BVR stopped trying to do everything, developing a customer-centric business model to prioritise its highest-value opportunities

“The level of analysis that came from Collingwood was extraordinary in the difference it made to how we had been thinking before. It completely changed the type of information we were using to make decisions.”

Lucretia Lyons, CEO, BVR

A winning combination

Business Valuation Resources (BVR), a specialised information provider in the business valuation field, provides professionals undertaking business valuation, performance benchmarking, and risk assessments with authoritative deal and market data, news and research, training, and expert opinion.
The company was bought by David Foster from its original founder. After reconnecting with friend and former colleague Lucretia Lyons, they embarked on developing the business together. “We thought when we took on the business, ‘This is incredible!’,” says David. “It was a small profession, but it was growing. So we decided to take on that mission and build it out.”
Lucretia agrees. “With all of David’s previous successes and my marketing background, we saw so readily where we could combine products, and improve marketing and ad programming. We were able to tap into some of that growth early on.” 

Time for a leadership reboot

Over the next few years, BVR grew into a thriving multimillion-dollar company, but hit a financial plateau. The company faced challenges in sustaining momentum, and in adapting its product development and growth strategies.
“I loved it all, every minute - don't get me wrong - but we were feeling inefficient. It felt like nothing was moving,” says Lucretia. “We had expended all of this energy, but it stopped impacting the business in the same way. We were just ‘hovering’ at about the $7 million mark.” 
David and Lucretia initially added new products to their strategy, but these efforts proved unsuccessful. This, combined with the realisation that the company had outgrown its existing governance and leadership structure, meant there was a strong need for a fresh perspective and a more robust leadership approach.
“We had tried three successive new product additions, none of which worked,” says David. “Our growth strategies and our product launch strategies had stopped working because we were spreading ourselves too thin. We had grown to the point where we needed better governance; we needed better leadership.”

A customer-centric transformation

The initial conversations revealed a need to gain entry to the top customers in the market and resolve pricing inconsistencies. 
“Thanks to Collingwood's help, we realised that we had not penetrated the top of the market,” says David. “Plus, our effort to grow the company had led to confusion about pricing points, and customer-wise, there were a lot of inefficiencies that we'd introduced simply through the growth process.”
The shift to a customer-centric business model became the cornerstone of BVR’s transformation. David and Lucretia were guided to focus on customer-driven product development, leveraging data effectively to navigate the complexities of the process.
“It can be so overwhelming coming up with a plan for roadmapping deliverables and working out what the milestones are,” says Lucretia. “The business plan we ultimately produced alongside Collingwood was a complete change from our previous approach, but their methodology still meant the business plan was created by our leadership team, giving us ownership.”

A rejuvenated business

In the first year, the impact was transformative. The once hands-on founders found themselves embracing a more strategic and customer-focused mindset. The business plan became a guiding force, a roadmap with key milestones and deliverables. KPIs shifted, and decision-making became more measured.
“We are now customer-centric – we now look at our average account value, understand best-case buying patterns, and understand the pricing and go-to-market strategies that work in those huge opportunities,” says David. 
Lucretia adds: “The level of analysis that came from Collingwood was extraordinary in the difference it made to how we had been thinking before. It completely changed the type of information we were using to make decisions.” 
BVR and Collingwood’s work together not only delivered tangible changes, but also influenced the culture of the company. The leadership team found breathing room to absorb information, make decisions ahead of time, and steer the ship confidently.
David and Lucretia believe the collaboration rejuvenated not just the business but their sense of accomplishment and pride in their undertakings. “We now have customer knowledge at a profound level, and that to me is awe-inspiring,” says David. “It’s what gives me the most confidence.”

“Our work with BVR has majored on developing and aligning the top team around a shared vision and strategy on how to maximise value creation.”

Andy Baker, Practice Lead for Business Information and Memberships, Collingwood
Collingwood’s work with BVR centred on a detailed three-year business plan, supported by comprehensive customer insight. “The impact has been felt right across BVR in the way they are structured and incentivised, in their product development and how they go to market,” says Practice Lead for Business Information and Memberships at Collingwood, Andy Baker.
There were clear opportunities for BVR to grow, but Andy says there were too many ideas. “That you can’t do everything runs counter to the entrepreneurial instinct, but it’s a fact,” says Andy. “In our work with BVR we brought prioritisation, focusing not on good ideas but the best ideas.”
Collingwood helped BVR prioritise higher-value opportunities, especially in the area of enterprise subscriptions. “We believe there is a major upside opportunity in BVR and we are delighted to have been part of David's and Lucretia's journey to date.”