Case Studies

Slõ Drinks - D2N2 UpScaler

Slõ Drinks develops and manufactures a wide range of nutritional products for people with Dysphagia, a medical condition which causes swallowing difficulties. Its products change the consistency of drinks to make them safer to swallow.

Since their launch in 2005 the business have achieved steady organic growth. They engaged with UpScaler for support to take their growth to the next level and launch into 11 new markets around the world. Founder, Mathew Done, worked closely with a Nottingham Trent University funded UpScaler mentor to look at several areas of the business and explore different ways of expanding internationally. Mathew also attended a host of UpScaler workshops, looking at subjects including HR, finance and marketing. As a result of UpScaler's intervention Slõ Drinks are currently gearing up to launch a franchise based model to license its products for use in other countries. The company has streamlined and simplified many of its processes, as well as introducing a new marketing strategy.

The support we’ve received from UpScaler has given us the confidence to think about things from a different perspective, set some bigger goals and then go for them. I was looking for knowledge and skills to take a small company and grow it overseas. If it hadn’t been for UpScaler, I would have had to buy this expertise in. The support has been fantastic and has enabled us to take the business in a completely new direction.

Mathew Done, Managing Director, Slõ Drinks

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Boost Wellbeing

Boost Wellbeing were looking for impartial and trusted business support to help them cut through the information overload and outdated information in the public domain. This support was provided through access to the Growth Hub’s comprehensive webinar and workshop programme which is delivered by expert business consultants, enabling them to upskill. The business was also put in touch with a dedicated business adviser and signposted to grant funding opportunities.

It feels like the “covid-thaw” is finally here, just as spring is starting to show itself! The world feels that little bit more certain and although there will be challenges in the New Normal, I’m feeling positive about the coming year. More people than ever have realised the value of looking after their wellbeing and resilience, and we will be there for anyone that would like to make use of our expert knowledge with a free consultation. Knowing that D2N2 is there to support local businesses (including mine) leaves me feeling grateful and reassured, and we will continue to access the invaluable knowledge that’s available from them.

Chris Downes, Director at Boost Wellbeing

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Paguro Ltd

Paguro Upcycle specialise in upcycled bags, jewellery and accessories made from recycled materials such as inner tubes, army tents, seat belts, and bike chains. The business works with small artisanal producers and each product is ethically and sustainably handmade.

The business owner, Yen Goo , was looking to grow the business by improving online sales and therefore found out about the Growth Hub through the comprehensive webinar programme. Yen attended several Growth Hub webinars on digital marketing such as: How to have greater impact using social media and Instagram shopping: turn social media into e-commerce. This enabled the business to grow their online presence and turn that into sales. 

I would highly recommend the webinars provided by D2N2. The topics are very current and the speakers are very helpful. It was particularly important for me to realise what I could realistically do myself and where I needed some outside support, helping me to invest our marketing budget wisely.

Yen Goo, Paguro

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Paintman Paint Ltd - D2N2 UpScaler

Paintman Paint Ltd is a multi award-winning family business that specialises in the sourcing and supply of heritage paint for vehicle restorations and other projects.

Since relocation in 2016 the business began to grow significantly. In early 2020, David’s son, Ali, came into the business with a view to sustaining its growth and implementing a succession plan beyond David’s retirement, and he was looking for advice and guidance on the best way to achieve this.

UpScaler has supported both Paintman’s original management team, and the succession, where most projects would have refused this. The management team attended several UpScaler workshops, including sessions on strategic finance, which helped stress the importance of credit ratings and filing correctly at Companies House, when looking to acquire more new business. Following the workshops, the company has developed a strategic five-year business plan to help stabilise its foundations as it gears up for further growth.

We absorbed a lot of what we learned at the UpScaler events, and implemented some of it into the business straight away. It helped us to refocus on where we are currently and where we need to be. There was a lot of information that I was already aware of, but it was good to both get a refresher and also get confirmation that we were doing the right things.

Ali Pickles, Paintman Paint Ltd

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P. Ducker Systems - D2N2 UpScaler

P. Ducker Systems (PDS) is a Derby-based engineering firm which creates bespoke, technology-driven systems integration solutions. Most of its work is on capital projects or service work for major UK infrastructure schemes in transportation, road tunnels, airports and HV power systems.

Having seen a 60% increase in turnover year on year, the business engaged with UpScaler as it was seeking advice and support to help it continue on its growth trajectory in a more planned and sustainable way. PDS has benefitted from grant funding to help it recruit graduates, a professional review of the business by an UpScaler adviser, and extensive workshops on a whole range of subjects. UpScaler’s support has provided PDS with a platform of advice and knowledge that has informed its thinking and guided its actions. The firm’s graduate talent funding has enabled it to strengthen its team and bring new and relevant skills into the business.

I have enjoyed the programme and always come away with valuable takeaways. It's ‘on-trend’, gives a heads up of what is coming and is delivered by experts who are real people, that are friendly, professional and supportive. As a result, we are more aware, more prepared, more resilient and ultimately, more successful. Having taken the right decisions for the right reasons we found ourselves prepared when the current crisis arrived and have worked through it pretty much unaffected.

Mike Rose, PDS

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Cube Construction Consultants

With over 25 years property and construction sector experience, Cube Construction Consultants (Cube) was set up in 2019 by industry experts Nicola Slater and Mark Johnston to help its clients build best practice into every stage of the construction process.

The business was introduced to the D2N2 Growth Hub so that they could discuss future business goals and aspirations in order to grow. Upon doing so the Cube team attended a free Growth Hub webinar on the Business Model Canvas delivered by facilitator Steve Hobbs. They were also supported by a Growth Hub business adviser and a digital and technology adviser from the Digital UpScaler project. Following on from this intervention the business were successfully awarded a Business Investment Fund grant which enabled the development of a new website and a brand refresh. 

From developing new opportunities and partnerships, concept development and pre-construction through to tendering, strategic planning and programme implementation, we support our clients and project teams to build best practice into every element of construction. Within our four key service areas of Construction Expertise, Business Growth, Project Partnerships and Business Growth there are multiple routes for expanding our capabilities and growing the team. We have made a great contact in Richard who can signpost us to relevant advice and guidance. Whether that is free webinars or training on a range of topics, exploring options for developing digital solutions or advice in terms of funding, the Growth Hub team is always supportive in helping us to achieve our visions for the future.

Nicola Slater, Co-Founder & Director, Cube

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PNE Controls - D2N2 UpScaler

PNE Controls is a dynamic and modern electrical control company that provides bespoke design, manufacturing, installation, software and support services for industrial automated systems.

The business had achieved steady growth since starting in 2015 and as its team grew bigger, it needed to move into new premises to accommodate this and give it further capacity to grow. Neil Cockings, the firm’s managing director, attended several UpScaler workshops looking at various aspects of business management and planning, to bring more knowledge into the businesses. Neil also received one to one support from a dedicated UpScaler adviser who helped him to take a step back from the business and focus on the bigger picture. Since UpScaler intervention the business has established new processes and recruited new staff, they are also in the process of obtaining ISO9001 accreditation. 

The support from UpScaler has been great and made me realise very quickly that I can’t look after every area of the business, continuously, on my own. It’s enabled me to approach things with a different mindset, be much more strategic with our planning, and bring in the right skills where we needed them, so that the business can run much more efficiently and effectively.

Neil Cockings, PNE Controls 

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ITP - D2N2 UpScaler

Integrated Transport Planning (ITP) is a sustainable transport planning and research consultancy. It employs a team of skilled professionals who share a passion for well-designed mobility schemes that meet people’s needs and match local contexts.

Having achieved steady growth since being founded in 1998, the business wanted to reassess it's position within the market and its offering to customers. To do this the business enrolled onto the D2N2 UpScaler Project

Key staff members attended UpScaler's tailored high growth workshops and forums on topics such as strategic HR, supplier development and employer brand. ITP received a graduate talent grant from the project which meant that they were able to hire a new staff member to assist them through their growth phase. In addition to this, one to one support was also provided. 

All the events were really well organised and the business advisers we dealt with were invaluable. They enabled us to think about things in a different way, that we hadn’t really thought about before, to get a new perspective on where we stand as a business. They were also convenient and didn’t demand a lot of time out of the office, which is good, because it didn’t focus too much of our attention away from running the business.

Jon Parker, ITP

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Jupiter Play & Leisure - D2N2 UpScaler

Jupiter Play & Leisure is one of the UK’s leading independent play and sports design consultancies.

Although Jupiter had achieved solid organic growth, it was looking for support as it was in the process of restructuring the business and wanted to refocus its offering to appeal to a UK-wide customer base.

The D2N2 UpScaler project was able to help by providing an in-depth diagnostic which helped the business to refine it's objectives. The Jupiter team also attended several UpScaler forums and workshops on subjects such as finance, business planning and supplier development. Following on from this intervention the business has already recruited two new members of staff and created an in-house installations team. 

The support we received from UpScaler enabled us to take a step away from the business and refocus our efforts on developing our strategic vision and working out what we need to do to get us there. As a business in transition, it’s often hard to take time away from the day to day to do that strategic thinking

Catherine Hoenigmann, Jupiter Play and Leisure

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Lemon and Lime Interiors - D2N2 UpScaler

Lemon and Lime Interiors is a home staging business which provides professional property presentation services to clients looking to sell their homes.

With big plans to expand the offering across the UK and internationally, Lemon and Lime Interiors was looking for help in planning the right strategy to take its growth to the next level.

The business founder, Elaine, worked closely with an UpScaler business coach to focus on developing a future growth strategy, and accessed graduate talent funding via Nottingham Trent University, to help bring more expertise into the business. Elaine and her team also attended several UpScaler workshops on a wide range of topics to build skillsets within the business. The impact of this support has resulted in the business doubling in size from four to eight employees. Lemon and Lime has also created a strategy to launch into global markets.

The support we’ve received from UpScaler has helped to upskill the team and give us the confidence to continue to do what we do best. I’m so busy running the business that I sometimes find it difficult to get my head out of the weeds. UpScaler has enabled me put the structure in place so I could take a step back, focus on the bigger picture, set some more ambitious goals and develop the strategy we need to achieve them.

Elaine Penhaul, Lemon and Lime Interiors

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Devtank - D2N2 UpScaler

Devtank is an opensource hardware and software company which develops test and measurement equipment, automation systems and design solutions for a host of business sectors.

The business enrolled onto the D2N2 UpScaler Project having undergone a period of rapid growth which included launching new products and increasing their headcount. The business was looking for ways to manage this growth effectively and to implement new processes and procedures.

Devtank received a graduate talent grant which meant that they were able to employ a student placement position within the business. They also accessed UpScaler's workshop programme and received one to one mentoring.

The support we’ve received from the D2N2 UpScaler project has been really beneficial. It has enabled us to refine some of our internal processes and focus our future growth strategy, to get us ready for our next phase of expansion.

Darren Millington, Devtank

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Ignys - D2N2 UpScaler

Ignys is an electronics design and software development consultancy that helps clients from a range of sectors turn their product ideas into fully working prototypes.

Having grown steadily since inception in 2017, managing director Richard Fletcher was looking for direction to establish the structure and processes needed to enable further business growth. 

This was achieved through attending UpScaler workshops on business management, HR, finance and growth planning. Richard also received support and mentoring from his dedicated UpScaler business adviser. This enabled Richard to take a more holistic view to his business and to establish new processes in areas such as cash flow, finance and performance management.

The support we’ve received from UpScaler has been invaluable in terms of helping us to form our ideas and look at our business from a different perspective. As a small but growing company, it’s sometimes hard to press pause and take a more strategic view, but the mentoring has really helped me to focus on how I can scale the business and achieve growth in a more sustainable way.

Richard Fletcher, Ignys

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