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Meet the Boost team: Jonny Slater

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If you are an ambitious business leader who wants to scaleup and push ahead on innovation, investment, and internationalisation, Boost’s Scale to Thrive service can help you to scale.

Support is available for businesses with a minimum turnover of £1m and/or 10 full time staff, that have been expanding over the past three years (or already growing 20%) with a pipeline of 20% growth over next three years. It is also available to startup businesses showing rapid growth in the first year with future projections to scale.

Boost’s Scale to Thrive business adviser Jonny Slater, a specialist in investment readiness and high growth startups, talks about his role in supporting Lancashire businesses.

What motivated you to want to help other people in business and to become a business adviser?

With Boost support funded and the Growth Company being a non-profit organisation, I find meaningful work in giving back via this channel.

I’m glad to use my previous experience to help others grow and reach their business goals. I’m also enthusiastic about motivating business owners to embrace a lean startup methodology to boost innovation and launch new products. 

Who has been your biggest business inspiration and why?

Eric Ries and Elon Musk. Eric Ries wrote ‘The Lean Startup’ which really resonated with me. Elon has used that metholodgy at the largest scale, solving some of the world's biggest problems in a relatively short period of time. 

Why is Lancashire a great location for a business?

Lancashire is home to some great universities, and this has created a modern talent pool. Local councils are proactive and keen to invest in business and you see that with the maturity of the local business support ecosystem. 

There are some fabulous towns and cities in the region alongside beautiful green spaces. We also see some big businesses moving here, BT, BAE, and even the UK government's new National Cyber Force (NCF) which is headquartered in Salmesbury.

How do you like to start your working day?

After seven hours of sleep, I like to start my mornings with a walk to get some sunlight. I’ll normally take my morning supplements and head out for some exercise.

When I get back, I’ll then do whatever I have scheduled for the day ahead. 

What do you consider to be the greatest challenge for Lancashire businesses in the current economic climate?

Given the high competition for digital and engineering talent, it can be difficult to recruit from a region with a lesser population density. Becaase of this, it’s vital employers prioritise recruitment processes and employer brand. 

What are your three top tips for anyone looking to start or grow a business?

1. Launch ASAP. Use the lean methodology to test your ideas. Modern startup documents can act as a pitch deck and a financial model. Read The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries.

2. Talk to customers. Only customers who experience the problem you’re solving can tell you if your idea, product/services and brand are any good. 

3. Just do it. A high quantity of high-quality activity equates to progress. It applies in sales and marketing, recruitment, operations, raising investment, and so on. 

About the author

Jonny Slater head shot 2024 web

Jonny is experienced in using and teaching the lean startup methodology for fast-growing businesses and has experience raising equity, writing and winning grants projects, and winning/delivering government contracts.

As a Boost business adviser, being an experienced entrepreneur, Jonny provides Lancashire-based scale-ups with tailored growth support and mentoring. He enjoys learning about new businesses and working with them to find new avenues of growth. 

Jonny's specialist areas include: Entrepreneurship, high growth startups, investment readiness, mergers and acquisitions. Having been through the exit process as a founder, Jonny has M&A experience with strategic acquirers, private equity, & investment bankers.

If you’re looking to grow, scale or start your business, use Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. We offer a range of funded business support services. Call our Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057 to find out more or complete our enquiry form.

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