A Lancashire-based marketing communications agency which received support from Two Zero to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic is again working with the service to implement a new scaleup strategy, helping it to diversify and break into new sectors.
Creativeworld is based in Altham, Lancashire, with a second office in London. The agency has supported the commercial property investment industry for over 30 years.
David Bennett, a business development specialist in health and education, joined the firm in 2016 to help diversify the business and create new sector-based offerings.
Taking steps to continue to scale after the pandemic
The agency experienced significant growth as a new player in the healthcare sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, but David was keen to ensure the bubble didn’t burst. He joined Two Zero’s Scaleup Resurgence programme in July 2021, designed to help high growth Lancashire SME businesses to focus on returning to full strength post pandemic.
Two Zero is a business support service for scaleup business leaders in Lancashire. Led by Lancashire County Council, its mission is to help Lancashire’s scaleup leaders learn, grow their business 20 per cent and create jobs.
The programme supported the company’s recovery by helping David understand the challenges due to the pandemic and tackle these alongside likeminded businesses leaders, as well as helping him to develop his own leadership abilities.
The team has since grown to 25 with David recruiting an account manager, digital marketing apprentice and graduate to support him in business development but David sought further support from Two Zero to help fully position the company for sustained high growth and joined the Two Zero Scaleup Leaders Network in 2022.
Seeking support to lead a fast-growing business
He said: “I have a wealth of experience in sales and marketing, but wanted to learn more about strategic planning, managing people and what is involved in leading a fast-growing area of our business.”
Two Zero’s Scaleup Leaders Network was launched in 2022 and is delivered by Lancashire-based high growth business consultancy Cube Thinking. The current Scaleup Leaders Network is a 12-month programme and includes one-to-one performance and leadership coaching, group scaleup masterclasses and peer group learning with other high-growth business leaders.
David added: “I am now accountable for other people, which I feel is extremely important. By talking about managing people with my peers in the Scaleup Leaders Network, I can share my leadership questions, including when to delegate and when not.”
“It’s great to be able to connect with other people in the same position as me. Often, I am too busy working in the business to consider what I need to do to work on the business. By meeting up regularly with my peers in the Two Zero network, you are forced to think to yourself “What have I done today to make a difference?” and then ensure you have an answer.”
Refining Creativeworld’s scaleup strategy
The Scaleup Leaders Network also focuses on helping participants develop robust strategies for accessing finance, Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and refining their overall scaleup business strategy which they review quarterly with industry experts.
Taking part in the Network has helped David to prepare his scaleup plans for Creativeworld, including building more flexibility into the agency’s creative products and services and developing its marketplace.
This includes adapting several of the agency’s online platforms used by commercial property clients for the healthcare and education such as launching a student accommodation hub which can be expanded to include other university locations across the UK.
David also plans to work with universities, colleges and academies to provide an outsourcing service where Creativeworld acts as an external marketing director for education providers. He continues to see the education sector as a growth area and has plans to build his team accordingly to complement the success within the health and housing sectors.