5th August 2016
The importance of being bold
We have been speaking a lot about boldness in business recently at Business Stream, thanks partly to the publication of our latest white paper, Beyond Bold: Strategies for Growth, produced in conjunction with the British Chamber of Commerce.
If you’ve not yet seen it, I’d recommend you give it a read. It provides a fascinating insight into the attitudes and behaviours of 400 business leaders across the UK. The paper raises some interesting issues – for example, whilst more than 90% have ambitions for growth, 44% had no formal growth strategy.
Boldness in a business contest is defined in three ways: being clear, defined and ambitious in business decisions, taking calculated risks when stepping out of your comfort zone, and being brave.
The concept of boldness is one we hold dear at Business Stream and I like to think that we practice what we preach. Indeed, our recent acquisition of Southern Water’s non-domestic customer base is a great example. The deal created the third biggest UK non-household water retailer in the UK, providing us with a major foothold in England ahead of the market opening in England next spring.
The acquisition, which takes effect from April next year, is a significant milestone in our plans to win new customers in England, where we already serve a number of companies which as House of Fraser and Bernard Matthews. Southern Water serves around 105,000 non-domestic customers across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight. This will almost double Business Stream’s business base.
Many will see this is a bold – even audacious – move on our part. Whilst I accept that boldness and the utilities sector are not the most obvious bedfellows, in our case, boldness has become part of our ethos, helping us to deliver the world’s first competitive water market. We understand only too well that you need to be adaptable and decisive, planning your strategy for growth and taking calculated risks when necessary.
And there is no doubt that we would not have succeeded with the acquisition if we had not taken a bold approach. However, I don’t pretend that it was easy or simple. Far from it – at times it was tough but our strategy, meticulous planning, determination, and boldness paid off in the end.
Twelve months ago, when I first began building the team to work on our bid, I knew we would need to be bold to win. It required vision, a sense of the possible and a determination across the team to succeed.
To us, boldness is part of the Business Stream DNA. Boldness keeps us striving to be the best. Whilst it is often safer to simply bob and weave on the marketplace waves, we prefer to take responsibility for our destiny with a clear strategy for growth. Fortune really does favour the bold. #beboldercompany/business-stream
By James Cardwell-Moore, Commercial Director, Business Stream