Stuart Allan Biography
As a business coach, I’m passionate about the virtues of business coaching and how we, as business coaches, help businesses (or more importantly business owners and entrepreneurs) achieve.
So, it might help if I tell you a bit more about my own journey from food fanatic to business coach….
From the age of six, I had two great loves: food and the idea of running my own business. By my early twenties, my passion for food hadn’t dwindled and I saw a gap in the market for premium dessert products, which led to the launch of my first business - Indulgence Patisserie Ltd. Getting the keys to my first business premises was exciting, but being responsible for a huge level of debt was my motivator – I knew I had to make it work. I didn’t just want to make a living; I wanted to be one of the UK’s leading dessert manufacturers and I had no idea at the time how challenging that journey would be.
Fifteen years later, Indulgence Patisserie was a multi-million-pound operation; an award-winning family business employing seventy staff and with supply contracts with some of the UK’s and International leading supermarkets. Significantly, I had also become a husband and father – two things which had a major impact on my work and decision making.
So, what did I learn during that time? A great deal about myself and the fact that while I am passionate about my work, I am evangelical about my family. Being responsible for a multi-million pound business and seventy staff is a huge undertaking and I had to learn how to balance my business responsibilities with my responsibilities to my wife and children. This is key to much of the work I do now; yes we need to be successful, but most of the business owners I see desperately want to regain the family life they see as being irreconcilable with their work commitments.
Commercially, Indulgence was a huge learning curve over the 25 years I was at the helm, with some painful and daunting experiences along the way. We had huge success but some incredibly stressful and challenging times too. I learned that having the right people around you, valuing and empowering them and learning from them can transform your business. I realised that a successful business is all about empowering yourself with the information you need to make informed and decisive decisions, however painful they may be. The knowledge to recognise what the business needs to evolve and be profitable, and the resolution to act effectively are what makes a successful, resilient business.
I believe that if you get it right operationally, then everything else follows, allowing you the resources to deliver exceptional quality and customer service.
When the acquisition offer for Indulgence Patisserie came, I was ready for a new challenge and wanted to use my knowledge and insight to help other businesses. I took the leap and founded my coaching consultancy in 2013.
As a business coach, I work with businesses of all types and sizes across the South-East, using my own experience to help them with what they need to profitably expand and achieve that seemingly elusive work/life balance.
I am still passionate about food and I am proud to have joined the board of Tastes of Anglia to support the food industry. I also use my time to help armed forces personnel and start-up businesses and am a Manufacturing Advisory Service Consultant and an accredited provider of the UK Growth Accelerator Programme.
So, that’s a great deal about me but what can I do for you? If you are looking to work with someone who understands your challenges, can activate your growth, help you to create opportunities and realise profit then I’m your man. What excites me with every new business is the potential for growth, and the opportunities their market provides. Being able to give considered and educated advice to a business owner, and see the owner develop their own skills and confidence to grow their business, recognise their achievements, challenge their attitudes and empower confidence can itself have a huge impact on the businesses bottom line. I find this incredibly rewarding, and continually look forward to every day as a business coach.
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