What I Do
Iridescence is here to help your organisation become more successful. That might mean expanding your vision, looking at new markets, products or services, developing a new business model, creating a marketing strategy, generating new sources of income and increasing your profitability. Often it’s about helping your organisation through a time of change.
What I Can Help With
Sound strategic planning is key to delivering your vision and making sure you have a rock solid and viable foundation.
Perhaps your company is starting to grow quite quickly and feel you could do with some external expertise in developing a strategy to guide you through those exciting times. Maybe your venture is struggling a bit – you’re losing sales, or a new competitor has come on the scene. You need to stop and understand what’s not working and put some solid plans in place to get you back on track. This might mean developing a better marketing strategy. Or a sharper pricing policy. Or more training to give your team more confidence and competitive edge. I’ll look at every facet of your operation and we’ll get you moving in the right direction again.
You may have a clear vision for your venture, but want to know the best route to ensure success. You need to be confident that you understand the implications of different ways you might go before investing time and money into one particular direction. You might also need to convince colleagues, funders, partners, stakeholders or customers that the direction you are proposing makes good sense.
There’ll usually be a few different routes you can take. I can help you identify each of them and discard any red herrings early on. With fresh eyes I’ll probably also come up with one or two ideas you hadn’t considered before. Before I can help you evaluate the options, we need to have a clear picture of what they look like. By asking questions and doing some research, I can bring the picture into focus.
Best option for business growth
Next I’ll develop set of evaluation criteria (bespoke to your business of course) which will allow you to see the pros and cons of your options, including: How much will it cost? How long will it take to set up? How risky is it? How strong is market demand? Will we need external expertise? When will I see a return?
Evaluating options professionally and strategically pays dividends. It will save you time and money and help you focus in on what really matters.
So you’ve got the vision and a specific idea to test - perhaps a new product or service for your organisation – or a completely new business. But before investing you need to know precisely how it will affect your business. In practice is it really achievable – and worthwhile? You’ll be looking for hard evidence to back up your idea and peace of mind that you’re making the right decision. So how can Iridescence help?
First I’ll assess the markets for your venture and find out to what extent customers really want what you’re proposing. I’ll also need to understand how competitive your environment is and what size of market share you can realistically hope to clinch. We’ll look at any companies who excel in offering a similar product or service and make sure we learn from their successes.
Shaping the Business Model
Then I’ll put together an outline business plan for the idea so we can start to see what the business might actually look like. This will help us answer lots of specific questions such as: How many people will be needed? What might we need to spend on marketing? Which elements of the venture can we run in-house and what should we contract out? Who might we develop delivery partnerships with? What will the profit level in Year 5 look like? What will I need to do in the first 3 weeks, or 3 months, or 3 years?
So, there’s no fuzziness when it comes to Iridescence feasibility studies, instead you’ll get a well-researched view on the value of your idea and an indication of how things might look for the first few years of operation. Think of it like putting a huge spotlight and magnifying glass on your idea – everything comes into sharp bright focus and you can see the full picture. Before you dive in.
Some organisations commission an Iridescence business plan because they’re going for major funding and need a watertight 'case' to accompany their bid. I can challenge and fine-tune your strategies and help you articulate what you are all about. I’ll communicate your ambitions and plans with polish and professionalism and make sure you stand out from all the rest.
Often people think of business plans simply as profit and loss and cashflow projections. But numbers are only a part of the story. You need to understand the market demand and strategies that underpin the financial forecasts to produce a credible business plan.
What exactly does an Iridescence business plan involve?
‘Comprehensive’ doesn’t really cover it, but here’s an idea of what’s included: an understanding of every corner of your market, clear objectives – to deliver your vision, the right products and services for your market, the delivery model for your business (the people, equipment, systems, etc you'll need), an effective pricing model, a marketing strategy (how to say the right things to the right people) and ... how you will generate revenue and profit. After all, that's what business plans are all about, whether you’re totally commercial or a social enterprise. I'll also put together financial forecasts, help you define performance indicators and draw up a realistic implementation plan - to make the whole thing work.
So, an Iridescence business plan is a comprehensive and strategic document you can really rely on.
Clients often commission Iridescence to develop an income generation plan to feed into their business plan. With a strong commercial background and experience in developing successful businesses with no or little grant funding, we can help you take an energetic approach to revenue development. I can help you investigate every opportunity to develop activities that can produce revenue streams and maximise sustainability, looking laterally at markets, new product and service development, resources, partnerships and marketing. Given I (and most of my associates) come from operational backgrounds and have set up and run successful visitor attractions and cultural ventures, I can help you develop entrepreneurial and commercial solutions. This enterprising approach not only makes great financial sense in the current climate, but is also highly valued by funders who wish to see applicants diversifying their income generation approach and maximising long-term sustainability.
If your organisation is a social enterprise or charity, the chances are you are eligible to apply for some sort of grant income. This might be a capital grant to help develop a building or buy some new equipment. Or perhaps you need revenue funding to support an activity which wouldn’t be viable without a little financial help. Maybe you need to raise finance for a new post within your organisation or require a little seed-funding to test a new idea. So you might be looking for a few thousand pounds … or a few million? I have helped clients generate funds from lots of sources including the Lottery, Arts Councils, the European Union, Local Authorities and Charitable Trusts and Foundations, for example.
Polished and Professional
The truth? Securing grants is about building your profile and presenting an enticing and extremely robust, well-researched case. I work to identify exactly what the funder wants, then help you gather all the detailed evidence they need and submit a bid that will get results. And the money.
Your marketing strategy is just one part – but a very important part – of your overall strategy. With a background in marketing and brand management, I can help in lots of ways. I take a very strategic approach to marketing planning, ensuring marketing strategy feeds off your overall vision and business plan. In other words, marketing becomes part of a strategic whole – not fenced-off in some distant department. So your activity - and marketing spend - will be really focused and a lot more effective.
How will Iridescence help create your sales and marketing strategy? First, I’ll help you understand exactly which customers are worth targeting and why. Then we’ll look at the messages we want to communicate to each audience and the best channels of communication. We’ll also fine-tune your sales tactics and give you the sales materials you need to engage your customers and present what you have to offer in the very best light.
Delivering the Marketing Plan
Whilst I specialise in marketing strategy and planning, I also have a strong team of associates who can deliver your sales and marketing plans, including brand identity, web design, digital marketing (including email-marketing and social media), PR, print, copy-writing, exhibition design, tele-marketing, market research, sales training and event planning. Some of this you may of course do in-house, but if you’d like me to manage your marketing campaign, I’ll happily provide a one-stop-shop. The benefit? You save time and probably money. Oh, and the buck stops with me. You won’t be dealing with lots of suppliers, just me. I’ll coordinate everything and make sure you get the quality you need, on time and on budget.
Reviewing your staffing, organisational structure and governance model often goes hand in hand with growth and change. How do we do this? With a clear eye on your vision and objectives I can analyse the skills and resources you have in-house and how this might need to change moving forward. This might mean upskilling existing staff, recruiting new staff or changing the staffing structure. Often it involves recruiting new members to your board with specific skills and experience required to support your organisation’s growth, for example in digital marketing, financial management and strategic planning. We can also help you explores ways in which you can improve the environmental sustainability of your business and enhance the welfare of your employees.