Unfortunately, if you are a medium-sized company looking for support with business strategy, a personal leading-edge service is hard to find – that’s the gap in the market SPURR’s strategy consulting model fills.
Founded by former BE Group executive director Jonathan Lamb, SPURR focusses on helping business people achieve great things, through expert business strategy development and execution. This means finding the right markets for their products and services, focusing on building a sustainable competitive advantage in the most effective way, considering both organic growth and acquisitions.
Having grown businesses himself, supported hundreds of others with expansion plans and worked with the whole gamut of consulting firms, Jonathan saw an industry that was generally traditional in its approach to the client-consultant relationship; when it came to medium-sized businesses, he felt they were neglected.
“Many industries have transformed over the last 20 years,” Jonathan says, “both responding to technology but also adapting to new expectations about how a service should be delivered. Strategy consulting has been slow to respond. I saw that and thought the mid-market deserved something better.
“There’s a gap between start-up strategy support, which comes from a variety of providers, and support for large firms who have the capacity and capability to employ those functions internally. Once a business gets big enough to have people running the individual functions, managing the process of growth and strategy development starts to become more than one person can handle, and whilst the MD or CEO will often oversee strategy, the risk is opportunities are missed and true capability is capped.”
After a decade of research, recurring themes which either switched people off strategy consulting, or left clients feeling underwhelmed by the experience were evident. “It’s a mature industry worth some £1.3bn in the UK, but too many mid-sized companies think that consulting doesn’t really understand them or their business, isn’t agile enough, doesn’t bring global leading-edge thinking and isn’t transparent,” Jonathan added.
A former MBA student at Durham University, much of Jonathan’s insight was gained during his time on the senior team at Business Link Tees Valley and as part of the winning bid team for the regional Business Link service. Working from the Fusion Hive Innovation Centre in Tees Valley, his focus now is on working with firms across the North East and Yorkshire, with a specific focus on those who are considering export markets at a particularly complex time.
“When working with businesses whose meticulous drive and focus are recognised in their industry, you need to have a crystal clear idea of how you add value. I have de-constructed strategy consulting and challenged traditional assumptions of what clients should expect. The result is SPURR’s innovative way of delivering strategic consultancy which achieves real, tangible results that match the client’s ambitions.”
Finally, in Jonathan’s view there is also the problem of ‘beautiful but useless strategy’. “There are some well-crafted lengthy strategic plans sitting on the shelves of businesses which look impressive, but are in essence the best kept secret in the company.”
“This happens when they’re produced in isolation by ‘people in a room’, when there is little involvement from client teams and no attention to developing operational plans that turn strategy into reality. SPURR sees its strategy service as an experience; it has to be tailored, personal and leading-edge.
“That’s the SPURR difference, and a recipe we are certain will help our clients achieve great things”.