From planning to implementation and training, this is not ivory tower advice

Business Start-up

Starting a new venture is a difficult and risky time. Many entrepreneurs make basic and avoidable mistakes which contribute to the very high number of early failures of new businesses. Ed is known as a skilled and knowledgeable mentor to start ups, to such a degree that he writes the regular My Mentor column for Entrepreneur magazine, with the title of their Start up Coach.

Start-Up mentoring can range from having an available sounding board for an hour or two a month to assistance with the development of a business plan and finding the right funds and resources to launch.


Business Improvement

Many businesses make limited profits, not reaching anywhere near their potential. The entrepreneur typically works too hard and is frustrated by his or her lack of success in increasing performance and continually worried about cash flow limitations.

Ed works with the entrepreneur to analyse where the opportunities for improvement are and advises on strategies and actions to correct problems and exploit opportunities. This is not ivory tower advice; Ed will assist in the implementation of these solutions and train the entrepreneur and staff to improve. This is done by theoretical and practical in the field coaching. This process takes a few months and results can be spectacular, although there are no guarantees. Ed has mentored a broad sweep of more than 100 clients and has gained depth of skill and know-how.


Strategy review

Cynics would say there are two rules of strategy for entrepreneurial businesses:

  • Strategy is only in the head of the entrepreneur and can be variable and inexact;
  • A strategic review will make great decisions but little will change.
The Marketing Director has developed a number of tools to address both these issues:
  • The structured MarkStrat review in which the understanding of key marketing strategies by each individual in the executive team is gathered by pre-work. Differences between executives are debated in a facilitated process leading to consensus or at least acceptance. Priorities and task responsibilities are allocated and agreed across the management team. This is an intense one day exercise which can be done on a weekend. A follow up review is held as a half-day intervention one month after the initial meeting to run a sensibility check and test actions to date, and another half-day session in held after a further two months to plan how to take the actions and interventions out of project mode and integrate them into normal management processes
  • Interactive techniques to facilitate a strategy planning and review think tank drawn from conventional strategy review tools (look back – look forward, SWOT, Balance of Consequences, positioning mapping, BCG Matrix, scenario planning etc.) supplemented by tools drawn from continuous improvement programs in manufacturing

Facilitation and speaking

Ed is a trained facilitator, capable and experienced of working with groups of four to twenty people to address key company issues. He is able to draw out the quiet ones and ensure that extroverted or senior group members do not dominate the group. The best facilitated sessions are those where the group believes that the ideas and decisions came from within them rather than being imposed on them, and everybody has had the opportunity to express themselves.

Typical facilitations include team building events, business planning seminars, customer account management, organisational reviews, product development brainstorms, personal and inter-departmental development and similar issues.

Ed is a respected speaker at conventions and events, able to inform, motivate and challenge staff and partners to stimulate thought and creativity.