Value Creation

Value creation is the primary aim of any business entity and arguably the single most important communication of ourselves. 

Yet many creative firms struggle with understanding for themselves and clearly defining the value of what they do for clients. Obvious maybe, but our true value is often revealed and most truthfully told by our clients and customers through authentic testimonials and reviews. After all, they have the experiences of working with you, so allow them to speak for you. 

So in the words of a few of my clients:

Before setting up UNLTD_XYZ in 2011, I engaged Simon’s help for a period of time in 2009 in a previous business venture to advise and help us plan and implement a strategy to develop the business, which worked very well. 

We kept in touch over the years and I reached a point in 2018 with UNLTD_XYZ where I felt the need for some external perspective on how to take the business forward. I turned to Simon as a consultant and sounding board to help me shape and structure the business for the next stage of growth.  

Simon came on board in a part-time commercial role to UNLTD_XYZ and quickly became an integral part of the team, working with us for 2 years up until Aug 2020. His involvement brought a wealth of complementary experience into UNLTD_XYZ, working closely with me right across the business to further enhance best practices and to help shape and implement a strategic plan for growth. 

Initially, we defined the business objectives and reviewed the financial position. Simon then led the development of our brand proposition and a new website and we planned the necessary resources to help shape a strategy and implement a tactical plan for developing the business in areas of interest that also represented tangible opportunity for future growth. 

By March 2020, my team had quadrupled in size and we were progressing well, then Covid-19 got in the way and disrupted our plan. However, through the pandemic we managed to continue working on the business together, constructively planning ahead.

Simon is a professional, dedicated and strategic mentor with the ability to work both ON and IN the business with me. He is a pleasure to work with and I will endeavour to engage his valuable support again going forward on the other side of the pandemic.”

Jason Smith – Creative Director, UNLTD_XYZ 

We have worked with several business consultants over the years, but Simon is by far the most effective. His key strength is that he understands the design industry, so his input is appropriately tailored to our needs.

He works in a methodical manner, getting to know his clients well before providing advice. His ongoing support is a valuable resource that our business can call upon when required

Ed Griffiths – Creative Director, Jedco Product Design

I have found the work that you did with 4c partners Robin Smith and Will Mitchell very insightful and helpful to me over the last year. I believe that it has helped me put in place what I hope is a good support structure which will serve Will and the team well in 2020 and beyond. Thank you!

Dr Susie Ranford – Managing Director, 4c Design

I had the opportunity of getting to know Simon during the DBA Twenty/Twenty mentoring programme throughout 2018.

We started our design practice 4 years ago. It has very much been a process of learning how to run your own business as we went along, wearing different hats on different days.

The sessions with Simon were insightful and helpful especially to benchmark against other agencies through Simon’s eyes, experience and network. He helped us with a measuring tool for annual growth and shared various example models for the same.

Through the course of the programme, we moved away from a prescriptive format to very organic sessions which felt natural. He is a lovely guy and a great listener. I would recommend getting in touch with him for a chat.”

Bharat Bhargava – Business Director, Bharat&Jean

We worked with Simon for three years (Oct 2012 to Sep 2015) and his mission was to help us grow our business from a consultancy to develop a more design-orientated offer.

He was instrumental in setting up, from scratch, a new environmental graphics & wayfinding team, and positioning then taking our workspace design offer and team into new areas.

Simon has given us essential strategic input to developing the propositions and to how we market and present ourselves. He has also been a great sounding board for ideas running around amongst our senior team, and has given us new found confidence in our discussions and negotiations with clients.

It has been an absolute pleasure collaborating with him, and great to have someone standing back from the day-to-day business and giving us new perspectives. I’m sure we will be working with him again in the future.”

David Watts – Managing Director, CCD Design & Ergonomics Ltd

I’d highly recommend having a discussion as Simon is well connected and sees the wood for the trees where it is sometimes difficult for us, as involved as we are with the day to day running of our businesses, to see!

Simon Pengelly – Furniture and Product Designer, Pengelly Design

We engaged with Simon to help us reach out to our previous clients and also to speak to our internal team about how the 4c Design brand was perceived

Although we are only a team of 9 people, the decision to outsource this work was deliberate because we were too close to the work and our clients and felt Simon’s outside perspective would be beneficial. Simon’s approach was thorough, professional and insightful, because although unfamiliar with our company initially, he was able to quickly extract the relevant information needed to help us improve our messaging, client relationships and culture over the course of a year working with us.

The work, initiated two years ago, is still helping shape the direction of 4c Design today, and will inevitably continue to do so for a while yet.”

Will Mitchell – Design Director & Partner, 4c Design Ltd

Simon is a very empathetic ‘people person’ who, in addition to the benefits he has brought to the business, has also provided me personally with greater clarity as to what I want to happen over the next few years.

Simon is incredibly professional and possesses a wealth of knowledge about working within the industry. We will be applying his strategic thinking whilst we continue to build the business in the future.”

Ian Whybrow – Managing Director, Whybrow Wayfinding Ltd

Simon is a truly excellent business mentor and coach. Over the last 5 years he has been a valuable sounding board in helping me to grow my business.

The combination of his commercial acumen, challenging questions and strong listening skills has enabled me to find out more about myself and what I need to specifically work on or change to achieve my desired outcome. Simon has the rare ability in conversations to connect on both an intellectual and emotional level. This ensures our conversations are both rich in content and meaningful to me personally.

If you want to grow your business, Simon is the man to go to, I recommend him wholeheartedly. On top of all of this, Simon is a wonderful person to be around and I love his company.”

Jeff Benveniste – Managing Partner, Global Edge Ltd

We had the pleasure of having Simon work with us for around 18 months. During that time Simon challenged us and presented us with ideas for taking Hyphen to new levels, and getting us out of the box it’s all too easy to get into as busy business owners.

Simon brought a level of professionalism and dedication with him that I think was appreciated by all, not just us at Hyphen, but by the people Simon reached out to on our behalf. He’s down to earth and very genuine, and was a good fit for us at Hyphen.

He was great to have around, and we enjoy a considerably wider profile and network thanks to him. I have no doubt our paths will cross in the future.”

Mike Elam – Technical Director, Hyphen

DWHD is a new business in a very competitive market. Simon’s pro-active and strategic approach to business development has brought clarity of thinking and purpose to the business, enabling us to fine tune and improve our business plan. He also makes sure we stick to it!

In short, Simon is our business mentor, our biggest fan and our fiercest critic. He is intelligent, diligent and a consummate professional. He has always worked with us for the greater benefit of our company.

Furthermore, his insight when it comes to identifying and unlocking new business opportunities is very impressive.”

Will Pocknell – Founding Director, DWHD

Simon took a holistic look at our company and our behaviours to help us to be more proactive and ultimately provide a better service for our clients

He worked with us to; cement relationships with our current clients, revitalise relationships with past clients and to identify reasons and opportunities for approaching new clients.

Simon is very knowledgeable about the design industry, which he’s worked in for many years, and brought a level of experience and business acumen which was invaluable to our business. He also has a very affable personality which makes working with him a pleasure.”

Neil Quiddington – Managing Director, Four-Letter Word

We interviewed several new business agents and found them all to be extremely intrusive in their approach – all except Simon that is

Since our clients are designers (3D exhibition designers) and all our work comes from public sector organisations within the cultural field, we were only too aware that the commercial, pushy approach could be disastrous. Simon understood and accepted this and worked within those limitations.

His results were excellent given the tough climate of 2010. We’re now reaping the benefit having managed to expand the sources from which we get new projects. We’ve progressed from just one source to a potential of five or six with three of these currently active

We’re very pleased and will not hesitate to contract Simon again as soon as the climate improves. I know he can do more than this as proven by his new business work for other design practices that are having success in more commercial fields. At last, a new business adviser who understands designers!!!

Nick Bell – Founding & Creative Director, Nick Bell Design (DBA Member)
Visiting Professor of Graphic Design, Royal College of Art

This is a brief overview of our time with Simon, which covered the period between 2004-2007. A close friend strongly recommended that we meet Simon, prior to starting BergHind Joseph. By the end of the evening we felt an overwhelming need to buy some of Simon’s time.

We initially committed ourselves to 1-day a week in year 1, and increased this to 2-days a week in year 2. During this time Simon was instrumental in helping BHJ shape, refine and deliver our business offer, identifying key areas for development, and instantly became an integral part of BHJ’s team.

In 2003 Simon’s very structured approach helped BHJ win our first major piece of creative work for The Sanctuary Group. Whilst a substantial chunk of our experience lies in corporate reporting, we are and see ourselves progressing in the business of shaping and transforming brands. This in part is due to Simon’s contribution and discussions during this time

To this day we still consider Simon to be a very important part of BergHind Joseph’s history and remain good friends.”

Smith Joseph – Co-Founder and Creative Director, BergHind Joseph

Simon worked with our organisation under a fixed term 9-month contract in the role of Business Development Director, until the end of January 2004.

Simon proved to be a valuable asset to our agency, meeting the challenge with extraordinary organisational skill, determination and consistency of approach. As a result of his efforts, we established an excellent basis through which we can take our new business programme forward.

The hallmarks of Simon’s modus operandi are professionalism and commitment to the fulfilment of business objectives, providing positive value to any management team.”

Karen Vermeulen – Managing Director, The Company