A Preston-based property and building consultancy has sights on doubling in size over the next three years after receiving business coaching from Boost’s Bespoke programme.
Anderton Gables Limited specialises in commercial building, surveying, and project management services. It is set to grow its team to 50 and plans to expand its locations across the North of England. The practice was set up in 2007 by directors Jonathan Shaw and Andrew Whittle. It has commercial clients based in the North as well as national clients including Boohoo, Halfords, Manchester Airport and DHL.
Jonathan previously received support from Boost’s Growth Accelerator programme and was seeking further advice to reorganise and strengthen the team to support future growth. He was introduced to the Boost Bespoke programme via Boost’s business relationship management service. Jonathan said: “Operationally I knew we were not quite on top of things. Margins were down but turnover was up. We needed a reshuffle to be more efficient with our team resources.
“The support from Boost really gave us time to reflect and think ‘who managed you well in the past, and what did you learn from them?’ I started to see a shift in my own thinking during the programme and a change in my leadership approach, then a positive change in the team.” Jonathan Shaw, director at Anderton Gables.
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). The Boost Bespoke programme is designed to support businesses with the potential and determination to achieve significant and sustainable growth. Jonathan worked alongside Boost business coach Hayley Caine. A diagnostic of the practice revealed that its strategy was on target, but the ‘growth pains’ were in the team structure.
Hayley helped Jonathan formalise a more effective operational structure and forward-looking development plan, in order to embed a continual improvement culture throughout the practice. Hayley said: “Anderton Gables has an appetite for growth. Jonathan is keen to establish an improved discipline towards company structure and team projects with an emphasis on leadership and management as the team continues to grow and develop. “We developed business teams each with a team leader. This will help to reduce staffing issues and improve delegation of duties. There’s since been notable improvements including regular meetings between teams and better lines of communication. Anderton Gables currently has 17 employees in Preston, and seven more spread across its two offices in Sheffield and Manchester. The new company structure will help to identify key skills, people, processes and equipment required to deliver this year’s and future growth targets. A recruitment drive is now planned across the teams including building and quantity surveyors as well as project managers and technicians. The practice also plans to open more offices to service its growing client base.
Jonathan said: “You start your career training as a technical person with a specialist skill, but if you then go on to start your own business, you go from having one skilled job you can do really well, to juggling ten roles you can’t do at all!” “The support and coaching received has really helped us take a step back from the business, focus on the strategy and set real objectives for growing the practice.
Our growth going forward can certainly be tracked back to what I’ve learnt from the Boost Bespoke programme.” Anderton Gables recently moved into a new head office on Cross Street in Preston and is now able to house the Preston team under one roof. Jonathan added “Our new office has really helped with further team motivation. By taking into consideration what we learnt through Boost, we’ve designed the internal layout to engender a positive workspace.”
Pictured left to right is Anderton Gables' senior management team: John MacMillan, Kirsty Robinson, Andrew Whittle, Jonathan Shaw, Tom Hargreaves and Stuart Carter.
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