Reclaro: helping companies focus and accelerate

2nd March 2020

By John Holmes, Core Business Solutions

Those of you that have met me in the past 30 years know my passion for helping companies clarify their strategic ambition, take their business to the next level and elevate themselves above the competition.

But I’m equally frustrated by companies that have a great idea or unique product but can’t seem to stay on track and execute on their growth strategy. It’s a common business problem and the result is the business doesn’t reach its full potential, it gets overtaken by a competitor, or worst of all, it fails altogether.

So I’ve started recommending Reclaro to some of the companies I work with. In this interview, I talk to Reclaro’s founder, Pete Wilkinson, to find out more about this simple software app that transforms how companies perform.

John Holmes (JH): Hi Pete, can you tell us, what is Reclaro and what problem does it solve?

Pete Wilkinson (PW): Hi John. Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you today.

I talk to business leaders whose companies’ performance is good, but not great. They’re often exasperated that some of their people aren’t working on the most important things: they’re distracted; they lack focus. Or their people are missing deadlines or sales targets or other KPIs (key performance indicators). Reclaro 1-3-5 helps business leaders get their teams focusing on their goals, aligning behind a single vision and achieving faster business results.

Basically, it’s a performance management tool that sits as an app on your computer, tablet or phone. It’s simple to use, it looks beautiful – well I think so – and it’s super user friendly. Oh, and it’s great value at just £10 per person per month.

JH: So how does it work? How do you get set up? 

PW: We normally work with senior teams to get them up and running. And it all starts at the top with the vision of the MD or CEO. The business leader sets 1 clear Vision for the business, normally 12 to 18 months out. He or she then breaks that Vision down into 3 Core Objectives, typically around strategy, operations and people. And then each of those 3 Core Objectives are split into 5 Goals. Hence the 1-3-5 action plan.

JH: So how do you get teams all working to a common goal?

PW: That’s the neat thing about Reclaro 1-3-5. The MD can take some of her goals and delegate them to her executive team. And they in turn can delegate some of their goals to their managers. So you get this beautiful effect where everyone’s fortunes are tied together.

JH: Who is useful for? Is it specific to certain types of company?

PW: Not really. It’s more about having a certain type of CEO/MD and their team: all our customers are really ambitious. What I would say is that it’s most effective for companies that are past the start-up stage and are looking to scale. So we look for companies with £3m plus in turnover, at least 3 senior executives and 30 plus employees.

Also, I think Reclaro 1-3-5 is a great tool for companies going through any significant change event, such as establishing a new layer of management, taking over a competitor or adopting an internationalisation strategy.

What I would say, though, is we’re not a project management tool. We’re not trying to compete with Microsoft Access or Basecamp. We’re about helping companies manage their people to accelerate their individual performance and their company’s performance.

JH: So what are the benefits for companies?

PW: There are loads, John, but let me pick up on just two – sales growth and culture change.

When we get teams aligned behind a leader’s vision for the business, they grow faster. One example is a client of ours in England that designs and manufactures beds: after introducing Reclaro 1-3-5, one of their product lines grew monthly revenues by 4x in just six months.

And we also see a change in people’s behaviour. There’s this culture shift where team members are asking their managers for 121s to help them towards hitting their goals and getting to 100% on their 1-3-5 plans. Asking for 121s is unheard of in a normal office workplace. It almost gamifies work, makes it fun and makes the culture more goal-oriented.

JH: What about managers – how can they make sure their team are hitting their targets?

PW: Great question. It would be easy to get everyone set up with 1-3-5 plans and then let them crack on. But the best companies both lead and manage their people. So we designed the Team Overview Dashboard. This premium option (£15 per person per month) is for people managers who want a quick overview of how all their team members are performing in real time. So MDs can use it with their exec teams, exec teams with their managers, and managers with their team members.

JH: I’m an investor in small companies. I reckon the Dashboard would be useful for keeping track of how my companies and founders are getting on. Do you agree?

PW: You’re exactly right. Say you’re a VC or angel investor with 5, 10 or 50 companies in your portfolio, we can set up a Dashboard for you that has the Reclaro 1-3-5 plans for each of your companies’ founders, with their progress shown in real time. Isn’t that a great way of keeping track of your investments. It can make for some interesting board meetings, I can tell you!

Also, the Dashboard would work equally well for lenders with a portfolio of companies with debt – like banks, invoice finance suppliers and other specialist lenders. It helps them make sure that the companies they’re lending to are trading well and could give them some early warning signs of problems down the line.

JH: Pete, as you know, I think this is a great idea and really useful for companies that are looking to grow their businesses. How on earth did you come up with the idea?

PW: Well, I created the 1-3-5 concept years ago, and used it successfully with businesses. But there are limitations with pdfs and spreadsheets. That’s when we created the software app, as it brings uses’ plans to life and they update in real time. I wanted to design something user friendly, simple and beautiful that people would want to use and that would be genuinely useful in getting teams working together and growing their businesses faster.

JH: And what about the name Reclaro? What’s that all about?

PW: I’ve got a small holiday home outside Valencia in Spain. I love it there and I love all things Espana, even though I can only speak a little Spanish! Claro is Spanish for clear, which I think is exactly what we bring to the companies that use our app.

JH: And what about you? Tell me a bit about your background?

PW: Well I worked in industry for a long time as a senior manager in the retail sector for Northern Electric. But for the past five years, I’ve been a business consultant, award-winning keynote speaker for Vistage and published author (Unstoppable is on Amazon). Outside of work, I’m married to Sharon, I’ve got four beautiful kids and I’m mad keen on doing crazy long-distance endurance events so I train five days a week.

JH: Alright, so how do people get a look at Reclaro 1-3-5?

PW: The best thing to do is start on the website. People can go to www.reclaro.com and have a look around. If people want to find out more, they can click on the button and we can have a discovery call and schedule a demo if they’re interested.

JH: Thanks Pete, it was great to hear your story. I think it’s a great tool and will help a lot of companies accelerate their growth strategies.

PW: Cheers John. Thanks for your time.

For more information on Core Business Solutions and Reclaro, please contact John Holmes, Chairman at john.holmes@corebusiness.group