Find­ing strate­gic path in the de­tail

In his lat­est Gamechange­r col­umn, STE­WART BARNES of Quolux fo­cuses on a busi­ness plan drawn up af­ter at­tend­ing one of its cour­ses

Gloucestershire Echo - - BUSINESS -

YOU would as­so­ciate ar­chi­tects with an eye for de­tail. Award-win­ning RRA Ar­chi­tects spot­ted a strate­gic gap in the ar­chi­tec­tural mar­ket and in­vested ac­cord­ingly to seize the op­por­tu­nity.

Since es­tab­lish­ing it­self in 1986, the firm, led by the en­er­getic man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mark Powles, has worked with pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als, large cor­po­rates and small-medium sized com­pa­nies across the UK.

Lo­cally their de­signs can be seen on struc­tures as var­ied as Pittville Gates, the new Tewkes­bury Growth Hub and award-win­ning houses built by Free­man Homes at Ross-on-wye.

Pas­sion­ate and keen to fur­ther de­velop the firm, Mark joined Quolux’s LEAD pro­gramme and set about con­struct­ing and im­ple­ment­ing a busi­ness plan for growth with Glouces­ter­shire at its cen­tre.

Firstly, Mark be­gan re­vi­tal­is­ing the strate­gic di­rec­tion of the firm.

A new mar­ket­ing plan was de­vel­oped with a fo­cus on reg­u­larly com­mu­ni­cat­ing to clients and spon­sor­ship of key events such as art fes­ti­vals and at Glouces­ter Rugby.

The bright or­ange brand­ing speaks to the dy­namic colour­ful ap­proach the com­pany takes, which is ex­em­pli­fied in their reg­u­lar monthly news­let­ter packed with timely ar­ti­cles fea­tur­ing news about their pro­fes­sion.

While keep­ing true to RRA’S roots in ex­ist­ing mar­kets and their spe­cial­ism in her­itage, Mark has ac­cel­er­ated the growth into com­mer­cial con­struc­tion by in­vest­ing in new mod­ern of­fices at Elm­bridge Court, giv­ing them­selves a first-class base in Glouces­ter where clients can visit to dis­cuss projects.

Valu­ing the power of pro­fes­sional net­works, the sit­ing of the new of­fice was im­por­tant as it is close to key part­ners in the con­struc­tion de­sign process.

This hub sup­ports RRA’S other of­fices and in­ter­ests in Here­ford, Lon­don and Lud­low.

The next ma­jor in­vest­ment was in peo­ple to de­liver the new strat­egy and the re­cruit­ment of Jonathan White.

Mark re­alises the im­por­tance of hav­ing a se­nior man­age­ment team around him with the ap­pro­pri­ate tech­ni­cal skills and, im­por­tantly, who share the val­ues of the firm.

He said: “I re­alised that to en­sure the suc­cess of my strate­gic plan I needed to not only in­vest in my ex­ist­ing team but also in my own man­age­ment skills, so with the help of Ste­wart and Quolux I en­rolled on the LEAD pro­gramme last year.

“This has proved to be an in­valu­able in­vest­ment and a fan­tas­tic learn­ing curve where I have met many like-minded peers run­ning busi­nesses, of­ten in dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries.

“And fol­low­ing some hard de­ci­sions and per­son­nel changes, I am very ex­cited about the fu­ture of RRA.”

He con­tin­ued: “We will con­tinue to ser­vice our core clients, in­clud­ing con­ser­va­tion, de­vel­oper and do­mes­tic res­i­den­tial, but we have po­si­tioned the prac­tice to grow our com­mer­cial arm ex­po­nen­tially over the next five years.”

Mark and RRA, with their en­tre­pre­neur­ial flair and pos­i­tive ap­proach to growth, are a great ex­am­ple of what small busi­nesses and their own­ers can achieve.

Tewkes­bury Growth Hub is among RRA Ar­chi­tects’ de­signs

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