We were a young but quickly growing business. Having grown organically, we had naturally developed a strong culture and sense of purpose, but had never framed it, put it into words a developed a Vision, Purpose and Mission Statement. Having worked in business transformation for years I knew the importance of clearly defining your vision – particularly as you’re navigating your team though big changes and growth. I needed someone external to bounce off. Someone who I hadn’t worked with before, with a fresh pair of eyes and not from our industry.
Sara really helped me focus on and get the important stuff done! Having a time in the diary every other week where we’d go through my actions forced me to spend time working on the business instead of in the business. She’d hold me to account – and being the type of person I am (a starter, but certainly not a finisher), I needed that most.
In my previous roles, working for larger companies and reliving large scale change, I was optimistic, confident and bullish. I learnt this wasn’t necessarily the case as a business owner. I was behaving much more cautiously than I thought I was. This cautious behaviour was limiting our potential. The feelings haven’t gone away, but I now recognise them and have a process to snap out of it.
Working with Sara has definitely contributed to our growth. In figures – since we started our engagement, our run-rate revenue has doubled, our adviser headcount has doubled, and we’ve moved into a new office onsite with IBM. Over a 6 month period, we developed a clear vision, purpose and mission statement, found the confidence to grow faster (hiring more staff and investing in growth) – this was all happening, throughout the uncertainty caused by COVID. We can now see where we’re going, and we’re all working hard to get there. I’m now finding myself daring to dream more.
I can’t stress enough how important it is as a small business leader to have an ‘outsider’ who will challenge your thinking and push you. Of course I know best practice, but you’d be amazed how much of that critical thinking goes out the window when you’re in the thick of it, working frantically in the business – you lose sight of the bigger picture and quickly become a busy fool. I would definitely recommend Sara!