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Author: Nathan King
What is the Big Gig?
The ‘Big Gig’ is a peer-to-peer innovation workshop run by Frank Nigriello and Paul Essery linked to Oxfordshire Business First. The idea is that over two-hours, a local business leader shares an interesting challenge with liked-minded professionals from a wider range of backgrounds, to benefit from their collective input. These events were previously held face-to-face but have successfully pivoted to the virtual realm in response to the global pandemic.
My own experience of the ‘Big Gig’ stretches back several years attending several events as a contributor, including memorial challenges on how to access school venues (School Space), how to diversify a woodland charity into new markets (Sylva Foundation) and more recently how to communicate the partner proposition for a software-as-a-service sales operating system (Nazca).
As well as the stimulating content and opportunity to meet with talented individuals, I recognised the value in getting constructive feedback from the Big Gig contributors. The skilfully facilitated workshop, that feels somewhere between a scientist’s peer-to-peer paper review and Dragons Den, provides a (brave) business leader with non-sugar-coated insight on their challenge.
Why was AddVantage at the Big Gig?
As Founder of AddVantage, I have been a business scale-up coach and market strategist for the last seven years, building on world class marketing and operations experience from working on major household brands including Tropicana, Clover and Ribena, rising through the ranks to marketing director.
Over this time, the AddVantage proposition periodically evolved using a ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP) approach. The offer to present at the 40th Big Gig was opportune as recent changes had been made over the lockdown period which were ready to be tested.
My reflections on the experience of being on the receiving end of feedback from Big Gig team can be found in the Oxfordshire Business First blog post.
What was the outcome?
Like any good peer-to-peer group, the feedback was challenging but constructive, backed up with reasoned observations together with helpful suggestions. The main builds were around the need for a clearer narrative to support the proposition and to further develop the points of differentiation connected to research and the Scale Up Assessor. This has resulted in:
- An enhanced elevator pitch (see ‘About AddVantage’ below).
- A clearer narrative closing the gap between my personal story and the proposition.
- To enhance our differentiation, we are in the process of developing with our partners a suite of pain-point Assessors, which will complement the over-arching Scale Up Assessor.
In conclusion, the Big Gig peer-to-peer review provided a valuable fresh perspective to reduce our risk on a major decision around the future direction of the AddVantage proposition.
About the Author
Nathan King, Founder of AddVantage, has been operating as a business scale-up coach and market strategist for the last seven years, building on world class marketing and operations experience from working on major household brands including Tropicana, Clover and Ribena, rising through the ranks to marketing director.
This expertise has been successfully adapted to be highly relevant to SME clients across multiple sectors, with a focus on technology (including 3D printing, automotive, engineering, software-as-a-service and telecoms) and product manufacturing organisations (including food & drink).
AddVantage is a Strategy Practice for SMEs that provides strategic, marketing, research, finance and mentoring support.
We work with leaders in scaling (c.£1m-£10m revenue / 10-50 staff) and advanced growth (c.£10m+ revenue / 50+ staff) organisations, who are dissatisfied with the high level of risk involved in improving and growing their business.
Our objective approach overcomes the inevitable unconscious bias to build confidence in major decisions involved with scaling up, developing new propositions, entering new markets and launching new products.
AddVantage are a team with a unique blend of skills across strategy, marketing, research & finance, each with over 20 years of hard-hitting commercial, multi-sector experience and access to other trusted service providers.
Unlike other providers, AddVantage offers:
– A solution-agnostic approach that first seeks to understand the current business context and challenges from multiple perspectives. This results in identifying information gaps and hypotheses, to give clarity and confidence in the effectiveness of the tailored plan.
– Primary research insight for when desk research using publicly available secondary sources is insufficient. Strategically important decisions that aim to build competitive advantage, such as proposition and concept development, would benefit from bespoke primary research insight.
Our approach is achieved through application of a proprietary group of analytical tools to support the whole decision-making process.
For example the Scale Up Assessor is a self-diagnosis tool designed to help business leaders understand relative strengths and capability gaps across the five scale-up dimensions – leadership, people, strategy, execution and finance – to identify both quick wins and longer term initiatives that will genuinely free up time and money, crucial in scaling a business.
AddVantage – Fresh Perspectives For Better Decisions
Are you (or you know someone who is) dissatisfied with the high level of risk involved in improving and growing your business?
If so, do get in touch and if relevant gain access to our invite-only, complementary Scale Up Assessor, for an impartial, no-obligation assessment of your current position.