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Case Study - Trevor Pill

Trevor Pill, Executive Director, Onyx Health

Please could you describe what your business does?

Trevor PillWe provide specialist marketing communications expertise to the healthcare sector. Working with a wide range of companies, nationally and internationally, we help them market their products and services to healthcare professional audiences. We specialise in helping clients to enter new markets, reach new customers and increase sales through our services, which include commercial strategy and content creation, through to brand consultancy and digital expertise.

What were the key business challenges you were facing before joining the Help to Grow programme?

We’ve scaled up rapidly over the past 18 months, more than doubling our headcount. At the same time my role has evolved, as I’m transitioning to lead the agency in future. Whilst we do have future plans to grow beyond our current size, our main priority as a business is to improve operationally and become more streamlined, improve productivity, and grow our profitability as a result.

Why did you decide to sign up for Help to Grow?

I come from a creative design background and whilst I’ve risen through the ranks to become number two in the agency, I don’t have any formal business or leadership qualifications. So, I was keen to broaden my knowledge and gain some practical tools and tips.

What have been your key learnings so far and how have you applied them to your business?

I found the digital audit incredibly useful. Digital leadership is an area that I want to develop; we all know that the future of healthcare communications is in the digital sphere. The process we went through has helped me change our approach to digital communication and inspired me to look at implementing more creative digital solutions. This will increase our efficiency and improve the experience we offer to our clients.

What have been the best aspects of the Help to Grow experience for you personally?

The topics are very accessible; everything is communicated in a clear, practical and no-nonsense way. The learning sessions are led by people with credible industry and commercial experience, so it’s all ‘real world’ stuff and directly applicable, rather than theoretical business speak – something which is very important to me.

I’ve also found the mentoring sessions brilliant. My mentor is a great sounding board for the ideas I’m developing for the busines and can provide an objective perspective. I always leave each mentoring session with an action to take forward.

In the peer group calls, we share experiences and recommendations with each other – everything from the best leadership books we’ve read, to practical tips for suppliers and contacts. For example, I’d talked about our ambitions to grow our sustainability credentials and a member of the group recommended a company they use to manages tree planting and CO2 offsetting, which I will definitely be exploring.

What’s your one key takeaway from the programme?

The internationalisation session provided me with some invaluable food for thought. We’ve been discussing the potential opportunity to enter the US market for a while and considering the pros and cons of establishing an office in the US versus a partnership with an agency already operating in the market. Through the case study that we covered in the session, we tackled exactly these kinds of questions, which helped to structure my thoughts about our own international aspirations. It reinforced the need for further research and market analysis before we move forward.

What would you say to another business considering Help to Grow?

There’s something for everyone and it will challenge you in a positive way. You’ll make some great connections, have fantastic conversations with peers, and it gives you plenty of tools and new ideas to take forward in your own business.

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