Driving Growth & Adding Value to your business

Driving Growth & Adding Value to your business

5 min read

All Private Equity CEOs share a common goal: to stay on, or ahead of, an expansive growth plan. This objective exists in a finite time frame – the quicker they reach their target, the better the return when it comes to exit.  We asked our PEPTalks Founding Members how they drive growth and add value to their businesses.


Growth Culture

Achieving maximum growth and adding value to your company all stems from the culture of your business. Our PEPTalks Founding Members have all run successful exits and have shared with us their three proven techniques for achieving a growth culture:

  1. Be purpose-led

“Instil a purpose-led ethos throughout all your functions in the company. Your initial focus shouldn’t be on what you are doing but rather why you are doing it. Once your employees understand and are inspired by the purpose and vision for the business, what they do becomes a natural bi-product; they are empowered to make their own decisions and create their own solutions. This leads to self-sustaining company-wide innovation and added value.

When you successfully build a purpose-led culture you no longer need to constantly reinforce your objectives. People are living the ethos and either know what the objectives are or have the ability to create them for themselves with far less oversight.”

Mark Fowle, Chairman, Converge TS & Datum Datacentres

  1. Be customer-focussed

Your customers determine the success of your business so they should be at the forefront of your culture and business plan.

“Success and growth come from a relentless focus on the customer. Make sure they are satisfied by enforcing a culture of continuous communication with the customers.”

Elliott Mueller, Former CEO, Metronet

Taking this approach has an added benefit…

“A customer-focused approach lets you link performance to something that makes sense to all your employees. Customer relations will work better in this respect than statistical measurements like profit and loss.”

Justin Ash, CEO, Spire Healthcare

“Focus on your customer needs and not your product. Understand what their goal is and why they want to achieve it, then you can identify and develop the solution that will work best for them.”

Mark Fowle, Chairman, Converge Technology Specialists & Datum Datacentres

  1. Be efficient and look for money-saving gains

“In order to add value to your business you need to look past your top line. Think about your business operations from the bottom up by addressing waste and inefficiency and how to turn them into profit making innovations.

Typically plans that drive efficiency and growth come from management. You need to change that. Management only see a certain part of the picture. The people who are closest to the task are the ones who can see the detail in the inefficiency. If you educate them on what waste is you’ll see an immediate improvement in efficiency throughout the company.

Our value creation plan hinged on every employee thinking about efficiency and money saving gains. We created an ideas and innovations hub and rewarded employees 10% (net) of the savings for every idea that worked.”

Adam Sullivan, Baywater Healthcare CEO and PEPTalks Founding Member

Adding Value From Top to Bottom

Anyone in a managerial position knows that even if you have a great business plan you are going to fail if you don’t have a team that is well informed and confident enough to execute it. How do PEPTalks Founding Members add value to their business through their employees? Again we extracted their three top tips:

  1. Empowering Employees

Steve Weller was CEO at uSwitch during a period of substantial growth and credits a large part of this to a change in structure…

“Move away from a single point owner. Breed a culture where employees take ownership and make their own decisions. Mistakes are just part of their progression.”

Steve achieved this…

“By removing the middle management layer and structuring each business unit to have three leads (Marketing, Technical and Commercial), you build decision makers throughout the business. Combining this with full transparency on the numbers gives everyone in the business the ability to make informed decisions whilst acting autonomously”.

Giving your employees this level of visibility and flexibility allows them to identify the best solutions for the company and make their own decisions. That’s a recipe for innovation and added value.

  1. Visibility

Whilst it’s great to empower your employees and get them to work independently it’s important you don’t take a back seat…

“You and your management team need to be visible throughout the company in order to make sure everybody can see that you believe in the company values and that the success of the business is a shared mission. This leads to an organisation that believes. And if it believes it performs.”

Justin Ash, CEO, Spire Healthcare

CEO of The Training Room, Andrew Powell, achieved visibility through constant engagement and open discussions…

“As a leader you are always on stage. You need to be visible, present, engaged and available. Hold skip level meetings so you can meet with teams without the managers there. This can’t be delegated. Growth culture starts with the CEO.”

  1. Hiring Value

A company never comes ready made to fit into the culture you want to build to achieve maximum growth. You’re going to have to bring new people into the company. But how do you assure they will be a cultural fit?

Building a growth culture stems from the people you hire. That’s why you should delegate hiring to the teams themselves even if that means someone is being interviewed by a person they could potentially be managing. This assures you are hiring likeminded people with the right work ethic needed to fit into your vision.”

Steve Weller, Former uSwitch CEO and PEPTalks Founding Member

In order for Steve Weller’s approach to work you need to make sure your goal, and how you plan to achieve it, is clear throughout the company…

“Make sure that your structure, roles and responsibilities are clearly aligned. This assures that you recruit the right people for the right roles with the right skills.”

Deborah Kemp, Former CEO, Laurel Funerals

Just as it’s important to bring new people in that fit into your growth culture, it’s equally as important to remove the people who don’t…

“Nothing undermines the success of a team more than employees pulling in the wrong direction or not performing up to standard.”

Elliott Mueller, Former CEO, Metronet

Remember that an organisation must believe in itself – and this unswerving belief must permeate throughout the entire company.  What follows is both growth and added value.  As Justin Ash puts it, “if it believes, it performs”.