Blog Posted : 15th September 2020
Frank Nigriello and Paul Essery invited me to present at the Big Gig innovation event in August 2020. As Founder of AddVantage, I have been a business scale-up coach and market strategist for the last seven years, building on world class marketing and operations experience from working on major household brands including Tropicana, Clover and Ribena, rising through the ranks to marketing director. The Big Gig provided a brilliant opportunity to put the latest thinking on the AddVantage proposition through its paces to support our decision-making for the next phase.
Big Gig Background
My experience of the Big Gig stretches back several years, having attended half a dozen or so face-to-face and (more recently given the pandemic) virtual events.
For the uninitiated, the Big Gig is a skilfully facilitated peer-to-peer workshop. Over the course of two-hours, a business leader shares a thorny challenge with like-minded business professionals from a wide range of sectors to benefit from their collective feedback.
As a contributor, I enjoyed taking part in the Big Gig for three main reasons.
AddVantage is a Strategy Practice for SMEs that provides strategic, research, finance and mentoring support. Our objective approach overcomes the inevitable unconscious bias to build confidence in major decisions involved with scaling up, developing new propositions, entering new markets and launching new products.
Over the last seven years, the team at AddVantage has been fortunate to work with over 30 SMEs across multiple sectors with a focus on technology (including 3D printing, automotive, engineering, software-as-a-service and telecoms) and product manufacturing (including food & drink).
Our work has utilised proven methodologies developed from a combination of corporate best practice (from the likes of PepsiCo, GSK and Kantar), blended with extensive research & real-life application, which has enabled our promise to ‘bring fresh perspectives for better decisions’.
Over this time, the AddVantage proposition periodically evolved using a ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP) approach. The offer to present at the Big Gig was opportune as recent changes had been made over the lockdown period which were ready to be tested.
In preparation for the Big Gig event, benefitting from input from Paul, I pulled together a dozen or so slides to support the challenge (spoiler alert – this is applicable and hard for every business!):
How to best articulate and deliver the AddVantage proposition so that associates, prospects and clients find it clear, impactful and differentiated?
Big Gig Feedback
After Frank introduced the session, over the next ten minutes I set about giving what I thought was a compelling presentation to the 20+ participants, concluding with the proposition challenge.
Following a series of probing questions from the Big Gig-ers, they headed off into their virtual rooms to discuss the challenge in more detail, returning half an hour later armed with their group feedback.
Like any good peer-to-peer group, the feedback was challenging but constructive, backed up with reasoned observations together with helpful suggestions, which can be summarised as follows:
I found this feedback invaluable, as deep down I knew the radio was tuned a little off station, so getting this un-biased, non-sugar-coated insight, has helped take our thinking forward. As a result:
I am very pleased with that!
So that was my experience of being on the other side of the fence at the Big Gig.
My advice to anyone thinking about sharing their own business challenge would be four-fold:
About the Author
|Nathan King, Founder of AddVantage, has been operating as a business scale-up coach and market strategist for the last seven years, building on world class marketing and operations experience from working on major household brands including Tropicana, Clover and Ribena, rising through the ranks to marketing director.
This expertise has been successfully adapted to be highly relevant to SME clients across multiple sectors, with a focus on technology (including 3D printing, automotive, engineering, software-as-a-service and telecoms) and product manufacturing organisations (including food & drink).
|AddVantage is a Strategy Practice for SMEs that provides strategic, research, finance and mentoring support.
We work with leaders in scaling (c.£1m-£10m revenue / 10-50 staff) and advanced growth (c.£10m+ revenue / 50+ staff) organisations, who are dissatisfied with the high level of risk involved in improving and growing their business.
Our objective approach overcomes the inevitable unconscious bias to build confidence in major decisions involved with scaling up, developing new propositions, entering new markets and launching new products.
AddVantage are a team with a unique blend of skills across strategy, marketing, research & finance, each with over 20 years of hard-hitting commercial, multi-sector experience and access to other trusted service providers.
Unlike other providers, AddVantage offers:
– A solution-agnostic approach that first seeks to understand the current business context and challenges from multiple perspectives. This results in identifying information gaps and hypotheses, to give clarity and confidence in the effectiveness of the tailored plan.
– Primary research insight for when desk research using publicly available secondary sources is insufficient. Strategically important decisions that aim to build competitive advantage, such as proposition and concept development, would benefit from bespoke primary research insight.
Our approach is achieved through application of a proprietary group of analytical tools to support the whole decision-making process.
For example the Scale Up Assessor is a self-diagnosis tool designed to help business leaders understand relative strengths and capability gaps across the five scale-up dimensions – leadership, people, strategy, execution and finance – to identify both quick wins and longer term initiatives that will genuinely free up time and money, crucial in scaling a business.
AddVantage – Fresh Perspectives For Better Decisions
Are you (or you know someone who is) dissatisfied with the high level of risk involved in improving and growing your business?
If so, do get in touch and if relevant gain access to our invite-only, complementary Scale Up Assessor, for an impartial, no-obligation assessment of your current position.
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29th October 2020