The Growth Company

The Organisation

The Growth Company, headquartered in Manchester, is a £100m not-for-profit organization committed to supporting communities by boosting employment, skills, investment and enterprise. They specialize in delivering skills, employability and health-focused programmes, working in tandem with partners in the public, private, community and voluntary sectors.

The Challenge

The Growth Company had a strong reputation for delivering services in the Greater Manchester region, but were known primarily as a regional sub-contractor of choice. Their ambitions were to evolve into a prime contractor, competing on an even footing with other market leaders in their sector; expand through organic growth; and diversify into specialist health related services.

Our analysis suggested that their strategic challenges included a lack of internal capacity and business development expertise and problems with effectively articulating their offer as a prime contractor to Local Government and DWP commissioners

In simple terms, our challenge was to create and deliver a business development strategy that secured more new business and built the Growth Company’s capacity and capability to deliver sustainable growth.

The Approach

We secured a long-term deal to deliver end-to-end business development services encompassing bid strategy, direction, management and writing. Central to our approach was to embed ourselves within the business development team, to build trust, rapport and ensure knowledge transfer.

We created and implemented a model that enabled the business development function to work much more closely with their operational colleagues. By extracting operational insight and local knowledge, it became easier to articulate the Growth Company’s offer as a prime contractor.

In tandem with the above activity, we looked at how the Growth Company were communicating with stakeholders and commissioners. We found that the team had some excellent insights, but were struggling with prioritising and sharing them. We addressed this by building simple, strategic communications and engagement plans for operational teams to work with.

We also tightened up governance and improved internal processes, particularly in relation to performance analysis. We effected a cultural shift, moving from data to insight, which impacted positively on business development and supported commissioner engagement.

The Outcome

Over the two years of our engagement we have secured over £50m of new business, including:

  • A first Prime Contractor role with Local Government (GMCA) – Working Well Expansion

  • A first Prime Contractor role with DWP – Positive Directions (ESF provision)

  • A further Prime Contractor role with DWP – Working Well: Work & Health Programme*

  • Diversified the customer base through contracts with the Greater Manchester Combined Authorith – including RAISE and Skills for Employment

  • Secured the Growth Company’s first public health related contract with Salford Council – Salford Health Works

* Joint Venture with Ingeus