Based in Wadhurst, East Sussex, I help transform businesses so they can move onto the next stage of development, to grow and evolve. I do this mostly by leading business reviews with owners and management teams and providing follow-on support and guidance, a bit like that of a non-executive director. I also run a business school in Tunbridge Wells, with Claire Witz, called GrowthSteps which aims to help small businesses and owners flourish and grow. I am the author of Amazon Bestseller “Build Your Ultimate Business in 100 Days” which sets out pretty clearly what I do and how I do it.
If you are looking for some help with your business I know I can help you, but why would you choose me? To make it a little easier for you to know what I offer take a look at my regular business articles on this site or read one of my books.
If you sign up for my newsletter by email, on the right of this page, you can also get a free copy of my eBook that sets out the five things that I think make all the difference: knowledge, difference, risk, leverage and alignment. I call them my 5Secrets, the unspoken rules of business success, and you will see that all of the articles on this site are categorised to show which one, or more, of these 5Secrets they best illustrate.
I have been advising successful businesses and helping them to evolve now for more than 10 years. I have led hundreds of business reviews with a very diverse range of businesses and then provided guidance and support as these businesses evolved. Before that, I spent 25 years managing a wider variety of businesses than anyone I have ever met. If you are looking for an advisor, you need help to better understand your business, what you can do with it, and how to do it, I may be able to help.
My Career History
I have extensive experience of the leadership and management of businesses of all shapes and sizes and in many sectors. After attending the Royal Naval College, at Dartmouth, I served as a seaman officer in the Royal Navy for four years where I was involved in both the Icelandic “Cod War” and in Northern Ireland. After leaving the Navy I studied Geology at Durham University. I joined BP as an exploration geologist, working both offshore and as a member of the Basin Studies Group, where I worked internationally on investment evaluation, searching for oil and buying and selling acreage around the world.
I left BP to become CEO Designate of a 300 employee 6×24 hour bakery, producing a million loaves a week and supplying most of the major supermarkets in the UK. I then become a director of Laing Superhomes during the boom years of the 1980’s when Laing Homes, then the country’s fifth largest house builder, built over 5000 homes a year. In parallel with this I started a volumetric buildings business, building forecourt shops for Mobil, and successfully grew revenues to £10m per annum. I also lead the development of relationships with major contractors in Japan that resulted in exporting building materials and the building of a house in Japan with Sekisui House, the largest house builder in the world at the time.
With the downturn in the housing sector I joined Mercury Communications, running and turning around the iconic Mercury Payphones business, curbing credit card fraud and launching several innovative promotional campaigns. I become something of a “Mr Fixit” within the Cable & Wireless group, which owned Mercury Communications, and I lead the successful turnaround of three large and complex business units with 1000 plus staff and significant cash flows. Apart from Payphones, I also transformed the performance of Operator Services’ call centre operations, before becoming Supply Director where I cut stock from £140M to less than £20M over a short period. At the time, the Cable & Wireless group were spending £10M a day with suppliers around the world.
I then became MD of Norweb Telecom, a regional telecoms operator in the North West of England and grew the business from £11m to £100m turnover in two years. At the same time I launched, with great public interest, a commercial Powerline technology, allowing both voice and data to be carried on the public high-voltage power networks and formed Nor.Web Powerline, a joint venture company with Nortel Networks. Norweb Telecom was awarded the Financial Times Global Technology Award for product innovation and it was also a finalist in the FT Global Telecoms Awards for Most Competitive Alternative Operator. I was also involved with the introduction of the first multi-fuel tariff being launched by the parent group, United Utilities.
I then raised £80m from Soros Private Equity, Madison Dearborn and Partners and the Toronto Dominion Bank to start the first business broadband company in the UK, OnCue Communications. This market-leading DSL service provider and ISP lead the negotiations with BT for access to its local loop. I took the business from start up to 150 staff and £1m turnover in just 18 months and was a leading industry voice at the time. I was also a non executive director at Storm Telecom Limited, a £70m pan European voice and data business and worked with its private equity investors on other deals.
Later, as Group CEO of EXI Telecom, which had 1400 staff and a turnover of £100M, I ran an international business installing mobile network infrastructure, including Vodafone’s 3G networks in the UK. The business had operations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East and installed mobile phone networks in 15 countries.
Since 2003 I have been working with some of the most successful small businesses in the UK, advising both owners and managers and helping them and their businesses to grow and develop. I studied Corporate Finance at The London Business School and have an MBA from Warwick Business School. I have also been a Member of the Institute of Purchasing and Supply.