When we first engaged with Smart they were a young, dynamic and ambitious B2B utility brokerage, just setting out on their journey. Their desire to build a company that was ethical, profitable and customer focussed was palpable in our early conversations with the enthusiastic founders.
Their main challenges? They wanted a strategy which would see the business grow fast in an incredibly competitive environment, while ensuring its priorities and operations were aligned to its values. They also wanted an infrastructure that would ensure their strategic execution was effective and timely. They hadn't achieved this before and felt strongly that they needed support, to build the business the right way early in their lifecycle, to avoid a requirement for significant change programs later.
Peter Kirkham, co-founder and CEO gave us some valuable feedback on our engagement with Smart;
"We first engaged with Jim in 2016 when we were really just gaining traction in the market. We were immediately impressed with Jim's down to earth approach, his ability to understand the business and competitive landscape and his determination to make us successful. Jim took my business partner and I through some tough and soul searching strategy sessions early on and helped us to not only plan for the expansion and development of the business, but perhaps more importantly, our exit strategy."
Our involvement in this success story went on long after our initial engagement and allowed us to support the leadership team in growing Smart into a very strong and attractive business.
We did this by assisting with; strategic reviews, developing values, operational planning and execution, product development and executive coaching over a 3 year period.
This, along with the discipline and dedication of the Smart team, ultimately delivered a successful trade sale of the business, which was one of the strategic outcomes identified and planned for in the initial engagement.
Jonathan Bell, co-founder and COO said;
"The last 3 years have been extremely challenging, but the clarity of the strategy we set out with Jim’s help and the assistance he has been able to offer us along the way, resulted in us building a business we are extremely proud of and also in us being able to successfully sell the business, in the timescales we’d identified and at a value we felt fairly represented the set of assets we’d created."
It really has been our privilege to be involved in the Smart journey and we look forward to working with the team on future projects.
"Jim is a real professional. He knows when to push, when to challenge, when to motivate and drive and when to act as counsel or coach. We will continue to work with Jim on all future projects and actively recommend him to others."
Peter Kirkham, CEO