I mentioned in an earlier post how a client was unsure of my experience and background, and that the jbsh website didn’t communicate effectively and I lost the job. Those of you on the RSS feed won’t have noticed but this site now has a static front page with mini-biographies of me and Sam, the blog is accessed from a link in the header bar.
We’ve also added a client page where short client / project descriptions will go. This post tells the story of the first of these, Gordon Morris.
Gordon and I spent some time yesterday catching up at his new premises in Somerton. I first met Gordon back when I was working for UWE as a Business Sector Specialist, my job was basically to meet companies in the West of England area, conduct a business needs analysis and figure out how the Universities could help them.
Gordon had single-handedly built a successful business selling equipment to help organisations communicate with individuals that were hearing impaired. An electronics engineer by training, Gordon also designed his own bespoke solutions for situations where the existing products weren’t up to the job. His usp was that, being hearing impaired himself, he could assure the system’s quality and functioning personally.
However, the business was getting too big for Gordon to contain in his head, he recognised that he was beginning to be the limiting factor in future growth. He was also facing a premises move and these two triggers were the catalyst for a business transformation plan.
I worked with Gordon over a couple of months learning about his business, understanding the challenges and putting together a plan of action. I introduced Gordon to the Bristol Business School and together we wrote the funding application for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership that introduced an excellent young graduate to implement a financial and operations planning system. This system acted as the foundation for the following business cycles.
As the Disability Discrimination Act came into force, Gordon saw a major upswing in business, the plan we put together gave him the infrastructure to cope with that. After the upswing came the downturn, but Gordon took this as another opportunity to broaden the sales and marketing part of the business; I had joined Futurelab by this time but he came back for another KTP.
He’s still a live wire looking for new opportunities and ways to simulate the energy within his staff and company to continue growing. The discussion we had ranged across Skype and Qik for doing video conferencing and presentations in order to reduce his carbon footprint (and the expense of driving all over the country), he’s looking for product videos to be shot so that people can see these systems in use at their own convince, we also talked about the factory layout and how some of that was working really well (the open plan) and some of it less well (the separate customer demonstration suite).
Gordon’s working with another business consultant in his ongoing development but I’m going to be sending Gordon some links to other Bristol organisations that may be able to help in his new ideas for the future. What are your business headaches and how can I help?