growth Manager for the London and Hertfordshire region at GrowthAccelerator.
“Since then, the company has taken full advantage of all the advice and services we offer through GrowthAccelerator.
“I believe that Kai and his management team’s openness to coaching, training and external advice are going to be very important success factors in The Operators turning those ambitions and plans into reality,” he adds.
So make way Branson, it looks like it’s up, up and away for GrowthAccelerator and their budding teams of entrepreneurs.
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