Small Business Growth? Its Time to Accelerate!

Small Business Growth - Its Time to Accelerate!


This week’s post is all about the GrowthAccelerator Programme which  English SMEs really cannot afford to ignore!



I recently attended a Seminar to learn about the programme and I have come away very enthusiastic about the Government/Private Enterprises Partnership.

Enthusiastic about a Government backed programme – that really is a FIRST for me!

Start by watching my introductory video…

What is GrowthAccelerator?

A simple question – Do you want to achieve 20% Growth Year on Year?

GrowthAccelerator is a programme designed to help your business become a high growth business.  Working with a nationwide group of experts, they create a unique programme tailored to the needs of your business.

Everything the programme does is focused on a single goal: Fast Growth!  This is why it requires a personalised approach and why the programme works with over 800 experts with a broad array of skills and experience.  Together, you can discover new insights into your business to enable you to accelerate your growth.

The objective of the programme is to double the size of your business in three years?

Are you up to that?

Are you ready to achieve your Business Ambition?

Are you ready to get a different perspective on your business?

Are you ready to focus on clear business objectives?

Does  your business Qualify?

It doesn’t matter what stage your business is at.

Can you answer “Yes” to these four questions?

  1. Are you determined to Grow?
  2. Is your Company registered in England at Companies House?
  3. Do you have less than 250 Employees?
  4. Do you have less than £40m Turnover

What does the Programme cover?

GrowthAccelerator focuses on four main areas:

  • Business Development (Coaching)
  • Access to Finance (Coaching)
  • Commercialisation of Innovation (Coaching)
  • Management and Leadership Development (Training – Matched Grants)

The Programme delivers a combination of one to one coaching and masterclasses.

In addition, there is the opportunity to get matched funding up to £2,000 per individual for Management and Leadership Development training.  This can involve anyone in your business in a senior managerial position and is not limited to Board Directors.

What if I don’t know what I need?

The GrowthAccelerator Programme focuses on 10 core business areas:

  • Business Strategy
  • Cash
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Leadership
  • Access to Finance
  • Innovation
  • People and Staff
  • Operations
  • Sustainability
  • Change Management

In the initial phase, Programme Managers work with you to establish what you and your business needs and then draws from the network of over 800 experts to match your business requirement with the right expert for you.

Business Development

The GrowthAccelerator Programme provides bespoke business development and coaching and support from specialist growth experts.

The benefits to your business include:

  • Developing a clear growth strategy aligned to your particular needs
  • One to One Coaching
  • Masterclasses
  • Support to ensure your growth plan is adopted and implemented
  • Tailored support to develop business capabilities

Focus areas include: sales, marketing, access to finance, innovation, operations, change management, recruitment and logistics.

Access to Finance

Getting access to finance is a critical area for growth companies and in todays market, can be harder than ever.

The programme helps you to ensure that your are properly organised and prepared when you seek finance and that you are made aware of the alternative forms and sources from which additional capital can be raised.

The Benefits include:

  • A comprehensive assessment of your business’ suitability and potential for raising finance
  • The development of the necessary building blocks required for attracting investment

One to One Coaching and Masterclasses to help your make your business “Funding Ready”

Commercialise Innovation

Innovation is a diverse and complex subject. If your business is developing new products and services are you creating scalable, repeatable process and systems to enable you to achieve the growth you are capable of?  Do you have a business model which ensures that your innovation leads to increases in sales and profits?

If you are making investment in innovation, are you taking the necessary steps to protect your intellectual property also known as “IP”?  This part of the GrowthAccellerator programme helps your business to build and maintain a culture of innovation.

The benefits to your business include:

  • Learning to commercialise ideas
  • Develop innovation strategies
  • Generate profitable IP
  • Leverage partnerships with financial organisations to source advice and funding for innovation projects

The programme provides one to one coaching and a series of masterclasses to help you commercialise your IP.

What does it cost?

GrowthAccelerator is a partnership between Private Enterprise and Government which means that the service is kept affordable.  With the Government investing with you in your business, the commercial cost is considerably reduced.  What you pay is directly in proportion to the size of your business.

  • 1-4 Employees = £600
  • 5-49 Employees = £1,500
  • 50-249 Employees = £3,000
  • In addition, a VAT charge of £700 is payable as HMRC attributes a value of £3,500 to the programme.  If you are registered for VAT you can obviously include this in your VAT returns.  If you are not VAT registered and you cannot claim it back you should view this as part of the cost of the programme.

How Can I Find Out More? GrowthAccelerator Challenge!

Find out if you could benefit from the GrowthAccelerator Programme.  Follow this link to select one of 10 Topics and see if you can answer “Yes” to all Six Questions. If you can’t then your Business might benefit from the GrowthAccelerator Programme and you should call me.

Take the Next Step…Take the GrowthAccelerator Six Question Challenge


If you would like to speak with me directly, please call me on 07813 672 612 or email me john[at]jbdcolley[dot]com to arrange a time for a call.


What is a Strategy? Try my Six Minute Strategy Analyser to Find Out


What is a Strategy?

Does your Business need Strategic Direction? Even if you think you have a clear strategy, let me challenge your assumptions with my Six Minute Strategist Strategy Analyser

In this Six Step Strategy Analyser, I will help you to create a framework for your business strategy and objectives for the next three to five years.  To me the essence of strategy is setting the direction for your business and this tool is designed to help you to start that process.

[Read more…]

What does the UK Technology Mid Market look like?

What does the UK Technology Mid Market Look Like?

I have been working in the UK Technology Sector since 1998 and have spent hours and hours analysing the sector.  While my research is far from complete, I have identified over 1,300+ companies in the UK mid-market, which I define as companies with revenues of £5m to £100m.  This is fertile ground for Private Equity companies as well as Corporates seeking to make acquisitions in the UK market.

I thought it would be interesting to share a little of my research results to give you and idea of what the UK Mid-Market sector looks like.  (Please note: The data in this piece of analysis has been sourced from Companies House returns which only cover England and Wales.)

Many of my clients have sought acquisitions based on very limited criteria including revenues and geography and I will use these two variables to illustrate the composition of  the market.


The stratification of these business by turnover tells an interesting story;

  • £5m-£10m – 453 companies (34.6%)
  • £10m-£15m – 263 companies (20.1%)
  • £15m-£20m – 152 companies (11.6%)
  • £20m-£30m – 186 companies (14.2%)
  • £30m-£40m – 81 companies (6.2%)
  • £40m-£50m – 54 companies (4.1%)
  • £50m-£100m – 119 companies (9.1%)

Notice, that 80% of the companies have £30m revenues or less.  The distribution of these companies by revenues is shown in the graph below.


Graph showing the distribution of UK Mid Market Technology companies by revenues

Geographical Distribution

When addressing a market, the geographical location of a company is a key factor in evaluating its suitability to whatever strategic purpose is being considered.  I have always found it helpful therefore to be able to analyse the geographical location of company data sets.

In the image below you can see the geographical distribution of the 1300+ companies in the data set.

Map of the UK Mid Market Technology Companies

In the image below, I have drilled down to examine the companies which are in the South East of England, showing how more detailed analysis can be achieved.

South East England UK Mid Market Technology Companies




What next?

This work leaves many questions unanswered. Here are a few…

  • What sectors and subsectors are they working in?
  • What strategies are these companies adopting?
  • How profitable are they?
  • What does their 5 year track record looks like?
  • Who owns these companies?
  • Are they independent?  Subsidiaries of international companies? Part owned by Private Equity firms?
  • Are they acquisitive?
  • Are they struggling, surviving or soaring in this market?
  • Are they in need of external capital?
  • Are the owners/directors looking to sell their businesses and retire?
There is still much work to do.  
If you are interested in raising capital or doing M&A deals in the UK Technology Mid-Market sector, why not give me a call or drop me an email to discuss your strategic objectives.  You can reach me at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com.  
Thank you for joining the Conversation.

Six Simple Strategic Steps to Finding the Profit Formula Part 2


Do you want to take control of the Profit from your business?

In Part 1 of this blog post which you can find here, I explained how there were Six Key Variables which generate your business’s profit and if you turn the Profit and Loss Account on its head, you can begin to control the level of profit that your business generates and understand the Profit Formula.

[Read more…]

Six Simple Strategic Steps to Finding the Profit Formula Part 1


Is Profit something that happens to you and your business or is it something over which you can take direct control?

[Read more…]

What are the Benefits of the Six Simple Strategic Steps?

You’re a very busy person, why bother with all this continuous learning palava?

Work Smarter = Get Richer

The purpose of the programme is to provide you with management tools and strategies to improve the management of your business and ultimately to help you generate more revenue, more profits and greater wealth.  This is the origin of my tag line – Work Smarter to Get Richer.  Simple.

[Read more…]

What is Business Strategy? Here’s what I Think, What do You Think?


What is Business Strategy - here's what I think, what do you think?

What is all this business strategy stuff about anyway?

Going off to Business School is all well and good but don’t Real Entrepreneurs just get up and do it?



I have huge respect for Entrepreneurs who have built businesses, I have certainly met and advised enough of them to know how hard they work and that success is rarely achieved over night.

I believe that Entrepreneurs want to work SMARTER as well as HARDER in order to achieve their goals.  Thats where I come in, thats where my Six Simple Strategic Steps to SME Success comes in and thats where STRATEGY comes in.

I thought I would try to set out my understanding of Strategy so that we have a common understanding here.  Have a read and then tell me what you think.

[Read more…]

Lets define some Strategic Steps…


Before I start to set out the parts of the Six Steps Programme, I thought it would be helpful to make you a little video setting out a brief definition of each of the Six Simple Strategic Steps to help you understand how they all hang together.

[Read more…]

Where do you Grow from Here?

Iron & Stone, who supply metal window boxes were recently featured in the Weekend Financial Times Money section under the heading “Growth Strategy that fits on your Window sill”.

Founded by brother and sister team Rhyddian Gilbertson and Anna Hodgson, the company has successfully established itself as a niche supplier of aluminium flat pack window boxes.  You can find their website here.

Selling 10 boxes a week at an average price of £110 they are on track to make revenues in excess of £50,000 in 2012 which is a healthy 30% plus rise on Revenues in 2011.

In the FT Article, the experts, who had around 100 words each to comment, when asked suggested

  • Greater use of Social Media, the Garden Network for instance
  • Advertising
  • Customer References
  • Management Companies of Serviced Apartment blocks
  • Different products for different markets
  • More Effective Marketing – better understanding of the market
  • Definition of the Brand
  • Leaflet and Newspaper Advertising

So far so good but it got me thinking about what advice I would give them.  Thinking through my Six Simple Strategic Steps for SME Success methodology, I have picked out some specific areas and tried to provide actionable rather than general advice.

[Read more…]

Do Your Customers Trust You – Check out my Guest Blog Post for Jeff Sheehan


I am thrilled to share with you that I have posted another guest blog post, this time at Jeff Sheehan’s excellent Sheehan Marketing Strategies Blog.

Jeff is one of the world’s top followed B2B Sales and Marketing Professionals on Twitter specializing in Technology,  Integrated Marketing & Social Media. Jeff offers value to his clients as a Marketing Consultant And Speaker. He is focused on helping businesses, professionals, non-profits and individuals maximize their marketing presence, market share, and sales revenue potential by leveraging multiple sales and marketing tools including the most relevant Social Media developments.

Jeff can be reached at the email

I made this video to introduce the post, I hope you enjoy it.

Do go and visit his site and check out the post and let me know what you think.

My thanks to Jeff for the opportunity to guest post on his site.

If you like this post and you would like to get more from The Six Minute Strategistclick here and subscribe to my mailing list.  You will get sent a six part video course on Technology M&A.

To visit my podcast on iTunes, A Conversation with the Six Minute Strategist, click on the  link.  If you like it please give it a rating, this really helps and if you have time, please leave a comment.