Local Authority Trading Company

It may seem obvious that becoming commercially successful is not simply achieved by setting up a trading company. Nonetheless, it sometimes needs some support to recognise that setting up a high-performing, successful, commercial company takes a considerable amount of due diligence, market understanding and a recognition that this does not happen overnight.

Whilst it is clear that trading in a commercial setting is entirely different from delivering services as a ‘department’ of a public sector body, it is common to overlook quite how different public sector culture and behaviours can be, and how difficult some of the custom and practice is to overcome. This is equally applicable to the new company as it is to how the public sector parent organisation supports it.

Our approach

We worked closely with a spin out of a Local Authority which had been trading for four years, but had not previously invested in developing its managers to become more commercially astute and so was struggling with its level of profitability and had defaulted to ‘how we have always done things’.

It was important that we did not simply deliver ‘off the shelf’ commercial management support and training. Whilst this has its place, we recognise that every spin-out has a different starting point, so for us, getting under the skin of what is and isn’t working was the primary focus. This enabled us to provide bespoke commercial up-skilling packages that addressed the needs of the business and supported the achievement of its objectives to develop the behaviours that were needed.

The outcome

With this client, the component parts of business plans and activity were already in place but we helped to address the two key things that were lacking. Firstly, the tools to drive sales activity and secondly the confidence to close sales.

Therefore, our support was two-fold. We worked one to one with business managers to develop appropriate and relevant sales tracking tools including call logs, sales funnels and trackers, but we also designed workshops which focused on building the confidence of the team members responsible for driving sales.

The whole process was a positive one for the team, which felt enthused to have these new commercial skills and its delivery of new sales has greatly improved.

At C.Co, we support organisations with solutions for all aspects of change management, enabling successful improvement and transformation across the public sector. If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with us today.