iuvare ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by iuvare ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from iuvare ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Managing Director
Fail to plan; plan to fail
Graham Knight, Managing Director and owner of iuvare
ltd, has been working as an independent business coach
and troubleshooter for more than 15 years. During the
government’s Growth Accelerator Programme, he undertook
more than 30 assignments. Graham tells
The Parliamentary
that he has a different approach to business coaching
– a hands-on one that is tailored to the unique requirements of
the client as no two businesses are the same.
Compared with other business coaches, my approach varies in two ways. Firstly, I
am not trying to force best-practice methodology, set out in a franchise or licensing
model, with a “one size fits all” approach. I find that this can be counterproductive.
Secondly, I take a hands-on approach rather than shouting instructions from the
touchline. Often, my clients lack either the skills or the time to complete vital
tasks; some don’t do numbers, for example. My input reduces the strain, bringing
an additional member to the team, or what some people might call a non-
Delivering high growth
Since establishing in 2005, I have worked with several high-growth companies.
Gazelles, as they are often referred to, can run out of cash, overstretch themselves
or both. Planning is key: fail to plan, plan to fail. This often means putting in place
a budget, tracking against this budget, creating a business plan and outlining
key performance indicators. There are then monthly reviews in place to measure
performance against the plan.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2005
»Based in Fleet, Hampshire
»Services: Business coaching
»No. of employees: 2
iuvare ltd
Highlighting best practice
Following this format, one client grew
from less than £400,000 to over £2
million in four years. They have also
expanded an operation to Dubai with a
£1.5 million turnover. In a similar vein,
another client grew from less than
£200,000 to £2.5 million in four years.
Improving business
Many of my clients fall within this
category. Businesses who may have hit
a glass ceiling, lost their mojo or had
fortunes wane often need a fresh pair
of eyes. Clients in this situation tend
to be in less of a hurry, but, in many
ways, what needs to be done follows
the same process as delivering high
growth. One client, for instance, grew
turnover from £900,000 to £2 million
and increased net profit by 700 per
cent over a period of four years.
To help monitor performance, business
dashboards are used, consisting of
two primary spreadsheets. The first
outlines the budget at the start of
each company’s fiscal year, setting out
budget targets tracked on a monthly
basis. Detail at this stage varies,
depending on the nature of the client.
The second spreadsheet indicates
KPIs, typically recording rolling data
over 25 months so that trends can be
compared year-on-year. Aside from
financial data, the business dashboard
considers additional metrics including
leads, quotes, sales won, sales
conversions and delivery performance.
Understanding clients
It can be difficult to measure, in a
sense, the overall happiness of clients.
Looking at your best customers and
engaging with them in other ways,
over lunch for instance, can be helpful
in understanding what works for
them and how certain elements can be
transferred to other clients. Likewise, it
can be just as insightful taking a similar
Whatever you
measure gets better
who may have
hit a glass
ceiling, lost
their mojo or
had fortunes
wane often
need a fresh
pair of eyes
approach with dissatisfied customers –
they will tell you exactly how they seeit.
Separating clients into tiers grouped
by turnover, or another key measure,
can help in understanding the needs
of clients and how to maximise
their potential, in particular those in
the highest-performing tier. It can
also help indicate how to improve
the performance of clients in lower
tiers, enabling them to grow to the
same level as those in the highest-
performing tier. This method of cross-
selling and upselling to existing clients
can increase year-on-year growth by
up to 20 per cent.
A lack of funding and finding
the cause
Frequently, clients are referred to
me by bank relationship managers.
They tend to be companies who are
financially challenged, struggling to
remain within their overdraft limit, for
example. Banks are usually concerned
when requests for additional funding
are last minute, suggesting that cash
is not being properly managed. Their
concern, therefore, is that approving
one request could result in the
same business quickly returning for
additional funding.
Unfortunately, while cash is the
symptom of the problem, it is not
typically the root cause. A variety
of factors can influence cashflow,
including low sales, poor marketing,
the relevance of products and
services, overdependence on a
particular customer, insufficient cross-
selling, weak customer relationship
management, not chasing debtors,
margins being squeezed, inadequate
pricing and managing suppliers.
Finding a work–life balance
Few of the business owners I work
with leave work on a Friday and do not
think about work again until first thing
Monday. It is important, however,
to find a balance in life. There are a
number of ways this can be done.
Adopting methods of best practice,
such as those I have mentioned, can
lead to a more sustainable business.
As such, business becomes more
predictable leading to fewer surprises,
fewer crises and reduced stress.
Delegating work appropriately
throughout the business, or
outsourcing when necessary – and
recognising when to do so – is
important for managing workload.
Moreover, improving recruitment
processes, retaining valued staff and
finding something enjoyable outside
of work can all be helpful. For me, it’s
golf, which I have just started playing
with my wife.
From my experience a combination of
some or all of these elements might
work. The key thing is recognising
what needs to change and planning
how to achieve it. Having received
more than 50 testimonials and
references, I am confident of my
proposition and the return on
investment that I deliver.
I am confident
of my
and return on
that I deliver
Cash is king


This article was sponsored by iuvare ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development