This week's episode is about the importance of Mentors - they are business game changes, and life changers.
In-Business International Start-Up
- International multi-site freight shipping service from Hull to Dunkirk, requiring set up from scratch of operations in the UK and France.
- Investment £4m from business owners, new investors and Venture Capital group
- Recruitment of over 100 staff in UK and France with support from the principal UK investor
- Implementation of critical operating and accounting systems
After 2 years of planning the business investment was secured in June 1998. The start-up project required full staffing of both operations and administration staff in two locations, with recruitment, training, health and safety and office and on-site port management facilities established. The company operated at heavy losses for 8 months before the decision for no further investment was made – going head to head with PO Ferries would have required a significant increase in investment for which there was no appetite. Having worked to set the company up, the closure of operations was also concluded with a focus on minimizing losses and recovering as much of the investment as possible from disposal of assets.
Healthcare Start-Up from Scratch
- Initial feasibility study and business investment plan completed
- Investment of £1m from private investors, on a 5-year re-investment plan
- Secured bank loans to support capital investments
- Purchased at £400 per bed per week and converted to £750+ per bed per week within 6 months
Having undertaken an initial feasibility study into the geriatric healthcare industry, a recommended investment strategic programme was started requiring £1m initial private investment and supported by £6m of secured bank loans. Initial business acquisition of 2 businesses, with planned expansion without additional private investment and with increased leverage. Starting the business with no previous experience in the sector, a blue print was developed to allow common high standards of both care and administration to be rolled out over subsequent acquisitions. Business is still operating and going from strength to strength, developing into planned markets.
Start-Up from Scratch
- Key contract for UK’s biggest local authority to provide health and well-being services to employees
- Idea to execution within 4 weeks
- First well-being programme in large mid-tier accounting and advisory firm
- Rapid exit from profitable business within 6 months
Following initial investment of less than £1000, this start-up was engaged to provide a pilot health and well-being programme to the UK’s largest Local Authority (LA). Designed to be self-funding, the programme was started with a Sport England grant made to the LA for the first phase. Business was sold within 6 months of starting, being both profitable and having returned on the investment within 4 weeks.
E-commerce Start-Up from Scratch
- Investment and business planning
- Idea to execution within 5 months
- Built the UK’s No1 Hosiery Subscription service
Starting the business with no previous experience in the sector, I started a new e-commerce business from concept to launch. Business now in the top 7% of e-commerce sites that started in 2016.
New Build Planning and Execution
- New Building of a discrete commercial interest within an existing conservancy project.
- Full tender process for Iconic New Building and consequent design / build contract negotiation
- Negotiated existing contract for infrastructure to reduce costs without reducing capacity of the project, saving $500m
With a full project team in place managing the tender processes, the acceptance of the bid was negotiated to ensure that both value for money was achieved and complete transparency on contract terms to reduce corruption. Redefining previous “normal” practices reduced costs in one of 16 projects by $250m alone. Change to insurance billing and taking on an owner controlled policy further reduced costs by $100m.
New Commercial Venture Supporting Charitable Aims
- Devised a business strategy and plan for a new commercial entity supporting the charity
- Launch of new urban planning research company within 3 months
- Sought and gained investment for new commercial activity
Having identified a significant charity funding gap, a strategy was developed to provide income from commercial operations to support the main aims of the Foundation. A business plan was developed, investment sourced and awarded for the establishment of a new legal entity which commenced profitable operations within 3 months.