As we bid farewell to 2023, it’s a good time to reflect. Our CEO and Founder, Paul McIntosh, reflects on his startup journey. Paul discusses the challenges he encountered during the early years and how he overcame them. He also outlines his future plans for Bridgehead.
After holding senior commercial leadership positions in major blue chip companies: Cisco, Lego, and the BBC, Paul learnt a great deal on how sales and marketing teams should work. Armed with a passion for assisting emerging businesses to achieve rapid growth, Paul founded Bridgehead in March 2009, focusing on crafting Go-To-Market (GTM) strategies to create cohesive sales and marketing teams for startups and scale-ups.
With a humble setup of just a desk, phone, and laptop, he began the journey of seeking out his first clients.
These were signed within 90 days!
As a business owner, what challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
My key challenges during the first 3-5 years were:
Building a team
One of the critical decisions was whether to recruit before achieving the desired revenues and profits or to grow first and then bring in new talent. For me, the latter worked better.
Refining our service proposition
I honed, tested, and refined Bridgehead’s processes and methodologies. I wanted to steer away from the common pattern where startups and scale-ups would see results after a year. Instead, we wanted to prove that results could be achieved within 90 days.
Cash flow management
Managing cash flow to accommodate growth and investment in expansion was a major challenge and still remains an ongoing challenge. Positioning finance at the backbone of a company is essential. The right person leading this is key, you have to build trust in the numbers and cash flow visibility is critical to support growth. The importance of having a clear finance strategy with KPIs cannot be overstated.
Establishing our business model
Positioning our company to effectively convey our value to clients and establishing a business model centred around success and partnerships required careful consideration and planning. This is where we often help our clients. Conveying your value proposition is a key part of a go-to-market strategy.
What are your future plans for Bridgehead?
Our vision is clear: we want to become the number one International Growth Agency in our niche. The plan includes opening new offices in the US (both east and west coasts) and 4 additional offices across Europe.
We also have long-term plans to potentially franchise or licence our successful business model. Most importantly, I’ve emphasised my commitment to make the Bridgehead methodology accessible to every startup and scale-up. The ultimate goal is to create a SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform that speeds up the market entry process, allowing businesses to achieve Proof of Concept.
I have confidence in Bridgehead’s ability to continue making a profound impact on the startup landscape.
Bridgehead is an international growth agency, helping startups and scaleups expand into new markets in the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia. Since inception, Bridgehead has helped over 80 companies successfully expand into new markets. If global expansion is on your radar, get in touch today.