Beech Tree Private Equity has hosted its second annual Growth Forum; a lively and engaging day-long conference which brings together all of the CEO’s, sales directors and channel directors of our portfolio companies to share ideas and discuss how to accelerate growth and overcome hurdles/challenges to growth within their respective businesses.
The day was split into three key topics with each one being led by external experts in that particular field;
· Lead Generation (Graeme Hall from Sales Blueprint & Andy Wilkinson from OWB Creative Communications);
· Maintaining High Performance (Michael Finnigan from i2i Consulting)
· Embracing Disruptive Technologies (Simon Devonshire OBE, Entrepreneur in Residence for UK Government)
Graeme Hall and Andy Wilkinson started the day by discussing the importance of a well-defined sales process with clearly defined KPI targets and the importance of having “joined up” marketing and sales functions. This lead to a lively and insightful conversation about how to increase lead volumes through programmatic marketing, artificial intelligence, effective use of social media marketing campaigns and the power of social media “influencers” (and some of the common pitfalls associated with these techniques!). It was a brilliant start to the day with lots of war stories shared and new ideas to be taken back and discussed within each of the businesses.
Next up was Michael Finnigan who ran a practical workshop to demonstrate tools that can be used to keep people feeling motivated and positive in the face of challenges. Ambitious CEOs will always have frustrations within their business or management teams so this session was focussed on a brilliantly simple yet highly effective practical technique to keep management teams in a positive mind set and help them to tackle their frustrations rather than get bogged down by them. Michael has worked with a number of Beech Tree portfolio companies over the years and all have benefited from greater goal alignment and increased motivation/performance so we knew that this session would be very well received by everyone!
Michael Finnigan, CEO & Founder of i2i
The final session of the day was led by Simon Devonshire OBE, a serial entrepreneur with a unique blend of experience in harnessing disruptive technologies in start-ups as well as global blue-chip enterprises and government (through his role as “Entrepreneur in Residence” for the UK Government). Simon not only shared his views on how technology can and will disrupt industries over the coming years but also gave advice on how businesses can embrace, benefit and ultimately prosper from these changes rather than seeing them as a threat. A fascinating and inspiring presentation which left everyone on a high and excited about the possibilities of embracing new technologies within their own businesses.
Simon Devonshire OBE, Entrepreneur in Residence for UK Government
Overall, the day was very informative, collaborative and enjoyable with all of the attendees saying how beneficial it is to take some time away from the office to meet, discuss and share ideas with their peers working in similar high growth businesses, often with similar challenges.