Burnley software development agency continues growth with scaleup support

By Boost Business Lancashire

31 Jan 2024

Gareth Pritchard and John O'Rourke, Get John.jpg.jpg

A software agency based in Burnley, which is expanding at pace to meet the demand of new global clients, is working with Two Zero’s Scaleup Leaders Network as it continues to scale.

Get John, which was founded in 2010, predominantly develops e-commerce and supply chain software for businesses such as business-to-business portals to help organisations manage suppliers and customers.

It has grown rapidly since founder John O’Rourke brought in commercial director Gareth Prichard in 2020 and the company has won contracts with several new major national and international firms. This has helped it treble turnover in the past four years.

Get John has also grown its team to 10 to support this growth, who are all based remotely in different areas of the world, including several members of staff in South America.

The company joined Two Zero’s Scaleup Leaders Network in April 2023 for support on areas of the business including developing the firm’s culture with a global workforce, as well as its growth strategy over the coming years.

John said: “Due to our rapid growth, we needed to address some issues including me wearing all of the hats. When Gareth joined, there was somebody else taking care of the relationship building and business development but the next issue to resolve was that I was too involved in day-to-day operations.

“I am moving away from controlling and managing everything to empowering other people.”

Two Zero is a business support service for scaleup business leaders in Lancashire. Led by Lancashire County Council, its mission is to help Lancashire’s scaleup leaders learn, grow their business 20 per cent and create jobs. 

Two Zero’s Scaleup Leaders Network works with the owners and managers of fast-growing businesses in Lancashire through a combination of coaching and peer sessions, helping them to learn from other businesses on the programme.

It is being delivered by strategic business growth consultancy Cube Thinking.

Gareth said: “The masterclasses we have attended have included some really insightful content on growth, as well as corporate culture and how that needs to be led from the top. 

“In addition to being global, our workforce is 50 per cent female, which is rare in software development and we have a high percentage of staff who are neurodiverse. We’re proud that we’re creating culture which allows our workforce to thrive.”

John and Gareth say through the programme they have found a network of other Lancashire-based scaleups experiencing similar issues due to rapid growth, which has helped them to better understand their business challenges and how to address these.

One of the contracts won by the company since Gareth’s arrival was with Helly Hansen. Get John has built an ecommerce platform for one of Helly Hansen’s customers, which sells skiwear across Canada.

Get John is also delivering significant contracts for Lancashire based food wholesaler James Hall & Co as well as a US-based global technology firm.

John and Gareth now want to move into markets including retail, warehouse management and construction. They are targeting £1m turnover in the next three years and hope to add to the firm’s management team to support this growth.

Amin Vepari, programme manager, Two Zero, said: “Scaleup businesses often need to continually adapt their leadership structure and company culture as they expand understanding how to do this can be a common issue in high-growth businesses.

“It’s brilliant to see that through Two Zero, Gareth and John have received support to help them tackle key scaleup challenges such as this and I’m looking forward to following their journey as they continue to grow internationally.”

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