GrowthAccelerator now helping over 10,000 businesses

Since it’s launch, GrowthAccelerator has been helping a diverse set of SME’s in England to find new connections, new routes to investment and the new ideas and strategy needed to achieve their full potential.

One of the reasons I joined GrowthAccelerator as an approved Growth Coach is the range of solutions they have for businesses and the obvious fit with Maine Associates’ capabilities around helping clients identify and engage new opportunities for ambitious revenue growth.

GrowthAccelerator was set up as a partnership between leading private sector business growth experts, including Grant Thornton, Pera, Oxford Innovation and Winning Pitch, and backed by Government as a co-investor.

Importantly, the initiative seeks to identify SME’s that have both the potential and ambition for growth and is measured by government through GVA and new jobs created; personally, I’ve seen too much “grant addiction” in the past and so this selective and measurable approach is welcomed.

The charts below illustrate the sectors and company stages that have benefited so far from GrowthAccelerator:

GrowthAcceleratorWhen you look at the diversity of the companies involved in GrowthAccelerator, you can see it’s truly reflective of the wider economy, with business services, manufacturing and IT taking the top three slots.

These sectors are an ideal match for our expertise at Maine Associates, with our client portfolio strongly represented in the top 10 sectors.

Also, in terms of company stage, it’s interesting to see GrowthAccelerator supporting companies across the full lifecycle, from pre-revenue start-ups up to more mature businesses with > 10 years history.

This is because the support provided runs across business development, through to raising finance and innovation.

You can visit the GrowthAccelerator website to find out more about the selection process or contact us and we can have a chat to discuss your business and introduce you to an appropriate Growth Manager.

What are the cognitive traps in your strategy?

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, professor emeritus of Psychology at Princeton University, is widely regognised as the father of the field of research known as “cognitive biases”.

In 2010 his work reached a wider audience with his popular a TED talk “The riddle of experience vs. memory” which is well worth watching if you’ve not seen it before.

Essentially, Kahneman’s studies showed that when people and organisations need to make complex decisions they typically use “rules of thumb” rather than rational analysis. There’s even a list of decision making biases which runs from A-Z.

Now, in and of itself, this isn’t a bad thing.

It’s called “learning” and it’s something that we humans have got very good at.

However, when it comes to developing business strategy there’s a potential problem, sometimes referred to as a “cognitive trap”.

As Eric Ries points out in The Lean Startup, every strategy is based on assumptions and acting as if these assumptions are true is a leap of faith because “the success of the entire venture rests on them”.

This is why it’s important to sense-check your strategy with others and pull out any assumptions that are baked in. Examples can be anything from market size, who your competitors are or planned pricing points.

A good place to start is to ask “what needs to be true for this strategy to work”?

Start by challenging every aspect and find the elements that, if they are not true, then the whole strategy starts to unravel.

And, remember, unless it’s something that you can measure right now – it’s not a fact, it’s an opinion.