Case Study: E-Spark
How did you become a part of E-Spark?
I saw E-Spark online as part of my weekly review of news on high growth businesses. I am well networked locally in the business innovation community and look for new business arrivals to explore mutual support. I also bank with Natwest and had recently moved house to Brighton so was interested in finding out about their new local support initiative.
I put my application online and was asked to join a group of about 30 local entrepreneurs in giving a 60 second pitch to join E-Spark. The pitching was great fun and I was lucky to be voted top, winning a £100 cash prize!
The Coaching Process
Unlike consultants, who take an active responsibility in producing documents, plans and so on, the role of a Growth Coach is to help others raise their performance and support them in the achievement of their goals. The Growth Coach is responsible for steering, guiding, facilitating, transferring knowledge, acting as a sounding board, offering suggestions and constructive feedback and keeping you on track.
Active for Less
Aims to enhance
1 growth strategy
2 sales and marketing
3 business systems and roles
Onsite Reviews on July 8, 21, Sep 15, Nov 7, 20, 21, 25, Dec 6
Sales growth strategy; agreed web designer; IP assignment; ICO registration; role and contract terms with staff; customer needs review; process for walkabout; fire procedure test, first aid procedure test; HR procedures; analysis of needs for visitors; customer service process.
1 Vision and Strategy developed
2 breakthrough plan
3 management team development
1 Agreed vision and strategic focus on commercial cleaning services to avoid dilution of resources on non-core lower value maintenance activities
2 Benchmarked operations with the national Responsible Business Standard reviewing internal and external quality management processes. Created single page business continuity plan
3 Undertook psychometric reviews for team development, advised re tendering and proposals, drafted performance review system and policies procedures re communications, data protection, confidentiality, hospitality, equal opportunities, environment, mediation, case studies, telemarketing process
Back 2 Balance
- time management
- strategic plan
- marketing plan
Additional support by phone and email for IP searches, attending meetings with team, Studio 57 and employers, introducing potential CCG support partners
1 work schedules are clearly marked on whiteboard and regularly reviewed with tea; resolving time pressures with new team manager
2 strategy agreed to explore employer occupational health market and NHS CCG
3 interviewing for new practice manager and second chiro; reviewed interview process
4 improved linkedin profile, drafted new PR, agreed direct marketing plan to employers
5 Trademark application made after IP searches; monitor process
The British Engineerium
2 exploring potential coastal passenger transport options
3 improving links with local schools
Attracted network of key partners to enhance presence in tourist industry; explored potential of Parks for People and learning academy; IP health check; Explored Grant funding for site developments
Met City Councils heads of Tourism and Culture; follow up meeting onsite; facilitated further onsite visits by heads of department with agreed future commitments to integrate into city tourism plans and activities; met head of Science Festival and agreed commitment for future joint promotions; met MD Big Lemon Bus CIC to explore integration of service; agreed commitment for joint working.
Submitted recommendations for Regional Development Grant; Regional Growth Fund; Big Lottery Fund; Coastal Community Fund; researched most recent reports on Brighton Economic Strategy, Mintel Short Breaks; Seaside Tourist Industry; Visit England; WEF Travel and Tourism; Tourism South East; Creative Industries Workspace; National Planning Policy Framework; State of the City report; Brighton Cultural Strategy ; Local Economic Partnership Plan; Richmond Station Project. Submitted Stage one tender for Coastal Community Fund. Attended meetings with RSA members and local social enterprises
Excellent concept boards produced by client project manager
Facility opening planned for 2016
Assessed and prioritized new risks and reviewed roles, goals and operations against Responsible Business Standards. Outcomes included additional operational quality controls and awareness of the need to improve internal controls to add value to future capitalization of the business.
Reviewed communication channels, stakeholder groups and change management issues. Outcomes included improved processes for client feedback, induction and appraisal, tendering and bidding, and a business continuity plan to share with stakeholders and clients.
Benchmarked information governance and supply chain contracting against the new legal standards for data protection. Outcomes included ICO registration, Trademark application for protection and improved policies and procedures for data protection.
In the last 12 months Harris have increased revenues from £2M to £5M. Harris have won several new key accounts in the financial services sector and opened a new office in Leeds.
The company has widened its marketing presence and its range of services, and improved its quality management processes to manage future high growth to £7M in 2015, £10M in 2016 and £15M in 2017.
Client completion report:
“The coaching identified improvement needs in Intellectual Property protection, Data Security, Quality Management standards, tendering PQQ evidence, induction and appraisal procedures.
The coaching fulfilled these needs and the client has requested further training support for leadership and management skills.
The wide range of coaching advice from Clive Bonny on Intellectual Property and Data Protection registration protects our brand and Clive’s specialist support on national responsible business standards has helped position the company for further high growth with corporate and public bodies across the UK.
Our forecasts are now to be listed in the top Fast Track companies in the UK, growing revenues by 50% per year over the next 3 years. Spreading GrowthAccelerator coaching support over a 9 month period and enabling consultations around change with the whole team has embedded improvements to develop our future capacity.
Overall the support has helped us to holistically improve operations across all key functions which in turn develops our capacity for growth and creates a great place to work.”
Reviews Sep 18, Oct 17, March 27, April 3, 10, May 27
Additional support by phone and email agreeing strategic options, reviewing strategic partner backgrounds, introducing potential support partners
1 completed strategic review of options and growth plan, agreed focus on key client sectors
2 agreed agency route for ski-mojo, strategic partnering for MOD and JV for NHS test beds
3 reviewed systems and processes for IP patent, design, trademark and NDA, advised re licencing IP
1 Strategic Planning
2 marketing strategy and sales plan
3 sales management
Review meetings Sep 7, Oct 6, 27, Nov 11, 25, Dec 3, 14
Developed vision, aims and growth strategy for next 3 years; agreed recruitment system and interviewing processes for future intern support; improved core value proposition and special tiered pricing offer for enterprise events; undertook psychometrics profiling for Director and executive assistant to adapt linked sales content for proposals and emails with clients; assessed new potential networking market sectors including Sustainable Business Partnership, Sussex Enterprise Construction Forum and Sussex Home Hub; demonstrated telephone appointment-making processes and joined meetings to widen network referral contacts; identified management skills needs to support future growth; agreed PR processes and drafted press and public relations articles, inserted into online blogs to boost business profile; recommended improvements to linkedin profile and website content; assisted in hire of website designer to implement new branding, content and design improvements; introduced firm to Green Growth Platform for future potential funded support; introduced Responsible Quality Management Business Standards to support future tendering.
Prestige Promotional Products
- Development of a company vision / robust growth strategy to define and support growth over the next 3 years.
- Shareholder aspirations (financial and valuation)
- Opportunities, weaknesses, controls and KPI’s
- Budgeting and controls
- Core value proposition
- Wider market and growth opportunities
- Target client profiling, analysis of potential client value and new sectors or Markets for business expansion and opportunities, potential routes to market, anticipated revenues from new and existing customers and a review of pricing and margins undertaken to improve profitability.
- Audit current systems within business and discuss desired areas for improvement
- Processes are defined and documented
- Intellectual Property protection
Orbit plan and single page summary agreed with individual activity plans for social media; Marketing strategy agreed to balance online and offline support; drafted online benefit statements for contractors and clients; trademarked IP;
Introduced to NHS supplier online database; Clinical Commissioning Group; Recruitment Society;
Agreed safeguarding policies and checklists; outbound appointment making process; LinkedIn profile requirements
1 Review strategic plan, brand development, marketing plan
2 Develop IP, funding, strategy guidance on IP and licensing
Meetings Dec 2, 10, 18, Jan 23, April 9, May 6, 14
Additional support by phone and email agreeing diversification options, attending group presentation, introducing potential support partners
2 Agreed contracts for NDA, Licensing, advised re trademarking and design registrations
Onsite aug 28, sep 19, oct 11, oct 14, dec 4, jan 23, feb 6
Advised on communications strategy and social media opportunities; vision and business strategy; continuous improvement; 360 degree feedback process;
IP trademark and design processes; potential for apprentices
Reviewed vision and strategy; improved 360 performance appraisal system; set up new health and safety processes and standards; ICO Data Protection Act registration