A chance meeting – shared values – a business plan…
Starting a new business partnership has its challenges, but there need be no barriers to success with the right strategy and project guide.
Launching with confidence: a partnership evolved, a business pivoted, a brand created.
When Graeme Menzies and Sarah Harrison first contacted me, they had a business idea, complementary experience to make it a success and passion to drive it forwards. What they needed next was external guidance to develop a business strategy that would see this proposition germinate and grow.
The service they were going to provide to their clients was clear to them from the beginning. However, this was to change unexpectedly…
Startups have a long list of essential jobs that need detail, deliberation and decisions. It can be overwhelming, especially if the process is new to you – even if you’ve done it before, there will be technological and business advances to consider.
Having a business mentor can uncomplicate the route, and with careful planning and plenty of positivity, it can be an enjoyable process.
When we met, Futurum Group was a business idea with no name. I encouraged Graeme and Sarah to focus their thoughts on the community they wanted to build and what they would offer them. This would form the basis of everything that followed: visual identity, strong branding, consistent online presence, internal business systems, and… the name!
We started with a blank canvas. While that might make some want to bury heads in the sand, it’s our opportunity to be creative, look at what makes your business original and align it with the company’s mission and your vision for its future.
Every business needs to identify and understand its audience – who are they, what do they need to know about you, how will you show your authority and credibility? Once we’ve established this together, it informs the development of your marketing strategy.
This is where we began with Futurum Group. Using CRM’s reframed Business Model Canvas, we thoughtfully defined who the clients were and what their needs would be.
One key concern is their clients’ mental and physical health, so I asked them to think more deeply about what that means: they wanted to encourage Resilience, Confidence, Self-belief. Those ideas evolved into statements: Courage to Flourish, Strength to Withstand Change. Ultimately, this inspired the company logo – the mature tree with a solid base line.
In our sessions, we discussed how the company name could encapsulate the unique proposition. They guide their clients towards a new future, and so we were conscious that the name must have longevity, trust and confidence: the future is what they offer, and Futurum was a perfect summation.
Getting the team online required us to team up with a recognised web professional. We worked with a local, award-winning web developer, Krishna Solanki, who designed the new website for which we provided the copy. Using Pinterest, a mood board helped capture the look, feel and customer experience Graeme and Sarah were looking for. Their professional and personal LinkedIn profiles had a refresh, allowing them to use the platform to showcase their knowledge base and reaffirm their expertise.
Pivoting in a pandemic
Midway through our collaboration, the world changed with the Covid-19 pandemic. In these situations, you either spin into freefall, or you can decide to pivot. Because of the work that we’d put in at the beginning of the project, Graeme and Sarah were able to look at new ways that Futurum Group could make a difference to people affected and adapted their services accordingly.
Continuing to help their original client base of legal partners with retirement coaching, they began to support individuals who faced redundancy and businesses with an unclear future. A new executive coaching service opened the company up to more clients.
Results and the future
Futurum Group has a solid foundation from which to forge ahead. The brand development is complete, their online presence is polished, and they can now actively connect with their peer group and new audience. Via LinkedIn, Futurum Group can share advice through articles and case studies, strengthening their position as specialists in retirement, redundancy and executive coaching.
Efficient finance processes were implemented, and we put in place streamlined internal business systems so the team can easily lay their hands on data to support their daily work. These also allow them to measure success, celebrating things that are going well, and tweaking things that could perform better. The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis that we regularly performed throughout the project will allow Futurum Group to continue staying ahead while keeping grounded and true to themselves.
“We needed help with all the elements of starting a new business from finding an appropriate accounts system to getting the word out in the marketplace with a robust marketing strategy.”
Launching with Confidence, Graeme & Sarah, Futurum Group
“Clare helped us hugely by implementing systems and processes to make our lives easier, sourced a web developer and helped us to prioritise the tasks on our ever increasing to do list. Throughout our time working together Clare was enthusiastic, positive and proactive. We look forward to working with the CMR team again soon and thoroughly recommend them to other business owners. With huge thanks to Clare for keeping us on track and managing the creation of our beautiful brand”
I offer a free Insight Call for people who need help realising their business plan. Whether you need a little guidance, the creation of a complete business strategy, or anything in between, allow me to listen to your ideas and together, we can give them direction. To set up a free consultation call please message me via linktree here