John O’Connell

July 31, 2019

I’ve been in business for over 25 years, always worked for myself, but never been a what I call a proper businessman. Never worried about bottom lines, profit and loss, scaling a business, getting a business to grow. As long as I was earning enough money it was fine. In fact, everything I had run you would probably call a lifestyle business.

Just over four years ago I naively asked a friend who had worked in my business for a few months if he would like to become the Managing Director as I wanted to take a back step and I would still take a wage, so that I could pursue other opportunities. He jumped at the chance, stupidly I left the business as it was, with the money in the bank, including all assets. It didn’t take long for him to run down the business to the point of liquidation. Staff who stayed loyal to the company informed me what was happening and how bad things had got. The liquidators contacted me directly to see if I wanted to buy the company back, after much thought I decided that I would, I felt duty bound to the staff, suppliers and clients, also I had worked hard to get it where I had done previously.

With an enormous task on my hands and a company struggling and running very chaotically I started to get things going again. It was hard work, long days and weeks. Sometimes when you’re so consumed in something you can’t see the wood for the trees! It was at this point a friend recommended Stuart Allan, business coach. She had recommended him some years back but at that time I didn’t think that I needed any help. Skeptically I took his number and gave him a call, I still didn’t think that he could help me; also, if he was so good at business why wasn’t he running his own very successful one?

We arranged an initial first meeting for him to come and see me and to discuss how it all worked, I still didn’t believe that he would be able to help in any way but was interested in what he had to say. I had a list of questions in my head for our first meeting, my top one being “if it’s so easy, why wasn’t he doing it?”

When he walked into the office, I thought I recognised him, but put that to one side. We discussed my business right from the start, how hard things were, and I had to be totally honest with Stuart, which was difficult, but he listened. He then started to tell me his background, and what he had achieved to enable him to coach others, it was at this point I knew where I recognised him from. Many years ago I trained as a chef and at catering college Stuart was always regarded as someone to aspire to because he had run a very, very, successful international patisserie company, selling to big named supermarkets globally and employing many people in the area. It was at this point I thought fair enough I know how successful you have been, maybe he could help.

We engaged Stuart’s services in December 2018 and haven’t looked back. He has made small changes each week we see him to help us really get to grips with the business. Some of the changes haven’t been easy but I can see the benefit of them. Stuart has helped on every aspect of the business from operational to financial, profit and loss, bottom lines. All the things I had never really thought necessary but now see the huge benefit of them. We are scaling up the business and I’m really excited for the future. Stuart keeps me accountable on everything, which I need as I just wouldn’t do it if left to my own devises.

If you’re wondering how Stuart can help your business don’t hesitate to contact him, he has made a world of difference in mine in such a short space of time and I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.