What being part of the London Stock Exchange’s ELITE programme is like

To continue with the strong growth Postcode Anywhere has achieved in recent years, founder and CEO Guy Mucklow explains why joining the ELITE programme is providing a valuable set of tools for this push.

Delivered in partnership with Imperial College Business School, the programme follows the success of its Italian counterpart programme, launched in 2012 by Milan-based Borsa Italiana – Italy’s main stock exchange.

Our Worcester-based technology company was one of the 19 companies selected to take part on the programme on the basis of its rapid business growth and sustainable potential.

How we came across ELITE

When you’re buying something online and you are instructed to type in your postcode to find an address, there’s a good chance you are using Postcode Anywhere. As the market leaders in addressing software, we have over 8,000 international customers including Tesco, Oxfam and Canada Post.

Over the last 12 months we have made a significant decision to scale for growth. With a scalable business model, we have recently started to put into place the building blocks to achieve our ambitions. This has included, moving to a new £2 million office in the centre of Worcester that accommodates double the current headcount, establishing a senior management team who have been tasked with delivering growth, and finally setting up rigorous systems and processes to create greater accountability across the business.

It was during our discussions with Grant Thornton that we first came across ELITE – the recommended the programme as a platform for supporting our growth strategy.

What we hope to get out of ELITE

Most importantly we hope to get greater visibility for the business and for what we are trying to achieve. The programme will also provide us with the opportunity to share experiences with other fast growing, ambitious businesses and in doing so, be challenged in our opinions of the market.

Imperial College Business School is one of the leading business schools in the country and we will therefore be reminded of current business theory and best practice while also making high level contacts in both the academic and financial world.

More on business growth programmes:

What have been the results so far?

The experience so far has without a doubt exceeded our expectations.

We have already received great publicity in the media including a launch piece in The Times. Our CFO, Ed Moseley and I had two intensive days of discussion and idea sharing with high growth peers, which has given us a huge amount to take back and discuss with our team.

However, the greatest lesson we have learnt is that we can never be satisfied with just ‘good’. We need to be constantly testing ourselves and pushing the boundaries if we are to hit our goals. And to achieve this, we need a cultural shift within the business.

Finally, the course has provided an unsurpassed opportunity to test our strategy and product. We will be the subject of a case study in the next module which will examine a specific part of our business on which I expect to be critically challenged by our peers.

We have also identified two very progressive peer companies, which are at the leading edge of using data to improve. I am in the process of arranging meetings with these to again explore what our respective companies are doing in this area and to test some of our assumptions on a new big data application that we will be looking to launch later this year.

Recognising that Postcode Anywhere has developed a fantastic platform for growth, we have made a conscious decision to aggressively scale the business and have put measures in place to make this happen. The ELITE programme will be an important cornerstone to help facilitate our ambitious strategy and prepare for the next stage of growth.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.