how we helped…


A marketing business with fast growing revenue but falling margins

This business had grown rapidly, increasing revenue by 30% per year and reaching 120 staff, however its margins weren’t reflecting this growth, in fact they were shrinking. A Growth Audit revealed finance and client services teams out of their depth, working on a finance system that was not fit for purpose.  The Growth Plan included changing and upskilling the teams through training, alongside structural and accountability changes.  

The finance system was a bigger problem to solve as it was used by other stakeholders, so changing it was not negotiable. To tackle this we added a data layer to the existing system that enabled time tracking, profitability reporting and rudimentary scheduling.  These vital KPI’s, and targets set against them, where built into regular meetings and appraisals. 

Following the roll out of the  Growth Plan, margins started to increase and the finance team became more engaged. New management information gave key staff information to make informed decisions whilst a commercial grounding gave them more confidence with their clients . 

“With Paul you get a lot more than a competent and effective CFO. He comfortably embraces strategic and big picture thinking while bringing sensible commercial/client insights and solid business building smarts to the table.” CEO

A web dev business with a flat top line

After three years of building a business from scratch, the founder of this web development agency wanted to ambitiously grow their revenue to break through what was starting to feel like a revenue ‘ceiling’.   The founder’s concern was that while they were focussing on winning and delivering great work for their clients, no-one had the time or the experience to look at the big picture so they asked us to look at how they could grow top-line revenue.  

A Growth Audit focussed on vision, proposition, marketing and new business. It revealed the business struggled to understand and celebrate what their clients valued about them. It was also clear that while the team were passionate about great customer service and web experiences, they were not so driven by marketing and new business because of an unspoken belief ‘their work should sell itself’.

We developed a Growth Plan and implemented the main elements of it over two months.   This work resulted in a new way of telling the business’s story.  Using the outputs of this work the agency won its first significant retained client giving them an immediate 50% increase in revenue.  As part of their growth journey they have also joined a professional organisation to use as a platform to raise its profile in the industry.  Its pitch win and qualification rates have improved, and we expect to see a better pipeline as they implement their Growth Plan. We review progress every two months and have been there to tackle specific issues that have come out of the new challenges they face on their growth journey.

 “Mark is the most inspiring person I have ever had the good fortune to work with. His enthusiasm is infectious and his ability to solve problems calmly and effortlessly is remarkable. Mark is also incredibly supportive and candid.”  CEO and Founder


A post-merger integration

This business merged two successful marketing and technology businesses of equal size, one a UK based owner managed business and the other part of a global group. The founders had a vision for future agency success but needed a roadmap to give them a practical way to achieve it. 

We conducted a Growth Audit to understand the strengths and differentiators of both businesses. We worked collaboratively with the Board to build these into their combined strategy and vision, developing their proposition from that of a delivery agency to a data consultancy that solves clients’ business problems. In order to achieve this, our Growth Plan recommended building consultancy based project teams that understood client objectives, backed up by a depth of data technology and reporting expertise. We re-engineered the workflow and structure around this and focussed on culture, communication, and training throughout, ensuring that staff were engaged and involved in the journey.

As a result of this work, the business achieved 20% growth and met the earn out 6 months ahead of schedule. Staff reported feeling engaged and excited about the Company’s journey and empowered to develop their career and employee turnover reduced by 5%. 

“I worked with Zoe on the integration of 2 marketing and technology businesses. Without her experience, input and can-do attitude our merger would not have been the success it has been. Following this work I invited Zoe to join our board and to my delight she accepted.” CEO and Founder