If a problem shared is a problem halved, then a success shared has infinite possibilities.
After 11 years establishing and growing his e-learning company, eLamb Ltd, Mark Wilson was ready to consider scaling-up but not entirely clear whether that meant focusing on a particular sector, developing new products or growing his team. So seeing a video of a colleague based in the same business centre enthusiastically recommending DigitalCity’s SCALE programme came at just the right time.
Having cut his teeth in financial software followed by providing mentoring, sales training and business support in the hair and beauty sector, Mark combined the two to establish eLamb Ltd. It develops bespoke e-learning courses and online assessments, and a host of client requirements through its online learning management system. “People tend to go to e-learning when their time and resources are limited. Instead of taking out a line manager to lead a day’s training, it can be done online and delivered in a consistent way,” Mark explains.
An initial client win in the hospitality sector encouraged him towards areas with high staff turnover, a continual need for training and development and with heavy compliance responsibilities. Having taken on his freelance developer full time, the business began to spread its client base into the construction, automotive, retail, and health care sectors.
However, with hospitality accounting for 50% of eLamb’s clients and 15% of their business, Mark faced the dilemma of whether or not to focus simply on that sector. “We continued to grow in 2018 but I wanted to see if there was a way that we could really scale up and how best to do that,” says Mark. “I didn’t want to take people on but neither did I want to stop growing.”
Following up on his colleague’s recommendation and exploring the SCALE programme was the answer. The sharing opportunities it offered was one of the principal benefits to Mark. There were practical tips too, such as the benefits of using Google AdWords as part of a leads generation strategy, which has already seen turnover increase by 25%. Having attended six workshops, presentations and networking events, for Mark the biggest benefit has been the clarity of vision for the future of his business that SCALE helped him form.
I definitely feel a lot more decisive and a lot clearer about where we are going, that we should focus on product development, including our offthe-shelf courses, and then in about a year’s time take on two or three sales people.
Joining the programme allowed me to work on the business, but it’s not only for business owners. It works just as well for project managers and sales directors, helping you focus on your processes and learning about what works for other people.
Life can be lonely as a single owner manager but, at the same time, you know that you can’t do everything on your own; at some point, you will have to let go. Mark very quickly became actively engaged, gained the confidence and validation he was looking for and found hearing the experience of others especially useful.