Business – it’s all about People

David Humby, Business Growth Advisor, on the importance of People.

The mid 1980’s saw the emergence of the concept of the Marketing Mix, the 4 P’s – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The model was further developed with the addition of the People, Process and Physical Evidence elements. These pillars form the cornerstone of many businesses’ commercial strategy.  

And there’s a common thread that runs through all 7 P’s – and that’s….People. They are the ones who make it happen! 

Here at Elephants Child, we engage with clients in three core areas; helping SME businesses exit, grow with purpose and value, and tackle funding challenges. In all instances, and many other scenarios, it’s imperative that the people component is at the centre of what we do. 

In any organisation, whether that be client, supplier, customer, advisor, stakeholder or any other of the myriads of entities, there will be an inherent behaviours, a leadership style and an organisational culture. All of these important elements will be the result of individuals personas and approaches. What exists on paper is the formality of the company, what is behind it are the real values driving it is its people. Artificial Intelligence is one of the hottest global topics of today’s world. AI is all about technology and the massive computing processing capabilities, often to compliment, or even replace people. But who developed and continues to develop AI? People!  

The chronology of a company can take many forms. An example being; the initial start-up, a growth phase, maturity and ultimately a sale or exit. In each of those phases the people piece is key: 


The start-up may come as a result of an entrepreneurial idea for a product or service. In the growth stage the company will need to employ the right people with the right skills to carry on that journey. They’ll need the right contacts and to foster relationships both internally and externally such as suppliers and clients. They’ll grow with the organisation.  


One of the exciting aspects of any business, especially for start-ups and SME’s is the growth phase. Those who set-up the company, with their great concept of a product or service, can’t expect to be experts in all fields and this is where outside support can help take the business to the next level with strategic planning. Business owners need to be comfortable with this process and it’s therefore important that the internal and external people align to drive the most from this activity. 


Maturity will see many challenges, both on and in the company as a whole, and particularly on it’s people. How they respond and cope with those headwinds will be impacted by the organisational culture, the leadership of the business and their own personal behaviours and attributes. Recognising limitations, accepting, and being receptive to help of outside entities such as business advisors is one way to assist an organisations growth or tackle challenges such as funding requirements for example. 


‘You can only sell a company once’ is a well-used phrase and it’s therefore critical that the process is robust and effective. In most cases it can also be an emotional rollercoaster with many highs and lows as owners seek to maximise the rewards of what can often be a lifetime’s work while also wanting to consider and protect the legacy they have created. Building empathy with your chosen external provider, such as an advisory partner, is absolutely critical and the ‘people’ part of the exit journey should never be under-estimated in it’s importance. For many business owners this is the first time they will have sold a business, and the process can be complex and daunting. And it’s not just those in the business that are affected during this process, it’s family, friends and loved ones. People.  

As a business advisory, specialising in facilitating UK SME’s, we have a team with a diverse wealth of skills and experience across a broad range of industries and sectors. Not only do we have the ability to match the skill set to the client, but we can also match the personalities and traits that drive a successful project outcome. The team not only help with the specific task in hand, but they also act as mentors, provide support and guidance, as well as reassurance and even comfort when needed. It really is about the people, guiding the 1% of business that achieve an exit! 

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