Phil Brown, Absolute Commercial Interiors Ltd – September 2020

CY Entrepreneur in Residence James Cain listened to my business issues and provided a much needed 3rd party view on each subject. He also was very honest in his appraisal of my own management style and provided pointers for the future. Overall, a very positive experience.

Lee Stones, Daver Steels – September 2020

My mentoring session with David Grey produced lots of good thoughts on how to improve and grow Daver Steels. A particular focus was on where we might make improvements to our internal structure and on time management of the day to day operations; David agreed that I could come back to him to review the changes we had made, We have come through the worst of the pandemic without any state aid and are now thinking of getting a first class graduate from Sheffield Hallam to do some of my work so I can concentrate on getting more business, It is a very unsettling time and we need to be proactive and make decisions sooner rather than later. My session with David was challenging and stimulating.

Peter Thornton-Smith, ISO 9001 Support Centre – August 2020

My on-line mentoring session with Entrepreneur in Residence Rich Field was interesting and helpful. Rich came up with several good strategies that would allow me to pass on my knowledge to a new recruit thereby continuing to help clients with ISO 9001 support. At the end I felt energised and focused on what options existed to allow me to exit the business whilst protecting my customer base from too much upheaval. We formed a good relationship which I’m sure will continue over the coming months.

Robert Brown, Metalube – August 2020

Edward Naylor has completely transformed his business into the success it is today. Amongst his many achievements is making successful acquisitions and this was the main subject of our mentoring session. Edward went through the issues he considers during the process;company gearing, the quality of the management team, the market share of its products and the opportunity to grow the business. We have already made a couple of acquisitions so this will be a great help with making more. Edward and I will definitely stay in touch.

Sophie Price, Phoenix Cleaning Company – August 2020

My mentoring session with Tony Bramall  was most worthwhile; he gave me some great ideas about how to expand my business which I am putting into use now, What’s more he provided a good contact for us from his business network who we are in touch with now, we have also done work for his company-and we have purchased a car from him. Win win.

Graham Moore, Katchr – July 2020

I had a great mentoring session with David Smalley. Being from a similar technology background, he immediately understood where I was coming from. I had requested a session with David following a really fascinating Masterclass that he had presented on remote working. We spent an hour talking through his experiences creating a remote-first organisation and I came away with plenty of tips on how we might start the same journey. A really useful session and another example of the value of Connect membership.

Chris Cox, Made by Bridge – July 2020

Our mentoring session with Simon Biltcliffe was very helpful and has made us focus our minds on the way forward for Made by Bridge. We design and build top-end websites built using Craft CMS and the main issue for us is getting the right size and type of client for this work. Simon made it clear that improving the content of our social media posts and blog posts etc. so that they are interesting to bigger clients (with a need for Craft CMS experts) was crucial which we are in the process of doing. Also how to manage our smaller clients while we climb up the ladder needs careful thought.

It was a really useful session with somebody who has been through many similar issues at Webmart-and is still doing so.

Owen Gleadall, MD Merlinsoft Ltd – July 2020

“I recently took up the offer of a mentoring session with an EIR from Connect Yorkshire and had a meeting with Richard Doyle.  I hadn’t met Richard before, which I thought was an advantage as neither of us had any pre-conceived ideas as to what the discussion was to be about.
We spent a little over an hour going over my ‘problem’ and Richard was both forthright and pragmatic in his responses.  The net outcome was that I came away with a plan to promote my business which I hadn’t thought of before.
All in all it was a brilliant session and time well spent.  I can certainly recommend Richard to anyone with a marketing/business development issue they would like to talk through with someone with his many years of experience”.

Emily Newstead, Bow Gifts – March 2020

I had a 1 to 1 mentoring session with Edward Naylor on 30th Jan 2020. The session was all about the different stages of growing a business. Edward kindly shared what happened when he took on his business, and how he worked strategically in different ways to decide what he wanted the business to look like in the future. I enjoyed the ways Edward has identified, which areas of business growth and development he does with a team of key people, and which parts he does by himself. Demonstrating that it’s right to do certain things independently, and sit with your vision and ideas – to build clarity in the direction you want to achieve.

Edward recognises and practices the importance of having a strong chain of command, that everyone uses and works to, in order to maintain smooth operations and output in the work place.

It was a very helpful session, Edward Naylor is a very inspirational businessman and his insight and advice, struck new chords with me, to enable new possibilities. Thank you Connect Yorkshire.

Sarah Darbyshire – HR Solutions Yorkshire – February 2020

Before I met Jacqui, I knew a little about her background as I had heard her speak at a couple of networking events I have attended. I was a little nervous at meeting her; she soon put me at ease – she is very down to earth. We share similar values in looking after employees, helping people to grow and develop.

As this was our first meeting, we talked about:

My career journey and what led to me setting up HR Solutions Yorkshire Limited in 2016
My personal and professional goals
What’s important to me as a HR professional and business owner
How I can help my clients – what are their challenges?
Business development – current activity and what I could do differently

It was useful to say some of these things out loud to someone who doesn’t know me, as it made me question what is important to me, what could I be doing differently – one of the challenges of running a business is having a sounding board to test ideas with. Jacqui suggested some different ways of working and promoting my services to my target market, and we agreed to meet again once we had both time to consider our discussions.