Commercial consultancy Facets gets off to 'flying start'

29 January 2021 3 min. read
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2020 was a difficult year for the consulting market – with smaller operators struggling to weather the storm in the same way the cash-rich industry’s larger generalist players were able to. With that in mind, the fact Facets Commercial Consulting has managed to turn a profit – regardless of its size – since its launch amid the UK’s first lockdown is little short of miraculous.

Everyone knows Rome wasn’t built in a day – and with a little perspective behind them, even apparently small achievements in the short-term can take on major significance in the years to come. That is likely the hope of experienced commercial sales director Guy Littlejohn, who decided to launch his new independent firm Facets Commercial Consulting amid a global pandemic.

While the figures are unlikely to see his firm land in the Fast Track 100 any time soon, the consultancy has reported exponential growth following eight months of trading – a remarkable achievement during the Covid-19 crisis which has so heavily impacted the consulting scene.

Commercial consultancy Facets gets off to 'flying start'

In boom times, the specialised skillset of consultants can help them win work from heavy-weight clients, and eat into the market share of top consulting players. In times of crisis, however, playing to a niche can have a detrimental effect on a small consultancy’s financial health. If clients within that specialism decide to tighten their belts and postpone projects, start-up and smaller firms are unlikely to have a second line of business to fall back on.

According to a survey by Comatch in 2020, this has seen the coronavirus have a profound impact on independent consulting, leaving many with less income and delayed project work. Roughly 30% of independent consultants said their running and/or planned project was postponed. However, in spite of these pressures – and without any external investment – Facets still managed to grow to a team of five experienced consultants, and ended 2020 with a monthly turnover of £22,500.

Facets is a commercial consultancy working with marketing, creative, digital and technology businesses to help them grow and attract new clients. At a time when businesses are turning to external sales support to boost their recovery in the pandemic downturn, Facets has managed to win work with a number of established agencies, while taking on two new clients; Studio LWD and Remotestar.

Now holding 11 retained clients, the firm is hoping to build on its early momentum throughout 2021. Founder Littlejohn commented, “Our clients openly admit that sales are a bottleneck to growth, some even admit that managing their own salespeople can bring a number of challenges, from motivation to time and resources needed to train them.”

“Our goals as ‘part-time’ consultants are to take all those hassles away, hit the ground running and bring in the results as and when support is needed… Our biggest challenge to do this is ensuring we have the right consultants on board and I’m now really pleased with the dynamic and hardworking team we have put together.”

A bright 2021

With 2021 now well underway, Facets’ growth looks set to continue apace, as it works towards a 2021 forecast of £350,000, plus commission (approximately £75,000) – with profits expected at 50%. In order to meet that demand, Facets has already launched a wide-ranging recruitment process to add more experienced consultants to its headcount.

“As the year develops, we will be adding to the team, but not without ensuring we’re bringing in the right people for our clients,” Littlejohn confirmed. “Our clients, both existing and future clients will always come first, and we push to get them the best results, that won’t change. Keeping it simple is the key, and I truly believe the sky's the limit for Facets!”