Growth & Investment

Business Growth Service – GrowthAccelerator

Winning Pitch delivered the Business Development Coaching element of the service that accounted for around 75% of all interventions across the whole of the North of England. We supported over 4,000 SMEs, ranging from pre-revenue businesses to medium sized companies across the North of England who went on to create over 10,000 jobs.

As a result of our expertise in the high growth arena, several Winning Pitch proprietary high growth methodologies, such as The Visioning Orbit and Single Page Plan, have been adopted by other partners as best practice tools.

The service helped businesses to achieve their full potential by identifying their barriers to growth and provided tailored support to fit their needs.

Each business worked with a dedicated Business Growth Manager who understood the challenges they faced. They discussed the companies’ needs and barriers to growth, identifying the areas of support that were right for the business. Where appropriate, businesses had the opportunity to be introduced to relevant experts from other services that can further support their growth, including UK Trade and Investment, UK Export Finance, Innovate UK and local growth hubs.


NCI Insurance logo
Neil Richards-Smith, Chief Executive

Based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, NCI is a group of businesses providing roadside vehicle rescue, car and pet insurance and fund managemenr.  It also includes a call maangement business that supports both NCI and its white label customers.  NCI has experienced rapid expansion and growth since it first started trading 14 years ago.

Neil Richards and his business partner Craig Duwell founded NCI in 2000 to offer breakdown cover for motorcycles.  As the business grew they expanded the service to also cover cars and vans.  At first this was only for existing customers but they quickly made the service available to everyone.  Around five years after the business launched, NCI was required to become FSA regulated.  Seeing an opportunity they also became regulated for insurance products, which gave them the opportunity to diversity.

The challenge emerged when the company continued to growth and they recognised that the senior leadership team needed to challenge their embedded ways of working and change their style to fit with the changes in the business.  The company needed to bring in someone from outside to help identify where change was required and to identify specific areas where the business could be improved.  These changes needed to start with the Directors.

With the help of a GrowthAccelerator coach the Directors identified a key barrier to growth in their lack of marketing strategy, how to up-sell or cross sell to their database of 100,000 customers.  They worked together to develop and introduce a campaign which saw a complete change in culture.  The Business Development coaching they received for the customer service team helped them to cross sell and learn about the entire range of products.

“GrowthAccelerator has enabled our Directors to work with the wider team in a much more integrated way and think more proactively about sales”. 

In the space of a year NCI went from 52 employees to 71 and from £4.4M turnover to £6.6M.