Scale Up Ashford gets thumbs up from first cohort
With the second round of companies about to enter the Scale Up Ashford business growth programme, the first cohort of six Ashford-based companies shared their experiences at a meet-up last week at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce in Ashford.
Designed on the principles of the Scale Up Institute, Scale Up Ashford is a programme funded by Ashford Borough Council and delivered by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce to support local businesses and allow the local economy to thrive.
Clive Wilson from AES Precision Engineering Ltd, a company which manufactures critical precision components:
“Scale Up is a great opportunity for any business. Simon Teague and the rest of the team worked with us to set goals and reach them. We’ve since increased our staff by 30% and seen our profit go up 50%.
“Another thing, which we did not expect, was the funding we got to help us purchase new machinery.”
Franc Gamberini from VISARC, an Ashford-based marketing agency:
“At first, I was very sceptical about the growth coaching process… I’d had some bad experiences in the past with consultancy. Consultants tend to charge a lot of money for things you already know.
“[Scale Up] is anything but - it’s a sort of therapy. Someone comes in every month, they listen to you and your business ideas. They help you think very carefully about what you should be doing for your business. They also trigger new thoughts and ideas. They provide you with an opportunity to sit back and see what you need to make happen.”
Franc has extended the programme for another 6 months.
Clive Gawler, from Red Alert Telecare Ltd, an award-winning telecare and telehealth provider which has been established for 20 years:
“Simon helped me engage with my team to get things done. It’s the discipline and the engagement that comes with the Scale Up programme that’s really helped my company. Simon’s help has been invaluable for our HR team. He has helped us develop new processes to help drive better performance and decrease sickness leave, thanks to quarterly reviews.”
Duncan Murray, from Directline Structures Ltd, a design and build specialist, based in Ashford since 1988:
“Simon helped us during our family takeover, when we decided my daughter would take over the business. Sitting down with Simon, we realised our goals for the company were the same, but we didn’t know how to achieve them. Simon questioned our plans and then helped us refine our goals even more to reach our full potential.”
Jonti Hobbs from Medash Signs, a company which offers commercial and office signage, vehicle graphics, exhibition stands and more, and has been established for more than 40 years:
“The Scale Up team has worked with us to help us restructure our company and making sure everything was in place for the family takeover. He gave us perspective on our company, pointed out simple things that needed to be done to help the smooth-running of the company. Thanks to the restructure of the company and of our senior management team, everyone in the company is going in the same direction.”
Simon Teague and Kent Invicta Chamber have been mentoring the Scale Up Ashford companies on how to build sustainable and scalable businesses. Simon has 30 years of leadership and performance management experience and is the Sales and Marketing Director at New Level Results, a company that coaches companies and individuals to improve performance.