Business Growth Consultant
Having trained as a management accountant and acquired an MBA, for many years I have worked with the publisher and entrepreneur Paul Hamlyn working on major projects such as the construction of Sainsbury’s head office. I now provide a consultancy and mentoring service for businesses focusing on business growth and development. My experience and skill enables me to provide solutions specifically tailored to the individual needs of a business. As part of my business mentoring role I may provide an accounting solution which enables you to measure the performance of your business and identify potential problems, or to use tools such as the Business Model Canvas to: identify new strategies, opportunities and give you the capacity to do this in future.
My specialism adds value to through the analysis and interpretation of management accounting information to help businesses to:
- develop strategies that help them grow
- to identify problems and develop solutions to mitigate their effect before they arise
- to expand the business owners’ capacity to deal with problems
In practice this may involve preparing periodic financial statements, including profit and loss accounts, budgets, cash flows, variance analysis, commentaries, and advising on the financial implications of business decisions.
People I’ve worked with
Case Study 1
A start-up that I recently worked with was to launch a soft drink with a QR code to build an interaction of real world product with an online community. I was approached by the founder who was unsure what the key items of value were in the project, how to retain control of his brand, identify a route to market, and to write a business plan to attract investors.
I identified the QR code management software and the brand as two key items of value in the business. The QR code management software could be applied to any fast moving consumer good to help promote the product, provide a channel of communication between the manufacturer and the end user, and/or build a social community of the product users. The brand would increase in value over time as user recognition increased.
Launching the soft drink – although important, as it would give immediate brand recognition on a real world product – was not key to the success of the overall business, neither was it the core competency of the founder, and would take resources away from the core activity of the business. The better option was to enter into a joint venture with a soft drinks company to produce, market, and finance the soft drink. The Founder would provide the QR codes and management software; in return he would receive a royalty on each sale.
The brand, QR code management software, and soft drink are held and managed in separate companies. The brand company grants a licence to use the brand to each of the other companies and can, when the opportunity arises, grant a licence to other organisations for merchandising opportunities. This enables the Founder to retain control of the Brand.
Case Study 2
For the many years I worked with Paul Hamlyn, publisher and philanthropist, I was active on several projects in: hospitality, construction, and not for profit. A particularly interesting project was the building of the Sainsbury’s head office in London.
When Paul Hamlyn acquired the project, the planning phase was complete, construction work had begun, and Anderson Consulting had signed a rental agreement to occupy the building on completion. The budget for construction of the building was £140 million. I was the financial lead for the project responsible for: financial planning, ensuring funds were available when required and that there were no cost overruns.
The project had many of the day-to-day problems faced by large construction projects; the greatest challenge came when the project neared completion. The Enron Corporation, a US public company with a high reputation, filed for Chapter 11 protection, causing the collapse of Andersons – Enron’s auditors – when it emerged Anderson failed in their duty of care when auditing Enron’s accounts.
This crisis, which at the time caused many sleepless nights, turned out to be a great opportunity. The agreement with Anderson Consulting had a relatively low rental rate per square foot. As they could not occupy the building, we were free to find an alternative tenant. At the time, Sainsbury’s were looking to move their head office to a new building, and agreed to a much higher rental amount, which increased the building’s value by almost £100 million.
Case Study 3
I advised a health and fitness club which had a low membership level. The club had been established for four to five years, and whilst there was a loyal core membership, the club had difficulty in attracting and retaining new members. The staff were helpful and spoke regularly with members, giving exercise and diet tips. There were, however, very few activities to attract new members and little interaction with the local community.
I helped them put together a programme which: publicised the club, began an interaction with local communities, and rewarded club members for introducing new members.
We began by updating the club’s website, giving it a more modern look and feel and using SEO to improve it’s ranking on Google. Using Facebook and Twitter, we built a social media presence for the club, publishing content which would be read by members and their friends. The club initiated a twice bi-annual, twelve-week fitness challenge in support of local charities. The twelve week programme ends with a gala party, to which participants can invite their friends and celebrate their achievements. To encourage people to try out the gym, the club offered a complimentary three-visit pass, and has a membership referral programme, in which members get three months complimentary subscription when they introduce a new member.
Over a six month period, the club membership increased by 5% and the membership retention rate increased by 20%.
As you can see, I can offer a valuable service to a range of companies, from different sectors with different goals and ambitions. In each case the relationship I developed with key personnel within the company enabled me to offer strategic advice to the people who were capable of affecting change within the company as a whole. Sometimes all it takes is a new perspective!
Head of Business Development
Over a career spanning more than 35 years, William has gained experience in retail management, financial services and business development. Now as part of the Creedon Associates team his primary focus is to help our associates to grow their businesses, maximising profitability while keeping costs to a minimum. William has particular expertise in enhancing communication in the corporate environment, whether it be to five or many thousands of employees, with a particular skill in maximising the yield produced by teams. William is married to Karen and they have a family of five. In his spare time he likes to travel and enjoy good food.