Rachel Adams, left, has joined Chris Leggett and Clare Knowles at Osborn Communications

“Rockfine’s coaching style not only provided insights into ways of growing a business, it accelerated our success. I would not hesitate to recommend them to any business owner.”

After receiving coaching from Rockfine through their delivery of the Creative Scale Up programme for the West Midlands Combined Authority, award-winning PR and marketing agency Osborn Communications benefitted from mentoring support which delivered sales plans, growth, profits and new ways of overcoming challenges. We caught up with director Chris Leggett to find out more about the positive impact which Rockfine had upon the development of Osborn. 

The WMCA Creative Scale-up programme was designed to help creative businesses in the West Midlands grow and generate employment opportunities. With Rockfine among the key delivery partners, the programme covered access to finance, marketing and branding, value and pricing, intellectual property, contract law and sales, along with pitching and presenting support. The learning was delivered through a series of workshops, seminars and peer to peer mentoring sessions. Supporting four cohorts, the WMCA made it open to ambitious creative businesses that were looking to grow and scale up.

Chris, tell us about your business.
Osborn is an independent communications agency Osborn which helps clients to sell across the UK and internationally. We create high impact and positive messaging about businesses which is shared to large and targeted audiences through their websites, social and external media.

Launched during the pandemic in 2020, we are a performance-driven marketing and communications consultancy with a focus on delivering tangible, demonstrable return on investment for our clients. We create campaigns that drive sales and company growth.

How has your business developed in your time working with Rockfine?

Having completed the Scale Up programme and then embarked upon weekly coaching with Rockfine strategic director BD Dalton we have grown revenues and profits to employ more specialists. Our business has a strong track record in delivering earned media coverage for SMEs and leading brands. 

We have expanded our offer to include providing new or enhanced website designs for clients, taking the management of their web presence for it to be an asset for their business. Osborn also provides strategies which improve the culture of businesses, based on people-driven engagement and social media support to drive online engagement, generating spikes in interest mixed with ongoing growth. We have enabled clients to gain recognition for their successes through award entry writing, which brought success for 21 winners from 100 finalists in the first 18 months.

How did you engage with Rockfine through the Creative Scale-up programme?
The Rockfine team delivered key sessions on a host of important subjects including strategy, business development and presentation. The sessions covered core learning and then practical steps for implementation.

The Rockfine peer-to-peer sessions were good for interacting with our cohort and hearing about others’ businesses, sharing similar experiences and learning from the approaches adopted by others, including companies in completely different sectors.

I had one-on-one coaching sessions with BD, which were helpful during the programme, and then we began weekly coaching meetings. At these session we review progress, look at ways of tackling business issues and understand the mindsets needed to overcome growth issues.

We are frequently challenged to think in new ways, particularly when it comes to business development, pricing and account management. Creative business owners frequently gravitate to the areas they enjoy the most so it is beneficial to adopt a more disciplined approach in order to not just survive but thrive as a scale up business.

What were you hoping to get out of it? 
I wanted to move from being almost a sole trader to building a team of experienced specialists who could deliver a range of services meeting the changing needs of businesses.

It was difficult to be strategic during the pandemic, when there was uncertainty for businesses and restrictions on everyday behaviour. But by putting myself through the processes and continuing to push our thinking, we have built sustainable growth and a clear direction for the future. 

What did you gain from the programme?
Business is a challenge, especially in the competitive world of marketing and communications, and the longer it takes to get traction the higher that chance of failure. Rockfine’s coaching style not only provided insights into ways of growing a business, it accelerated our success. I would not hesitate to recommend them to any business owner.

Rockfine’s verdict

“It was great to be able to help Chris prepare for the growth of Osborn through our programme and ongoing support. Chris adapted and grew throughout our work together. He focused on delivering a high level of service and shaping an aspirational client bank with awesome stories to tell. Osborn’s success will multiply every year.”

B.D. Dalton, Rockfine strategic director