Planning for the future with expert growth advice

Step into any high-end retailer and the chances are you will be interacting with displays and fittings designed, fabricated and installed by 3 Way Displays in Chesham.

Having built a successful, well-established family business over the last 20 years, Founder and Managing Director, Mark Stroud, recognised that they needed to strengthen the leadership team, and drive up efficiency to provide a rigorous platform for future growth.

The Buckinghamshire Business First Growth Advice Programme provided them with the support and resources they needed to do this.

Mark’s wife, Teresa, joined the business to bolster the management team and although retirement is a little way off, they both started to think about how to ‘futureproof’ the business and gradually hand the reins over to their daughter, Olivia.

“We’d reached a crossroads and needed support to move the business forward and make it more resilient,” explained Teresa.

Having worked in the Education sector, where there is an open culture of collaboration, it was a natural next step for Teresa to reach out for support: “The greatest benefit of working with the Buckinghamshire Business First Growth Advice Programme was having the opportunity to access a broad range of experts for high-quality advice.

“Attending the Growth Masterclass with Cranfield School of Management helped us to clarify our growth strategy helping us to identify and plan around key areas of growth for our business over the coming years. The whole team now have a clear understanding of the growth journey the business is on and their part in it.

“Having reached capacity in our production, our Growth Adviser introduced us to the Manufacturing Technology Centre – a subsidised external consultancy which is helping us to develop digital processes that improve our production flow from customer order to delivery. Focused on effective communication, utilisation and cost control, this will ultimately enhance our productivity and profitability.

“To help us to transition the business the Finance Masterclass then supported us to develop a financial plan and performance monitoring systems better suited to the needs of our growing business.”
Looking ahead to Brexit, the team also identified a need to ensure that their terms & conditions of trading and contracts would continue to meet the requirements of their growing European and International markets.

“The Buckinghamshire Business First Growth Advice team advised us to apply for a ‘Get Set’ Brexit Voucher which enabled us to engage a commercial solicitor.

"Reaching out for business support is having a real impact on our business as we progress along our growth journey. The Growth programme has provided valuable insights and contacts; whilst we’re still in the early stages, we’ve begun to see improvements in our trading profits of 2% through the changes we’ve made to date, we’re looking to collaborate with one of the businesses we met and feel better prepared for the future.”