Scale to Scale

Lancashire County Council-backed programme to help fast-growing businesses plan for the future

A targeted Lancashire County Council-backed business support programme has begun in the county, which will help the owners of eight fast-growing Lancashire businesses to prepare their companies for investment or sale.

Scale to Sale is a first of its kind collaboration being led by Lancashire County Council’s scaleup support service Two Zero and delivered by award-winning Lancashire-based sales and business strategy consultancy Sales Geek.

The eight scaleup companies on the six-month programme have a combined revenue of about £16m and collectively employ around 180 staff. They include well-known names in Lancashire’s economy such as Chorley-based Rivington Accounts and Scope Fire & Security in Blackburn.

Over a six-month period, the companies will work with Sales Geek’s experts to begin to grow their firm in a sustainable way and plan for their future. They will also learn what makes a company attractive to investors and investees and implement this knowledge.

Martin Horton, director, Rivington Accounts, said: “We will all leave our business one day so it’s important to make sure that it’s in the best shape possible when we do.

“As well as helping me better understand my own options for the company, taking part in the Scale to Sale programme will also help Rivington to better advise our clients so they can realise the best value for their businesses when they wish to sell.”

Scott Chapman, managing director, Scope Fire & Security, said the company had seen strong growth over the past two years and although there were no plans to sell, he wanted to continue to scale and grow while ensuring the business remained in a healthy position.

“The programme is helping us put some science, strategy and key performance metrics into the business, which will help us track and monitor progress and ensure it is always performing at its optimum level,” he said.

The companies have already taken part in their first group masterclass with Sales Geek’s experts including founder Richard Few which explored the reasons the companies were seeking investment and their ultimate goals for the business.

Amin Vepari, programme manager, Two Zero, said: “Since Lancashire County Council launched our Two Zero scaleup support service in January 2020, the subject of investment readiness has always been a key topic for fast-growing business.

“For some, the priority is raising private equity or other sources of funding to continue their rapid expansion, while other business owners may be looking at their exit strategy and how they can introduce a new management team to take the business through its next phase.

“This unique programme will give these business owners the tools to consider the options available to them and begin to prepare their business so it can grow in a structured way which is attractive to investors.”

Scale to Sale is specifically for scaleup businesses which have grown at least 20 per cent per year (staff or turnover) over each of the past three years with a minimum of 10 staff.

It is two thirds funded by Lancashire County Council, which will contribute £2,000. Businesses are expected to contribute the remaining £1,000.

Due to high demand, Two Zero will repeat the Scale to Sale programme with a cohort of up to ten further scaleup businesses, which will run in Autumn 2022.

Businesses can register their interest via the Scale to Sale programme page on the Two Zero website.