Real Scaleup: Trend Bible

Scaleup North East

Created by Scaleup North East, 2 weeks ago, [last edited 6 days ago]

3 MINUTE READ


Joanna Feeley, Founder + Managing Director, Trend Bible

 

Based at the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, Trend Bible are a trend forecasting agency helping inquisitive, recognised brands predict the future world-wide.

Our Scaleup partner Laura Foster has been working with founder and managing director Joanna Feeley to develop a scaleup action plan to help the company achieve their scaling ambitions and keep on growing the business steadily and confidently.

Q1: Joanna, you founded Trend Bible; can you tell us about your business journey so far – from establishing the business to becoming one of the most recognised forecasting agencies UK and Europe-wide?

Trend Bible is a trend forecasting agency, we forecast future trends for brands and retailers who want to know about the future of life at home – from the way householders will inhabit the space, to décor and even the products that they will consume there in up to 5 years’ time. Our clients are typically European and US headquartered brands with global audiences, and we help them understand what householders will think, feel and do. Trend Bible is based in Newcastle upon Tyne where we have a team of 19 people, and we have a network of trend scouts all over the world that feed research in to our core team. We grew 26% last year and plan to grow a further 35% this year.

Q2: What are the biggest hurdles you’ve had to overcome on your way to establishing a successful business in the North East?

We haven’t suffered any hurdles as a result of setting up the business from the North East, in fact we have only enjoyed the benefits which include lower operational costs, access to invaluable networks like Entrepreneurs Forum, Service Network and RTC, and being able to capitalise on the strong creative talent that comes from the local universities.

Q3: What caught your attention about the Scaleup programme?

It was the multi-faceted approach; guidance from a really strong, experienced advisor, access to funding, a true understanding of the challenges of a scale-up business. The programme was really flexible, and Laura really got under the skin of our growth ambitions and flexed the programme to fit our specific needs which was amazing.

Q4: How did the programme help you to overcome challenges and strengthen business position?

When we joined the programme we were just about to launch a brand new subscription product, expand into the US market, we were bursting out of our studio which we’d outgrown, we needed to hire new team members and develop our emergent management team. It’s typical in a scale-up business that these projects coincide and all need to happen at once, but it is a huge challenge to keep everything on track. The programme helped us gain an external perspective, helped us resource some coaching workshops and even repurpose a new office space.

Q5: What advice would you give to others in the North East that are looking to scaleup their own business?

I think the first step is acknowledging that the needs of a scale up are different to those at start up stage. Nailing those processes that allow you to delegate with confidence is key, being able to give true autonomy to team members is really important as a business leader so that you can focus on working ‘on’ the business and planning for future growth.

Also, for us having a 3 year strategy instead of only working a year ahead was pivotal, and as a scale up you have that luxury of thinking longer term, which is often tricky to do at start up stage which can be more hand-to-mouth. Lastly, mentoring and external advisors are absolutely essential, they spot things you won’t and can bring different specialist skills.

Q6: What's been the best business advice our Scaleup Partners have ever given you?

Laura suggested we think about how we wanted to look after our prospective, and existing customers, and this led to two Scaleup facilitated workshop sessions in which we developed a customer engagement strategy and completely reworked our sales approach. We hired two new team members off the back of that advice and it’s transforming the way we work already. 

 


Scaleup North East

Created by Scaleup North East, 2 weeks ago, [last edited 6 days ago]


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