Real business stories

Find out how a wide variety of UK businesses are tackling the issues, problems and challenges central to business improvement.

We've spoken to leaders who have taken the steps to improve their businesses and, in each case, provided three key takeaways to shape your own efforts.

We encourage you to use them as the inspiration to kickstart your own improvement efforts, taking their experience and shaping the right change for your business

  • Avoid common pitfalls by learning from the experience of others who have been there before
  • Find out how your peers worked through similar problems – each story has three key takeaways
  • Read stories from businesses in the same sector or size as you

You’ll “fall flat on your face” if you fail to grasp the financial side of the business

It took a number of set backs and "wish I'd known" moments before Rob Stone truly realised the importance of having a firm grasp of his company's financials,

How one manufacturing company is reaping rewards from its degree apprenticeship programme

Paul Wenham shares his experience on plugging the skills gap at Geometric Manufacturing through a new degree apprenticeship programme.

A local partnership created a cost-effective marketing opportunity

Set up by Adam Kesacoff, fledgling barbeque brand The Aussie Smoker faced the challenge of building its presence in the South West.

A creative approach to sustainability keeps customers coming back

Aside from helping to lower costs, reducing waste in an interesting way can be a talking point that keeps customers coming back through the door.

Building new revenue streams around your point of difference

Thinking differently helped lure some of the thousands of people who visit Britain’s most southerly point to Tregullas Farm.

Strong supplier relationships freed up funds to invest elsewhere

With over 100 pitches across five separate camping fields, Dennis Cove Campsite is always looking for creative ways to improve.

Visiting another business inspired new ways of working

Using days out to show how bigger businesses operate has been eye opening for the team at forward-thinking pub and restaurant The Victoria Inn.

A £4 toothbrush sparked an idea to delight customers

The Old Mill House has taken an everyday frustration and turned it into a moment of delight with a simple but wonderfully effective intervention.

Rising waste costs inspired a host of sustainable changes

The rising cost of commercial waste disposal has been the stimulus for CJ Bishop to take a fresh look at how her pub and restaurant operates.

Using social media to set up a celebrity-run event in five days

Social media might seem full of noise and hard to navigate. But it can be the gateway to opportunities and access to people previously out of reach.

Take a behind the scenes look at children's luggage business Trunki

Join us as we go behind the scenes with founder Rob Law to get an exclusive glimpse of Trunki's tried-and-tested design strategy and discover the secret sauce behind the company's …

Chance & Counters: Building a team that complements your business vision

Find out how Chance & Counters turned a simple idea into a phenomenally popular concept that’s booked up weeks in advance by thinking long and hard about who it hired.

Left Handed Giant shows why hiring for attitude over aptitude really does work

Filling the business with people directly qualified for the job is relatively simple. Hiring those who live and breathe the company's values is more difficult, but can be truly transformative.

Extract Coffee Roasters forged strong customer relationships by sharing expertise

We took a tour of Extract's roastery with co-founder Dave Faulkner to find out how the business has stayed on top for more than a decade.

One company’s experience of making virtual meeting technology really work

Struggling with virtual meetings and the challenges they present? Hear how one company has managed these issues and pivoted to make the most of working online.

One company changed its short- and long-term planning to survive and discovered new opportunities

The coronavirus pandemic threw the short- and long-term plans of most companies up in the air. Here’s how one turned the crisis into an opportunity to transform its planning.

How to foster staff loyalty in a constantly shifting job market

With the working life dramatically upended by the coronavirus pandemic and the war for talent hotting up, more employees than ever are looking to make a move. Here’s how SME …

What happens when your business plan runs off course?

A business plan is crucial to long-term success. Yet unexpected events can throw things off track. Here's what to do when things start going wrong.