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I am a business consultant working in the East Midlands and occasionally in the West Midlands and London. Prior to my career as a business consultant (almost 20 years now!), I worked as an in-house finance professional – graduate trainee to Finance Director at PLCs and then Finance Director at a Nottingham SME called Blackburn Starling.
At Blackies, I co-led the Executive team in a ‘turn round’ and then the ‘transition to transformation’. We became Investment Company 3i’s (do you remember those guys?) and the best performing Midlands business in the 1990s/early 2000s.
My experience in finance and business management means that I can deliver a wide range of services including strategic direction, change management and optimising team performance.
The service that I provide catalyses change and development. My impact is about bringing teams together and getting them to focus on their roles around mutually agreed objectives.
Sustainable success is about having a financial focus – not financial dominance. That is what working in industry from Blue Chip PLCs to independent SMEs has taught me.
In conjunction with a well thought through product/service offering and a structured sales and marketing plan, most companies who recognise the importance of financial focus will have a sound basis for generating sustainable improvements in profit and cash.
It’s all about knowing and influencing the ‘business levers!
It’s quite a few years ago now but here are some words from CEO Steve Wooler.
“Ian joined BWB as Non-Executive Director in 2003 at an interesting stage in the company’s development and played an important role in some of the key decisions and events leading up to the retirement of two of the three founding directors, followed by the eventual sale of the business to its management team. He also acted as a mentor for BWB’s Finance Director at that time and provided high level advice and guidance about the company’s financial strategy.
“Ian played an important role in giving structure and cohesion to the board meetings during what was a fairly turbulent period. He acted as facilitator in bringing together various parties with differing views and objectives that culminated in a successful MBO in early 2008.”
Steve Wooler, Managing Director, BWB Consulting
Since 2008, I have gone on to advise many businesses. I have always had a particular involvement in the property and construction sectors – although not exclusively – and related services.
Bakers Waste in Leicester – August 2017 to Jan 2021 – Consultant / Non-Exec (see the testimonial from Paul Baker CEO below)
Blueprint Interiors in Ashby de la Zouch – July 2019 to current - Consultant / Non-Exec
AR Demolition near Market Bosworth – July 2021 – just started!
Waldeck Engineering – 2009 to 2014 - Consultant / Non-Exec
Notts Sports – 2012–2019 - Consultant / Non-Exec (see testimonial from Shaun Patrick CEO below)
MIPIM – I have been a regular attendee at MIPIM from 2008 and led the Team Leicestershire business presence there from 2015 to 2017.
Lords Taverners charity - I am involved in the Lords Taverners cricket charity and was the East Midlands Chairman from 2014-2019. Many of the Nottingham ProCon members will have sunk a few pints with me at the famous Lords Taverners Christmas lunch at the Nottingham Crowne Plaza.
I have also been involved in many other charities.
I am passionate in bringing the worlds of business and schools together, providing the best opportunities for pupils within industry, and helping industry to get the young workforce that they need. I have promoted links with many schools across the East Midlands by holding dinners, supporting schools awards events and helping in employability skills.
Rob Day of Blueprint Interiors says: “We appointed Ian as Non-Executive Director three years ago to help deliver advice and experience to our directors and shareholders in a number of areas. Firstly, to bring a robust FD resource to our relationship with our accountants, secondly to develop and assist our younger directors as part of our succession planning journey, and thirdly as a general business advisor – a ‘critical friend’.
“Ian’s personal style is to encourage open debate, creative thinking and a little bit of essential discipline. He achieves this primarily by exercising his excellent listening skills. His broad business experience and superb network of contacts bring us both perspective and insights that a small business would otherwise find difficult to resource.
“His ability to identify the underlying dynamics of our various challenges and to build consensus allows us to confidently make the necessary decisions and execute accordingly. Most of all, Ian has brought a freshness to our business and to our own relationships that has reinvigorated and focused us on the future.”
Paul Baker of Bakers Waste says: “Ian has worked with me as a consultant/non exec, and helped to re-shape the management team and establish the foundations for developing the business from its entrepreneurial roots.
“Just before the Covid lockdown in March 2020, Ian moved into an interim role heading up the Operations function. He helped us through this challenging period of Covid when a lot in the world was uncertain. Ian supported me and the business until we were ready to employ permanent industry executives.
“I and the business have learnt much from my time with Ian, most notably team building, process and procedures, and visibility and use of management information.
“Ian has always created a positive environment in which to work, making it enjoyable at all times. Ian has always been available to talk to for a good sounding board and he is happy to challenge the thought process when needed.
“I have been on many networking events with Ian which were not only fun but great to meet many of Ian’s contacts. His introductions have been very positive for me and my business.”
Shaun Patrick owner of Notts Sports says: “I brought Ian into our business in 2012. I needed someone with fresh eyes to look at why we were struggling to maintain cash reserves and deliver increased profits.
“Ian created a strong management team and introduced tight financial reporting practices that have seen Notts Sport develop into one of the leading synthetic grass companies in the UK. Sales are up by 55% in that period, and we are now reliving increased net profit."
Robert Hopper, owner of ATM Automation says: “Ian joined ATM in a non-exec role to help develop and strengthen the management team. He also helped broaden the approach of the company and to implement strong systems of measurement and control. This has resulted in an increase in solid cash reserves and the delivery of increased turnover with strong profits.
“Ian has a great range of skills covering finance, sales, marketing and production, and his far-reaching network of contacts has helped develop a great resource pool for ATM that has supported our double figure growth over this period of time.
“Ian’s mentoring and coaching of ATM’s management team has also played an important part in developing good strategies that have made significant improvements in crystallising ideas and turning them into action.”
“Catalysing improvement - making good plans happen”
An independent Business Consultant and Non-Executive Director since 2002 with a strong financial background - FCMA qualified.
Strong influencer advising, supporting and guiding teams in the implementation of strategy and business plans leading to more effective team performance, profit improvement and cash generation.
I have guided a wide range of business clients - Owners, Managing Directors and Teams - through challenging and changing times.
Pragmatism, teamwork and financial focus - but not financial dominance - are tenets and principles that I work to.
A specialist in identifying strategic direction, I act as a catalyst for change and its implementation and am skilled at bringing people together.
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