Trailblazers – the 10 per cent

What you can learn from businesses that thrived throughout the pandemic.


In May 2021 Santander commissioned The 10 per cent report to look at the positive trends in the UK during, and as we began to emerge from, the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings and lessons learned are still relevant today, as businesses find ways to tackle new trading and economic challenges.

The report found that:

  • 10% of businesses had experienced an increase in turnover during the pandemic

  • 11% of businesses who performed well said turnover increased by 50%

  • 40% said demand for existing products was behind the increase in turnover

  • 72% said movement towards a greener economy offered positive opportunities.

What did these businesses do differently to succeed where others struggled? And are there lessons you can apply to your business today to help manage ever changing trading conditions?

We’ve pulled together a series of learning videos and worksheets that explore some of the practical steps you can take to maximise your business potential (see below for a list of topics). You can watch the videos in your own time and download the resources to use with your teams.

Learning through growth

Businesses can face a number of challenges that demand time and attention. As a leader it’s important that you’re constantly reminding yourself where to focus. This session explores 3 key areas that will help you focus on the important things to move your business forward.

If you’re going to do anything, do something

In times of change, the organisations that grow the most have something in common – they’re action-oriented. How can you create, sustain, or amplify this to give your business the best chance of success?

Five levels of autonomy

Effective leadership is a skill. Leading a team in-person is very different to leading from a distance. This session shares with you some of the most effective habits that result in people delivering to their highest degree of competency.

Maximising personal productivity

We all have the same number of hours in a day, so maximising personal productivity can be the difference between meeting the deadline, onboarding that new customer, or just getting away on time. This session equips you with the insight and tools to maximise your effectiveness.

Making change happen

Change is constant. Creating and responding to change is a skill. There’s a set of consistent factors that you need to consider to give yourself the best chance of success in the face of change.

Building a strong supplier network

One of the key ways to scaling is having a strong supplier network that can quickly adapt to your organisation’s changing needs. What are the most effective ways to futureproof this so that your growth isn’t held back in times of opportunity?

Creating a clear sales strategy

When sales are going well, having a clear sales strategy isn’t often at the top of the priority list. However, it’s in these moments that you can build future stability and resilience into the pipeline by creating clarity about where your resources are best placed.

Effective decision making

There’s a huge difference between making decisions and making good ones. Critical thinking is a skill, but it’s rarely taught. This session equips you to make better decisions that create better results.

Funding for growth

There are different types of funding available to businesses. Knowing which options are suitable and having answers to some key questions can be the difference between fuelling growth or causing chaos.