A West Midlands IT firm, and UK IT Association member, is working to the adage that ‘profit is for sanity’ after joining a programme to help it grow by 30 per cent over each of the next five years. Earlier this year, ACUTEC joined the Government-backed GrowthAccelerator service in a bid to meet managing director Chris Roche’s ambitious growth plans for the firm.
The company, which employed 24 staff before the scheme started, has already seen the benefit just four months in and Roche (pictured) says the service came along at the ideal time.
He said: “If I’m honest, everything had become a little bit stagnant from a business point of view.
“We were offering a great service to clients and were getting very good feedback from them but it felt like the business was just doing okay.
“It needed re-energising. I needed re-energising because I have been running ACUTEC for 18 years so I found out about GrowthAccelerator at exactly the right time. I saw some literature that said it could help us grow and thought why not?
“We were assigned a business coach to look at the company and he said our growth plans met with their target and that they could help.”
“We had to make some quite tough decisions as part of the process but we knew we had to follow the advice if we wanted it to work. We have since added new staff, have moved people into new positions and now have a bigger, stronger team,” he said.
“It was far from a wishy-washy process. It was a case of if you want to grow this rapidly, you have to change the culture in the business and have to get more out of the sales team.
“That is all now backed by a very strong technical team and it means our service to clients is even better than before – there is always someone there to answer that call.”
ACUTEC which is based in Coleshill, offers a range of services, from software development to managed IT support for a range of businesses and organisations. The company has taken on its first ever apprentice and, while turnover has risen by ten per cent compared with the same time last year, profits are up by 25 per cent.
Roche said: “Our turnover is about ten per cent up on the same stage last year.
“GrowthAccelerator has definitely helped us look at things in a different way from that point of view. Before, we’d be more excited about a big contract – even when the profit might be less than 10 per cent of the invoice price. Now we recognise that a smaller contract might be more profitable and looking at the business in that way.
“The whole process has recharged my batteries and, while it is making the business more profitable, I am enjoying it more too.”
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce runs the Growth Accelerator scheme for businesses. For more information call Russell Jeans on 0121 607 1939.
About UK IT Association
The UK IT Association (UKITA) is a not-for-profit business support and Trade Association. It is a member of the Trade Association Forum which was established by the CBI.
UKITA has links with Universities, Further Education colleges and maintains a relationship with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
It also owns and operates the Skillfair consultants and business advisers membership organisation and tender-sourcing service.
UKITA is a founder member and currently holds the presidency of PIN-SME (www.pin-sme.eu) which unites IT SME organisations in other EU countries and speaks for the sector at EU commission level.
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