Set up in 2017, Futrsmpl aims to provide simple, strategy-focussed marketing support to growing companies. The business has two strands – consulting and courses – but the objective is always the same: to help companies to get where they are going.

“Our general ethos is to keep things as simple as possible,” says Futrsmpl’s founder, Lucinda Bray, who previously worked in agencies and in-house roles in companies big and small during a 12-year career in marketing and advertising.

Futrsmpl aims to ensure its clients have the building blocks in place to drive a profitable business, with communication built into what they do. To that end, it assesses companies to understand their marketplace, competition and customer base as a first step. A key difference Ms Bray wanted to instil when she set up Futrsmpl was that she didn’t want to work to a brief.

“Both in agency and in-house roles, a lot of things come back to the brief, and very often there is no one asking if the brief is right,” she says.

Company assessments might seem like reinventing the wheel. Don’t companies do that when they start up? They do, but three to five years later, the market may have changed.

“They may have picked up on some of that but not all of it,” says Ms Bray, who recieves entrepreneurship support from RBS. “It providing that objective view.”

In some cases, Futrsmpl clients commission an assessment and then implement it. In others, they become retained clients.

Futrsmpl typically carries out two to three company assessments a month. It currently has three retained clients, for whom it acts as interim chief marketing officer.

“It’s about overseeing and understanding the path the business should be taking, what it’s trying to achieve and how everything is coming together to achieve that,” says Ms Bray.

Ms Bray bootstrapped Futrsmpl to its current position. She retains content provision and administration support and works with a small team of associates. This helps her to “pull in the right type or resources at the right time”, as she divides her time between clients and developing an online self-evaluation platform.

The online platform grew out of Futrsmpl’s consultancy work. It incorporates the tools used to help consultancy clients chart a way forward.

“Having been in a lot of these cultures, we understand that business owners often know them better but need an objective nudge to see what is really going on or get a more rounded view,” says Ms Bray. “People in different departments may see things very differently.”

If Futrsmpl works with businesses that are scaling up, the platform is its own route to that destination. Ms Bray hopes it will hold 80 percent of Futrsmpl’s client base, but with 80% of income coming from add-on consulting services.

“The platform is the scalable element,” she says.

For now, Futrsmpl’s target market is high-growth tech start-ups, but the platform can work for a range of businesses. Pricing is in development but will probably vary according to number of employees, ensuring the platform remains accessible to small businesses – something that is important to Ms Bray.

Once the platform is up and running, Ms Bray hopes to see a twofold year-on-year increase on Futrsmpl’s second-year turnover of £100,000 over five years. To facilitate growth, she plans to seek funding with the help of Scottish Enterprise and may look for investment in 12 months’ time. She also sees the platform having a global reach and already has her sights set on tech hotspots Berlin and Barcelona.

“I would like to see this as a tool that is used across many business landscapes globally,” she says.