Business is all but saved by growth accelerator scheme

Roy Hope (left), and Steve Nicoll who run Senical in Portsmouth who are off to London to give a talk about The Business Growth Accelerator initiative.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13699-2)
Roy Hope (left), and Steve Nicoll who run Senical in Portsmouth who are off to London to give a talk about The Business Growth Accelerator initiative.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13699-2)
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A FIRM that could have been heading towards disaster has had its fortunes turned around by the Growth Accelerator, a nationwide coaching scheme.

Senical makes smart meters, which digitally log gas and electricity usage and send the data straight to the company providing the energy.

And thanks to taking part in the scheme, launched by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, not only has Senical changed its business plan, it is one of only two companies in the UK to be invited to share its experiences at an event in London today.

Steve Nicoll, director of the Portsmouth firm, said a mentor assigned to the firm shared his expertise with them.

He added: ‘He analysed the business to help us find what we could improve, and what we needed to get rid of.

‘He said we needed to focus primarily on building our sales channels.’

The firm ended up exploring ways to export the smart meters, and ended up on a trade mission to Japan, organised by UK Trade and Investment.

‘We also rewrote our business plan and realised we are forecast to make much more now over the next three years than we were before – about £17m,’ said Mr Nicoll.

‘If we hadn’t done that we could have run into trouble down the line. Now we have made contacts that will hopefully turn into sales that will last for the next five years.’

Now Steve and his colleagues are due to attend the Innovate UK 13 event today.

See gov.uk/government/news/growthaccelerator-for-small-businesses