Sarah Bryson, Dancing in the Mindfield – January 2023

I chose to have my Entrepreneur in residence slot with Rachel Hannan. I found the session extremely useful. Rachel kindly gave me over 2 hours of her time to discuss my business. She was able to help me to articulate what my current questions are within a few minutes of us meeting, things I have been struggling to put into words for a while!

She then helped me to work through some of the options available to me, which with her keen business acumen was invaluable. I really appreciate her time and this offer from Connect Yorkshire, thank you very much.

Zoe Wadsworth, Ask Zoe – January 2023

It was a great session with Michael Bridge. He was able to provide me with confidence that I was on the right track with my promise and value proposition statement with my customers and provided me with top tips on marketing to SMEs and large corporations. Plus, providing me an example of what the buyer looks for in reference to marketing intelligence. Highly recommend Micahel for a mentoring session.

Paul Grace, YB Financial Advisory – December 2022

I was delighted to meet with Tony Walsh, who is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Connect Yorkshire.

It was fantastic to chat with Tony about the business and tap into somebody with decades of experience in the banking / finance industry.

Tony was able to quickly identify and work through the pressure points of the business and provide a helicopter perspective of how these issues can be addressed and manged to make the business more efficient.

I look forward to working with Tony as we grow the business into 2023 and beyond.

Tracey Cleminson, Arctic Bee – December 2022

I had a session with Mike Bridge.

Mike challenged me to think about our value proposition and positioning within the marketplace. Together we looked at client feedback and drew out what makes our clients happy, creating a new set of values that I focused on the following day in a client meeting – winning the contract!

We also looked at our costs and ways in which our employees can contribute towards the growth of the business. There were some tough decisions to be made and Mike inspired me to make these changes to improve our efficiencies.

Thank you Mike, having an outside perspective really helped

Julia Felton, Business HorsePower – November 2022

Just wanted to say a massive shout out and thanks to Rachel Hannan for an inspiring and thought provoking mentoring session this morning. My mind is in overdrive reflecting on everything we discussed.

Thank you for giving me focus, clarity and believing in me and my business

Stefanie Hopkins, Faith PR – November 2022

I have had a couple of EIR mentoring sessions with Jonathan Sands and found his experience and insight invaluable.

I wanted to speak to someone who understood the challenges of the agency world and as someone who had run his own successful branding agency for many years, Jonathan was a great fit.

He’s brought some useful ideas and considerations to the table around the future growth of Faith PR, which has given me the impetus to initiate some changes needed to drive this growth.

Zoe Wadsworth, Fab Events – November 2022

I had a great session with Deirdre Bounds, one of Connect Yorkshire’s Entrepreneurs in Residence. It was really positive and she helped me focus on the niche market of hospitality during a good conversation. It was a really useful session and I appreciate the time Deirdre spent with me

Jill Wood, Signum Facilities Management – November 2022

An EIR is someone you have on a pedestal because of their success and I’m always nervous before a mentoring session but Craig immediately put me at ease, he is so easy to talk to.

He has experienced business growth in all the ways we were starting to explore but after an hour of talking through who we are, what we do and how we do things Craig’s advice was to continue on the pathway we are currently on.  There’s a feeling of vulnerability when you expose your business to a stranger but Craig’s feedback reassured me that we are doing the right thing and we just need to do more to reach our goals and not be distracted by mergers and acquisitions just yet.

The mentoring sessions are invaluable and I’d urge any member who hasn’t had one to book soon.  A huge thank you to Craig for his advice – we’re heads down and cracking on!

Mike Hall, ThinkSMART Marketing – October 2022

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Bridge recently, as we always say, it’s good to get a fresh perspective.  Especially from someone with a proven track record.

Mike challenged me and raised some really valid points about our positioning and how we come across as a business, which has now allowed me to go back and discuss this with my business partners

Richard Carr, Voltacompliance – July 2022

I had a long and rewarding mentoring session with Edward Naylor. I definitely will take away inspiration from his experience in turning a loss making business into a multi million profit making business and certainly will think long and hard about how to expand and when to recruit.

We spoke about my exit aspirations and working backwards, Edward said I need to upscale from 4 employees to at least 12. As regards the potential exit, the existence of term contracts enhances the value of a business as does the existence of proprietary software.

Edward cautioned that I might be locked in for an “earn out” period and I would almost certainly need to give some sort of undertaking that I would not recruit existing employees for a period- which might be an issue for me and my fellow Directors. My big challenge- which is likely to hold back business growth- is recruitment- specifically attracting electrical engineers of the right calibre and with the right attitude. We spoke about how I might be able to make joining my team more attractive- bonus schemes, profit shares etc although existing employees are likely to become aware of these and I need to pre-empt their reaction.

Edward liked the development of our own resources (apprentices) and the use of reliable subcontractors as a way of mitigating this. At the same time, he thought there are grounds for not panicking and playing something of a waiting game- the economic outlook isn’t great and we may see a softening of labour markets over the coming months. It would be sensible to keep an ear out for developments in manufacturing businesses local to us who may be releasing electrical engineers in the event of a recession.

Edward suggested that I may be able to get some purchasing wins as we get bigger and it may well be worth gauging the appetite of Yes Electrical to giving us a rebate based on turnover if you put all your eggs in their basket. I may also need more resources in areas such as finance, admin and HR as I upscale and take on more employees.