Erica Wolfe-Murray is a leading business growth expert working with fast-growth SMEs
Companies from across the creative, cultural and tech sector beat a path to Erica’s door. With her rich imagination and hands-on experience from working with over 350 companies, she envisages a future for companies they’ve never dreamed of. Then helps the founders achieve this vision.
Having worked both as a creative head of her own design studio and the financial director of her award-winning tv production company, she harnesses both wild creativity and commercial savvy to generate exciting growth for clients.
Erica started working with Barreworks in early 2017. Vicki had seen an Instagram pic posted by a business who was working with Erica. Thinking ‘I want some of that’ she immediately reached out.
Erica spotted the potential in Vicki, Barreworks and the barre offer. By digging into Vicki’s intellectual assets, IP, passions, abilities, she could see the ‘art of the possible’ in ways Vicki had never imagined. Four years on - Barreworks now has a highly successful instructor training scheme, is building the Barre Collective, has run its first Barre Summit, has over 600 hours of online training - with Vicki having appeared on C4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins and aiming to smash the record for rowing 4000kms across the Pacific.
Erica sees limitless possibilities in every business.
Her unique experience and honed growth methodology help business founders to look closely at their background, to understand overlooked opportunities hidden within their business, to approach new markets with an inventive mindset and to generate original products or services to meet existing and new needs. She also sees how intellectual property can bring additional opportunities for monetisation.
Whilst Erica is happy to take on projects, much of her growth work is delivered through business coaching. Together you talk the talk, but she supports you as you walk the walk, so clients really ‘own’ their business evolution. This way of working can be applied to every single business - whether you are a fitness professional, run a studio or are looking to up your game.
And Erica is no slouch when it comes to her own business. Her book ’Simple Tips, Smart Ideas: Build a Bigger Better Business’ to help freelancers and micro businesses to grow using her methodology was a Finalist in the 2020 Business Book Awards. Probably the only business book featuring images of blue meringues and loo roll, it’s rammed with useful activities to grow your business. With only 5* glowing reviews on Amazon, its accessible and smart. She’s also in the top 50 of Enterprise Nation business coaches, with WeWork and several universities having her as a mentor to emerging companies.
Business growth 101
1. Your journey to where you are now is completely unique to you, so map it thoroughly. From where you were born to all your experience leading to today.
2. List out all the clients/customers during your career who have paid you. Are there any hidden groups or interesting sub-sectors you can spot? Could these provide a new market for you?
3. Write out what you have ever been paid to do. Don’t be lazy but really drill down. Look for real expertise. So don’t put ‘exercise training’ but ’strength and conditioning of over 45-year olds’. Could some of these provide a new service or product if labelled and marketed to a new audience?
4. Detail a) your passions - what really drives you and should form the basis of your business, b) your skills - what you’ve learned so can be put to use in your business, and c) your talents which can give your business a rocket-boost as you will find them easy, natural.
5. If you are doing a SWOT analysis for your future growth plan, remember that Strengths and Weaknesses are internal to your business. Make sure you really map these these thoroughly. Your business should only be built on Strengths.
6. The Opportunities and Threats are external to the business. They are out in the marketplace. Opportunities can come and go swiftly so you have to watch for them and act accordingly. Threats are harder to spot so you have to keep your radar switched on.
7. Your objective is to map Strengths against an Opportunity and go for it.
8. If you anchor your growth plans firmly in your unique journey - no-one else will be able to compete with you as they don’t have your experience, skills or client list.
9. Never overlook the money. Understanding the financial side of your business is a real 101. Get a grip on it before you ask any bookkeeper or accountant to handle it. And remember - book-keepers work for you handling the day-to-day cash ins and outs fo your business. Accountants effectively work for HMRC - they have a rigid set of rules they have to follow, are not really creative and are there to ensure you and your business report and pay tax correctly.