SME Business Growth – JDP’s First-hand Experience
The Elevate programme, at Worcestershire Growth Hub, offers specialist business support to develop bespoke growth plans for ambitious SMEs. JDP were fortunate enough to be included in a programme, late 2021, which connects participating companies to facilitate peer networking and shared business experience with the goal of supporting growth and development.
How was your experience working with local SMEs and Elevate?
This was a fantastic experience where our procurement and supply chain expertise proved useful in supporting participating SMEs in making changes and addressing challenges. Equally, we were able to draw on other participants experience in business rhythm, cashflow management, service line development and various other hot topics. It was a great opportunity to meet local entrepreneurs and gain valuable insights into the various challenges their businesses face, as well as what makes them successful and differentiates them from their competitors.
Taking the opportunity to step back from day-to-day operational demands allowed a real focus on the bigger picture, which is invaluable in implementing our strategic agenda.
What benefits do you believe working with local businesses brought to JDP?
We benefited in many ways, from extending our local network and meeting a genuinely supportive group of local business owners and manging directors, through to learning from the experiences of many successful business professionals, from technical/system recommendations through to various approaches to staff retention and incentivisation.
It was also fulfilling to be able to offer advice and guidance to firms with no dedicated procurement personnel and to gain insight into they perceive procurement. Learning about the challenges and pressures applied to operational teams to pick up supplier relationship management, or finance staff in managing commercial negotiations (with a material impact!) was an eye-opener.
What benefits do you think Elevate can bring to other SMEs, local or otherwise?
Working as a team to support each other offered a real sense of optimism and tangible benefits realised because of advice and guidance shared within the group. The benefits of networking are established, but the programme took this a step further allowing a focused approach with support beyond the usual reciprocal business or recommendations for new business.
The Elevate facilitation of sessions is focused and addresses real challenges and opportunities, there was practical direction shared based on leading business practices, methodologies, and models, as well as the participant input.
How has working with Elevate supported JDP with their growth strategy?
The main takeaways for me were:
- Get Focused, establish your goals and work back to bite size chunks with 90-day targets working towards the overarching strategy. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you are on the ground floor so to speak.
- Establish a Business Rhythm that allows for a split in tactical/operational and strategic meetings, ringfence time and make the time focused and productive. Proactive not reactive.
- Know Your Numbers, know what you are working towards and how you want to get there, know your operating cost, cost of sale and profitability, as the saying goes ‘Turnover is for Vanity…’. This is an obvious message but is easily lost or moves down the priority list as day-to-day opportunities take-over.
I would absolutely recommend working with Elevate if you are looking to develop your ability to stretch your growth strategy to the next level in 2022.