Raising The Bar

Working from home with a desktop computer and two laptops

Specialising in business support and advice for organisations throughout Wales, Landsker Business Solutions has a winning combination of commitment and tenacity. Jeremy Bowen Rees tells us more about the firm and how it is weathering the Covid-19 storm.

As a multi-award winning independent management consultancy, Landsker Business Solutions Ltd provides business support and advice to small, medium and large enterprises, throughout Wales, to the private, public and 3rd sectors.

Landsker is approved on a range of Welsh Government support programmes, including Farming Connect, Arts Council of Wales Resilience programme, Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme, Wales Co-Operative Centre, The Social Business Wales programme, Food & Drink sector framework agreement, Superfast Wales and the Cywain programme. Having such accreditations allows the firm to quickly identify where and what business support is applicable to enquiring clients, and all of this means that Landsker can work on either a private fee basis, or by accessing the schemes outlined above, enabling many clients to access services on a discounted basis or for free.

The firm helps both pre-start and established businesses with turnover up to £30million and has supported over 2,500 businesses, helped raise funds in excess of £120 million for clients, and directly assisted the creation of over 4,000 jobs in Wales.

Landsker places huge emphasis on being customer focused and delivering value, with its mission being to ‘help clients make the best business decision’ in order for them to grow and prosper. Its values ensure that the work it undertakes is high quality, bespoke and relevant to each of its clients. Managing Director, Jeremy Bowen Rees, tells us more about the consultancy and its commitment.

“We care about each and every client,” he begins. “The decisions we encourage our clients to make can make or break their lives and we take this responsibility very seriously.”

“In addition to this, we also adopt a pragmatic and honest approach to all that we do. We always advise our clients on what they need to know rather than what would be easier to accomplish – or indeed, what they may want to hear!”

With extensive experience of assisting new and established enterprises seeking financially sustainable outcomes, Landsker’s cross-sector and multi-programme work means that it knows the trading patterns, people, organisations, funding schemes and policies which influence business activities. Operating pan-Wales allows Landsker to share and apply best practices seen elsewhere and working with a diverse range of clients across many industry sectors better enables it to define and deliver successful business solutions for its clients.

Landsker also believes that all third sector businesses should, ideally, be financially sustainable from their own activities, although this can be difficult to manage if it conflicts with aims and objectives. Understanding such challenges enables Landsker to identify practical solutions, which allow social businesses to fulfil their social aims, whilst improving their financial sustainably in the medium to long-term.

Jeremy describes Landsker’s internal culture as being deliberately crafted to be fair, informal, provocative, and meritocratic.

“Prior to lockdown we worked in a frenetic, open plan environment which encouraged team interaction, quick decision making and having a constant stream of flowing idea,” he explains. “We have managed to transfer much of this online where all employees have daily group catch ups using Hangouts and Zoom. Working remotely has so far not diminished our “esprit d’corps” but it has changed how we work, and we are still adapting to this.”

Despite the impact of Covid-19, and challenges that may have arisen due to the pandemic, Jeremy is quick to praise his committed team and their hard work, and attributes much of the firm’s success to this.

“As a service based organisation our staff are our biggest asset. Although we have a hierarchy in the business, we are very much a meritocracy, and everyone is encouraged to contribute daily to how we may improve services and develop the organisation. We have very diverse talents and operate with a very strong team ethos.”

When it comes to recruitment, Landsker knows exactly what it needs in terms of staff and finding the right fit for the business is key. The firm has an experienced HR consultant who not only looks after clients’ HR needs but also looks after the needs of the Landsker team.

“We set the bar high in terms of the calibre of staff we appoint. We focus on three key areas: Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours. We can develop the first two but how someone behaves in themselves and how they come across to others is the person you are; we take great care to ensure that whoever is recruited has the right Landsker behaviours and will fit into an already cohesive team.”

In recent months, Landsker refocused some of the professional support it offers to ensure that rural businesses throughout Wales are able to navigate the complexities of the current Coronavirus crisis. From sole trader to larger SMEs, understanding how to access the host of support schemes available can be and has been challenging for many. To that end, the Landsker team has provided critical advice to over 300 Welsh businesses to help them receive both financial and practical support

Despite the effects of Covid-19 and the fact that the country is in recession, Landsker has achieved year on year growth of about 15% and has also won numerous awards this year, including being Best Rural Professional Services Business in The Rural Business Awards for Wales and Northern Ireland and we were finalists in both West Wales Business Awards and the FSB Wales Awards.

There will always be organisations and individuals who will thrive as they will struggle or fail during such times. Jeremey and the team at Landsker intend to remain in the former category and to help as many clients as possible to adapt to the ‘new world’ and be ultimately more resilient.

“Landsker is already a different business now to what it was pre-Covid; if anything, the pandemic has accelerated our pace to progress in several key areas which we had already earmarked to progress. All we can say is that we will grow and strive to improve. Our mindset also is that there will be further opportunities arising from Covid-19 which we aim to capitalise on – both for ourselves and but also for our clients.”

For more information contact Jeremy Bowen Rees at Landsker Business Solutions Ltd.

Rebecca Grewcock