My scaleup story: Frazer Durris, Businesswise Solutions

Frazer Durris, Businesswise
Tell us about your growth story

I’m managing director and co-founder of Businesswise Solutions. Mine and co-founder Dean Cockett’s vision is for Businesswise to be the best in the world at serving our marketplace and leading the charge towards large businesses eliminating energy waste.

The concept for Businesswise Solutions was created one night in the pub and started life on the kitchen table. We recognised the market was underserving businesses and lacking any innovation, so we set about creating an energy solutions provider that would create real value for businesses.

That was in 2010, since then we’ve gone from a team of two to ending 2019 with 41 employees. We have been lucky enough to have double-digit year-on-year growth for ten years and we’ll be ending 2019/20 with a turnover of £3.9million and a forecasted turnover of £5.1million for next year.

We have done this with no external investment.

How did you know you were ready to scale your business?

We had spent a lot of time investing in infrastructure, with a real focus on building solid management and making sure we invest in the different teams and individuals within the business. We believed that having the right people in all areas of the company was vital to our success.

Once we had laid those foundations, could see that our internal processes and systems were robust enough for expansion and could provide real value to more clients we really focused on new business growth.

What elements does a leader need to put in place to facilitate rapid growth?

Businesses looking to accelerate growth need to ensure they are generating enough cash flow to fund growth and/or have the right investment in place. Excellent forecasting of cash positions and general finance key performance indicators are essential. Without these in place you can’t successfully facilitate sustainable growth.

Ensuring you have a scalable solution is also important to make sure you have the infrastructure needed to take your business to the next level and at the same time ensuring any growth doesn’t have a negative impact on your current situation. If you stretch the business too far too soon it can take a long time to catch up and end up having the opposite effect to original objective.

What is the biggest lesson you learned during your journey?

Make sure you have a good network of advisors around you, people that you can trust and ask straight questions (and get straight answers) – people that have been there and done it.

Also, recognise that the strength of your business will be determined by the strength of your people – get the right people in the right places. Invest in yourself as well, it’s important to keep learning and developing your leadership skills and those of your team.

What three top pieces of advice would you give to a business hoping to scale?
  1. Make sure you and your team are passionate about what you do and ensure you’re all working towards a common goal. Your customers need to see this passion as well.
  2. Focus on investing in people to drive the business forward – people with the right attributes, shared vision and focus. You can then unleash their potential.
  3. Finally, have a clear understanding of the numbers and ensure you are focusing on growth in the right areas. Don’t try and tackle too many things at once. Stay focused and have a plan.

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