Perfect mentoring match boosts growth for marketing agency
A Preston-based marketing agency has smashed its turnover after receiving mentoring support through Boost – Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. Aggressive Growth Marketing Ltd (AGM) now aims to reach a turnover target of £5m over the next five years and has created two additional jobs, bringing the team to seven.
Kelly Bolton set up the business back in 2007, initially working for herself. The agency moved into offices in Preston in 2018 and specialises in delivering growth programmes and sales and marketing strategies for business.
Kelly was also juggling her business with caring for her husband who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She was looking for a way to manage her career and still have quality time with her husband.
She believes the mentoring support she received through Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme delivered by Orvia, has benefitted her business and her own wellbeing. She credits these to her working relationship with mentor, Martyn Jones.
Kelly said: “The mentoring experience was amazing! Martyn was the perfect match for me and my business. In fact, I doubt the experience would have been quite so positive if I’d been matched with anyone else.”
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).
Having previously worked as a freelance consultant Kelly had no commercial experience, nor any skills to manage people. She was using just common sense and instinct as her agency grew. She searched online for ‘business support’ when she discovered Boost. She then joined Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme. Leadership and HR management skills were identified as the key topics.
Martyn provided one-to-one mentoring support and focused on developing a strategic plan to identify Kelly’s staff requirements and what supporting internal processes were required to help her achieve sustainable growth ambitions.
He said: “When I met Kelly it was clear she had the drive, determination and potential to become hugely successful. Kelly had a good idea of where she wanted to be, but she didn’t have a sufficiently clear, detailed plan of how to get there. She was in danger of making decisions about her business that may not take her to where she was aiming to go or, worse still, take her in the opposite direction.”
The mentoring helped Kelly to think more strategically about her day-to-day tasks. This has resulted in significant changes and improvements in the business, as well as helping her to achieve a better balance between business and personal life.
Kelly now has plans to expand the training side of the business. She has already secured contracts to deliver training and business support programmes in Manchester and for Cumbria Chamber of Commerce. Further recruitment is planned in the next 12 months to fill business development and marketing roles.
In October 2019, Kelly also purchased a healthcare recruitment company as part of her wider plans to expand into delivering mental health and wellbeing training programmes to business.
Ann Lancaster, operations manager at Orvia, said: “It is brilliant to see Kelly gain so much from the mentoring both on a personal and business level. This is what mentoring is all about. Kelly has been so inspired by the mentoring support that she has now signed up to join the mentoring team behind Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme.”
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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.