Three years ago, grant funding and consultancy firm Granted were looking for advice on how to grow and thrive as a consultancy business. The problem was, they didn’t know where to get it.
Then they were introduced to The Consultancy Growth Network.
Today, Granted is a leading grant funding and consultancy firm based in Exeter in the UK. The business has grown to a 30-strong team of professionals, has secured more than £200 million in grants, and serves 200+ clients each year.
Granted has recently been acquired by innovation funding specialist Catax, part of Ryan, a leading global tax services and software provider.
Managing Director of Granted, Tom Kennard, told us what he got from being part of the Network – and where they are headed next.
Why did you join The Consultancy Growth Network?
During Granted’s initial stages, one constant factor got in the way of our progress: bad advice. But we were ambitious. To make the shift from a lifestyle-oriented business to a growth-oriented consultancy, we realised we needed proper guidance, in what is a niche market.
What stood out about The Consultancy Growth Network?
We came across The Consultancy Growth Network through a recommendation.
One of the first things we did was chat with Marc Jantzen, Founder and CEO of The Consultancy Growth Network. Marc spoke openly about his experience of growing his own consulting firm, helping others to grow theirs and the reasons behind the network. Those reasons chimed very strongly with what we were looking for and the support we needed.
What have been the benefits of being in The Consultancy Growth Network?
The guidance we received proved to be pivotal. We took advantage of several of The Network’s Specialist Partners and Growth Experts, all of whom had prior experience in growing founder-led consultancies. Those interventions were expertly managed by The Network’s team, helping us to identify specific needs, bring in appropriate partners, and achieve the desired outcome.
“The guidance we received proved to be pivotal”
We would not have been able to source these partners so easily if we were not part of The Network, and certainly not of such a proven high calibre. Much of the groundwork of sourcing and filtering the partners was done for us.
Over time, we also engaged with other Network members who were encountering similar challenges, so that we could learn from each other, and we attended invaluable networking events and specialist presentations.
How did The Network change the way you viewed your own consultancy?
One of the most significant advantages of being part of The Network was to ask the challenging questions that we may have otherwise shied away from. The Network provided a supportive environment where we felt comfortable exploring them and challenging our assumptions.
It gave us the opportunity to step back and look at the company’s ‘fitness’ and ensure our company’s objectives and our own aspirations were aligned.
Prior to joining The Network, we would take a week “out” in January to focus purely on company strategy. The Network enabled us to make this practice even more impactful, more outward-looking, and ensure we had the most effective approaches in place to scale!
Can you pinpoint a pivotal moment you got the most value from The Consultancy Growth Network?
Yes! Over the years, several parties had expressed interest in acquiring our business. The support from the Network helped us to validate that interest and consolidate our efforts, allowing us to concentrate on achieving the exit strategy we were looking for. This came at the right time in our three-year strategic plan. We weren’t looking to simply ‘ride off into the sunset,’ we were looking for a collaboration with the ideal buyer who would help us take advantage of market opportunities.
Who in The Consultancy Growth Network made a difference?
Having your own Growth Expert to bounce ideas off and help evaluate offers on the table was invaluable. We could have ended up in a completely different situation had we not had their guidance.
“Having our own Growth Expert to bounce ideas off and help evaluate offers on the table was invaluable.”
It is also important to remember that this all happened during the Covid pandemic, which has undoubtedly affected every organisation in some way. As a result, we had to think creatively and position the value of our company with a slightly different approach than we would have taken during a typical acquisition cycle. Having expert input was crucial.
What next for Granted Consultancy?
The Consultancy Growth Network has undoubtedly delivered one of its primary objectives, which was to guide us towards success. And we have achieved that goal.
Now, having recently been acquired [by innovation funding specialist Catax, part of Ryan, global tax services and software provider] we will be putting all of our focus on meeting ambitious targets and expanding into new markets.
Our next objective is expansion, underpinned with unique software, bringing our proposition to more companies. No doubt this will involve new and nuanced challenges, and that’s going to need some help from the best experts we know!
Tom Kennard – MD Granted Consultancy | Incisive Innovation Funding Expert | Goldman Sachs 10KSB Alumni
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