My scale-up story:

Becky Toal, Crowberry Consulting

Q
How did you know you were ready to scale and why did you apply for Two Zero?
A

Crowberry Consulting provides sustainability support to business through training, audits and consultancy. This includes environment, energy and environmental events management.

As a business that has been operating for 14 years, I felt the Two Zero programme could help introduce us to investors and angels and map out our investment strategy and how to pitch. This is not common knowledge, it’s difficult to find programmes that can help in this regard and that are aimed at female-owned businesses.

Q
What have you learned through the programme and how has your business grown / changed since being involved?
A

Since engaging with Two Zero, I have personally grown in confidence and used this to video pitch to Entreprise Nation for a £5K grant during lockdown from Salesforce.

We have won contracts in lockdown and pitched for several new opportunities. From September, we have taken on our Sustainability (Legal) Executive from an intern to a part time role. I now have a lot more awareness of what investors want and are looking for when considering a business prospect and how to ensure their needs and wants are met.

Q
How did coronavirus challenge your business and how did Two Zero help to manage that?
A

In some cases, our customers moved with ease to online tools such as Teams and Zoom but others have postponed work to 2021.

As a subcontractor, we were effectively thrown under the bus and lost a sizeable amount of income. The fear in April and May and pure uncertainty at this time was real, and having a support network of peers to help us through that time was invaluable.

Q
What’s your plan for the next three years?
A

As part of the move to online services, we have now a new Teachable site for online training courses which can be accessed 24/7 at any location. We will continue to add authors and courses to this platform and invest more into digital.

We are currently on the Edge Hill University Productivity & Innovation Centre programme Sprint Innovation to explore CRM systems that fit our business to improve process efficiency and customer service. Therefore, the next 36 months will see the business invest more into digital products and services.

We aim to continue face to face training, audits and consultancy should our customers require them, however as we move to a net carbon zero society cutting out unnecessary travel will support this goal.

Q
What are your top three tips for companies who want to scale their business?
A
  • Have a plan that is credible and investable in
  • Understand what investors want from you
  • Set your goals high with meaningful and realistic targets

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