How Neil’s helping small business owners grow and guarantee it’ll work for you.
It’s a sad fact that many small businesses fail. At Thrive, we’re committed to doing all we can to help sole traders and entrepreneurs build an excellent network of connections and grow organically. But it’s not just potential client connections that count, we’re also lucky to have experts with a wealth of experience among our membership. In our Thrive Friday Breakfast group, Neil Foley – the founder of the Business Growth Club – is happy to share his insights after coaching hundreds of SME owners to success. Now he’s put his knowledge online and is reaching more people than ever before with a new website launched recently.
Hi Neil, how did you first become involved with coaching small businesses?
Well, I ran my own financial planning business for 20 years, and most of my clients were business owners. Having spent my career talking to these people and advising them, it made sense for me to keep doing that when I sold my business three years ago. So, in 2012 I formed Norfolk Business Consultants and started teaching workshops.
What made you decide to start the Business Growth Club?
I taught over 130 workshops and enjoyed interacting with the delegates, but there came the point when I got bored of doing the same thing. It wasn’t fair to keep running the courses when I didn’t feel I was giving it my all, so I needed to find a new way to deliver it. I had a look around and realised there wasn’t much online for micro-business owners, so I decided to create it myself, and the Business Growth Club was born.
Who are your ideal customers?
I like to work with people who run established small or micro businesses with ten employees or less. These people are often working on their own in a home office or a shared workspace. Typically, they have been going through the ‘feast or famine’ cycle, been engaged in ‘price war marketing’ or struggle to be sales-orientated. With our system, we help them strengthen and improve the foundations of their business and start to engage new customers and win business from those people. It’s always great to see people do the work and see the results they so desperately need.
What do you enjoy most about the Thrive meetings?
I like the friendliness of the group and the relaxed environment. Before I joined Thrive, I’d met Lorna at lots of different events, and she’s always so friendly and positive. There’s a good mix of businesses in our group – from established ones to relatively new ones – and it makes for interesting discussions. I know that I’ll most likely end up using the services of most people in that room at some point or another, and it’s great to have trusted businesses I can recommend to people in my network.
If you could choose a dream job to do, what would it be and why?
I love being in the countryside and bimbling about in the garden! So, it would be wonderful to work outside doing something like that. I recently got an allotment, so I’m on my way. It would be nice to combine it with music because I have a banjo that I love to play. I see myself outside playing bluegrass music with the great musician Alison Krauss accompanying me.
Words by Kate White – Front Page Media