Cambridge based business development consultancy, Prospect Research Ltd, has been able to significantly build on their excellent track record and reputation and expand their offering after working with a GrowthAccelerator coach to define the essence of the business and strengthen their USP.
Prospect Research manages targeted telemarketing, appointment setting, lead generation, employer engagement and market research campaigns for clients. Founded in 2003 by husband and wife team, Chris and Beth Walthew, the business has doubled in size in the last three years.
Prospect Research had been enjoying fast growth for over eight years, but it was in the last two years that managing director Chris felt he needed to seek external advice to be able to maintain this level of growth effectively. The company had recently moved location and both directors were committed to developing the roles and skills of their team to strengthen the business. Through his local business network, Chris heard about business development coaching delivered by St John’s Innovation Centre across the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough region on behalf of the GrowthAccelerator Consortium. The service enables businesses to discover the real issues that could be holding them back and provides access to some of the UK’s top business coaches for one-to-one support, guidance and coaching.
After discussing his business aspirations with Kirsten Masson, Growth Manager at St John’s Innovation Centre, three key priorities were identified to support the growth of the business, namely the requirement for a clear vision and strategy, definition of the USPs of the business and the need to put processes in place to ensure that skills are maximised.
Prospect Research was then matched with Sharon Stevens – a professional business coach with over 25 years’ experience of working in blue chip businesses and with some of the UK’s fastest-growing small businesses.
During the first few coaching sessions, Sharon encouraged the team to focus on clarifying the brand values and defining the principles of the business. Having reformulated the core business proposition, the team could now really focus on what the business was about and put together a 4 year plan in a way which could be broken down into key areas for the business.
“Getting what Chris and Beth knew on paper was the first step in communicating the vision of their company to others. Their confidence and excitement visibly grew through the process. To be able to explain to others where they were going and to enlist others help to get there has made a real difference to what they can achieve with their business. “
It was important to the directors to engage the whole staff team in the agreed company vision as this enabled each person to understand and commit to the growth plans of the business. Staff are well informed as to how they are progressing against targets after putting in place agreed success criteria and performance measurement systems.
Managing Director, Chris Walthew says:
“Everyone is more switched on about where they are going and being part of the long term vision means staff can see their roles developing into a career rather than just a job. They have clear steps as to what they need to achieve and are no longer reliant on me to keep them on track”.
The future looks bright for Prospect Research. The company works across many sectors and are the country leader in work with Universities. They also have a number of contracts with UKTI across England, and are seeking to secure larger accounts, particularly from within the private sector. Since they started GrowthAccelerator in January 2013, their turnover has grown by 25% and the company have recruited 5 new members of staff. They have a desire to grow their market research and expand their offering into 2 more key sectors and are on course to hit their ambitious targets of £1million turnover in the next three years and increase staff numbers to 25.
In short, Chris says:
“GrowthAccelerator has given us essential tools to map out our vision for the future, how we get there and most importantly, sharing this with the company so they are excited and motivated to help us there where we want to be.”
Prospect Research is just one of over 160 companies across the region to benefit from GrowthAccelerator since it launched in May 2012. The service has supported businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors, helping them all to prepare for growth and avoid costly common pitfalls.