Mentoring boosts managed IT and cloud computing business sky high
A Rossendale-based managed IT support business has quadrupled its turnover and added four new staff since receiving strategic mentoring through Boost, Lancashire’s business growth hub.
J700 Group has seen turnover quickly rise to a significant six figure sum and the business aims to hit £1m within the next 18 months.
Jonathan Cundliffe worked in senior IT positions for more than 25 years before establishing J700 Group in 2015. His wife Deon joined in 2018 to support him as commercial director. The company provides IT, cloud, website design, SEO and communications solutions to businesses across the North West.
After Jonathan approached Boost last year for help to grow the business, him and Deon joined Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme delivered by Orvia. Paul Bury was appointed as their mentor to help focus the company’s sales and marketing strategies.
Jonathan said: “The support received from Paul was absolutely brilliant. He went above and beyond at each meeting and I can say with confidence that we would not be doing as well without his help.”
Paul’s main objective was to get J700 Group to refocus on core propositions, define the business aims and achieve more clarity about their approach to service. The mentoring encouraged Jonathan and Deon to adopt a clear unique selling proposition (USP) to set themselves apart from competitors.
Since receiving Boost support, new business includes website projects, several significant software projects, IT support and consultancy services.
At the start of the Boost mentoring, the company employed two people. It now has six people contributing to the business, with plans to grow to a team of 10 over the next three years. J700 Group has also relocated to larger premises to support the rapid growth. The new space is nearly ten times bigger and includes conference and training facilities.
Jonathan said: “I must admit, I was quite sceptical at the beginning. I was worried I’d be letting a stranger into the business and giving up valuable time in my already busy day thinking that the mentoring wouldn’t add any value to the business.
“My opinion changed the instant I met Paul. Not only does he have a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in business, he is also a really nice guy.”
Jonathan is now seeking a sales and business development manager and plans grow the IT support team, including offering an IT apprenticeship.
Paul Bury said: “J700 Group has excellent growth potential and what was really pleasing to see was the ideas and insight developed through the mentoring being put into practice. Through positive action, we saw really positive results. Well done to both Jonathan and Deon. J700 has a very exciting future.”
Since receiving the mentoring support through Boost, Jonathan has decided to ‘give something back’ and has joined the mentoring programme to share his specialist skills and help other Lancashire businesses to grow.
Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Boost has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.