The Indie Series – Q&A with Andrew Silver, director of 360 Growth Partners

Andrew Silver, director of 360 Growth Partners, discusses the rewards and challenges of operating an independent business in the North East, short and long-term plans for the business, and the impact of the pandemic

Tell us about 360 Growth Partners 

After over 30 years driving high-growth strategies at various businesses, I decided to set up 360 Growth Partners to put all that learning and experience into supporting other people to realise their vision.

There are six of us and we operate as the extended leadership team for businesses in the North East, whether start-up, scale-up or more consolidated business.

We support with strategy but because we have all worked in businesses most of our lives, we are far happier getting stuck in and working with owners and managing directors to help them grow.

We believe that great things happen when you inspire belief in your team to live and share your business dreams.

What is the most rewarding aspect of running an independent business in the region?

To be free to focus on what we consider important. To offer real value to clients who want and appreciate our expertise and to help them achieve great things, beyond just a financial return. In turn, this helps individuals inspire an ever-growing number of people and adds economic prosperity to the region.

And the most challenging?

Having to have a constant eye on maintaining the profile of 360 Growth Partners, when I want to focus on supporting clients to achieve their goals. I hadn’t fully appreciated how much time would be involved in our communications, which is rather surprising when I have a strong sales and marketing background. I have always been more comfortable letting my actions do the talking!

What are the short and long-term plans for the business?

To build a portfolio of great clients doing great work. We want to make a genuine difference to the working lives of individuals and support owners to realise their vision. Longer-term, to look at whether 360 Growth Partners could be a business model which is scalable beyond the North East region, where others could benefit from the same partnership philosophy. My eldest son has started on the management consultancy route, so perhaps he can take the concept forward in the future.

What advice would you give to anyone with a business idea?

Talk to as many knowledgeable people as possible. Do some research. Find great people who complement your skills and go do it.

How has your business been affected by the coronavirus pandemic?

Undoubtedly. If our clients were affected, then so were we. Having said that, we have worked throughout, as well as focused on developing 360 Growth Partners and taken the opportunity to read, listen and maintain a wider perspective. We are now in a stronger position than pre-COVID-19.

Have you adapted your service in light of these challenges?

We support founders and managing directors to achieve their vision. There are always bumps in the road. When asked what we do, I often say, “we solve problems.”

This particular bump has at times felt like a crater, but we have stayed close to all our clients, embraced online delivery and ensured we provide the guidance expected from a trusted business partner. Rather than planning for growth, we are working with organisations to re-group, re-set and re-imagine.

360 Growth Partners