Manchester start-up has survived and thrived during lockdown by always keeping an eye on value and future growth.
Biramis was founded in 2018 as a management consultancy for business owners who want to make more money and become financially independent when they retire or exit their businesses.
CEO Christiane Hutchinson (pictured below) talks to GC Business Hub about how working with the Innovation team and accessing a wide range of Hub services has helped them to gain support and grow as well as bounce back from the scary early days of lockdown.
Focus is essential in business
The purpose of Biramis is to create a service that will ensure that business owners are getting value from all the efforts they have put into their company. So often I’ve heard business owners say ‘my business is my pension’ but they actually don’t do anything about it to make that happen, they just hope the market is going to give them the value they want.
That’s almost never the case so our services support them to grow their business value. The earlier you start building value for your ‘pension’, the more you will get. At Biramis we offer a laser-guided focus on our clients’ wealth because we know how crucial that focus is and how difficult it is for business leaders to maintain it.
When we start a business it’s because we want to create wealth for ourselves, our families and our employees, but 65% of businesses fail to survive the first three years. There can be many reasons for that, but a lack of focus on wealth creation is a major issue with leaders in small businesses usually having to multitask to get things done and to react to the everyday problems that always crop up.
Too often entrepreneurs can burst out of the wealth creation starting blocks only to stumble and fall, and we work with businesses at all stages from their initial growth to when they have started to stagnate and need us to re-engineer their business for both growth and value creation.
We’ve got more than 80 years’ of experience between us at Biramis and whatever their situation is, we can help cut through the complexities to focus on their wealth creation goals, reassert control and get ready to go again.
Covid-19 has presented challenges but also opportunities for us
Covid-19 has been a sweet and sour chop suey for us. Of course, there was the period at the beginning where everybody panicked and there was a very quiet period for us as our potential clients were focused on reacting through making cost savings.
That was a worrying time, but after that initial reaction was over, we starting getting our message out that responding to the crisis rather than just reacting to it was the way forward.
We did some pro bono work, helping businesses and showing them that cutting costs to save costs is a survival strategy that doesn’t necessarily ensure that the business will survive. Instead, once the costs have been cut there is a need to come up with a new value proposition that creates something that the market will want in these new circumstances.
We created a new service called Reboot Your Business which is about how to reengineer your business to survive and then thrive in this pandemic because if you can you will be much stronger when the market gets back to normal.
We’ve adapted what we’re doing, but it’s always based on the same basic principles. It’s been challenging but we’re in the good part now, getting enquiries and some traction.
Businesses need to work together to grow
We first got in touch with the Hub because we wanted to explore opportunities to further develop our product by collaborating with local universities and knew that they had the connections and experience to facilitate that. Knowing the right people to facilitate these collaborations and explain how the process worked was so helpful in getting us on the right path.
We’re developing a software to support the methodology that we use to increase the value of our clients and the University of Salford is our development partner. We also had a research project on with the University of Manchester to understand the markets we’re operating in.
This really confirmed our thinking, which was that around 50% of exit strategies fail to materialise because either the owners don’t get the value they expect, or they fail in their due diligence.
Our relationship with the Hub is very important for us for two key reasons. The first is because it helps us to deliver our brand promise, which is that we will make your business more valuable. It will also help us to become scalable and work by quality standards because we’ll be able to train people more easily as we grow and bring new people into the business.
We were also able to access a business loan as part of the Northern Powerhouse Business Loans scheme and that helped us to create a new role in the business, which we’ve kept despite the pandemic.
We’re very grateful for the help we’ve received from the Growth Company in terms of the initial funding and support since. Paul Halliday has kept his finger on our pulse and while it’s been a strange period for us, it’s time now more than ever to focus on creating the future.
At GC Business Growth Hub we understand that it’s difficult to get innovative ideas moving because of problems with developing and commercialising them. A lack of finance, human resource, specialist know-how, time, technology, strategy or appropriate facilities can all be barriers.
The Hub’s innovation specialists will help you shape and strengthen your business to overcome these issues, accelerating the time it takes to bring new products or services to market. Find out more here: Innovation Discovery.