Hi, I'm Irene

A calming presence,

a trusted confidante

and an insightful business support manager that works freelance with a select few businesses each year.

Your established business, based in the north east, can develop faster and easier with my help.  Without you burning out, or needing to add more people to your payroll.

I'm a former Head of Business Support for an extremely successful business within the construction sector.  Profitably grown from £5m to £85m in 9 years.  

In 2008 I went into business myself, starting to help the people who own and manage smaller specialist companies.  

I noticed quickly that you are great with your technical expertise, but most people in your position just can't find the time to look for proper business support you can trust to get on with things, and do them well.

Where Business Support Can Add Value

I have often heard comments like:

  • Business is doing okay but it could be better.
  • I'm working longer and harder than ever before. 
  • Marketing!  We don't do anything consistently and that shows
  • I dread the day my best people hand in their notice to go work for our No. 1 competitor.
  • It's hard to recruit reliable, quality people or fire those who don't add value. 
  • Checking in with work in my free time and on holidays is a common occurrence. 
  • My important personal relationships are suffering because of my work.

How many points sound familiar to you?

Imagine for one minute being stuck in the same situation for 1, 5, 10 or more years ...

Often it's easier and more profitable to buy in professional support

Like Fred did.....

We have an ongoing relationship which has helped Fred and his team:

  • Increase sales by 500% over 5 years
  • Improve customer delight to 93%
  • Expand their team adding exceptional people
  • Boost employee satisfaction year on year
  • Win NATIONAL level business award within the vast SME category (twice)
  • Improve profits

Imagine having your bespoke strategy and action plan co-designed and implemented by someone who contributes to results like these:

  • Improved confidence and skills to recruit, manage, develop or fire people in their team. 
  • Created and delivered business improvement projects, generating over £250K of savings.
  • Achieved successful business sale. 
  • Developed boring job roles into roles people are happy to get out of bed for.
  • Grew profit contributions year on year - increasing dividend payments.
  • Improved employee satisfaction rates within businesses by up to 24%.
  • Enabled 100% business growth in 12 months whilst maintaining profit contributions.
  • Recruited for key roles from team members to senior management.
  • Implemented redundancies and dismissals with no costly or time consuming tribunal claims.
  • Set and managed business strategy to become industry leader for people related KPI's.
  • Built a team that became local and national business award winners.
  • Have regular family time rather than putting in extra time on the computer.
  • The Simple Process

    1

    Identify What Needs Doing

    If you're unsure, I help you get clarity of the results wanted.

    2

    Manage Delivery

    Leave it to me.  I'll do my magic.  No babysitting required from you. 

    3

    Happy Business Owner

    Rinse and repeat.  Rinse and repeat.  Rinse and repeat.

    Potential Ways I Can Help:

    Strategy Work that Builds Brilliant Businesses 


    Help with business planning process, workshop delivery, action plans and confidential admin.

    Research.

    Facilitate quarterly update meetings/workshops. 

    External confidante and sounding board.  



    Marketing Activities to Win Work & Keep Clients


    Marketing plans for easier business building with current and future clients.

    Customer relationship management plans to build relationship with key people.

    Website design, content updates and maintenance.

    Newsletters, brochures, leaflets (offline and online).

    Proofreading and professionally designed documents (offline and online).

    Social media - Linkedin, Facebook and Youtube (account set up, strategy and monthly management).


    HR & Training for Enhanced Performance & Profit


    HR Strategy.

    Supporting you in recruiting, managing, developing or letting people go.

    Employment documentation (contracts, handbooks, policies, letters).

    Employee opinion surveys.

    Assistance with absence or disciplinary procedures.

    Overseeing training plans and grant claims.

    Facilitating team workshops for business improvements.

    Succession planning.

    Apprenticeship programmes.



    What People Have Said About Me Over The Years:

    Fred Hood

    Owner/MD

    Working with Irene, my business is now award winning and sought after as a specialist electrical contracting company.  We are working hard, but we are thriving.  Irene certainly helped me give my business the boost it needed.

    Steve McCoy

    Managing Director

    I have hired Irene to work with us and a selection of our supply chain. Her approach to helping people build better businesses within the construction sector has positive consequence for companies like ours who seek to employ only the best within the supply chain.

    Rob Johnson

    Owner/MD

    We engaged Irene to review and assist us in providing a fresh outlook to the way we conduct business with our clients.  In a very short period of time, the entire team are focused in the same direction.  We could not be any more pleased with the extra dimension Irene has added to our business.

    Lisa Stafford

    Head of Marketing

    Irene provides excellent results. She takes time to really understand the brief, our marketplace and the end result we hope to achieve.  She works to the highest standards, is very cooperative and has the highest standards of integrity.  I would recommend Irene to any company looking for assistance.

    Paul Dobbie

    Owner/MD

    Irene assisted me with employment contracts and has subsequently been a huge help in making sure I am aware of and meet my obligations as an employer. However her wider knowledge of business issues is also evident and I would have no hesitation in recommending Irene to anyone seeking to explore new directions and opportunities.

    Paul Marshall

    Managing Director

    Irene has provided an excellent and cost effective service that has given us access to a highly competent professional and enabled us to implement changes with minimum disruption that are now having a very positive impact across our business.  I would have no hesitation in recommending her to others and will look forward to working with her again in the future.

    Doug Glass

    Owner/MD

    Irene's calming and professional approach and expertise have been an inspiration, she is down to earth, flexible and goes the extra mile to inspire and drive the team forward.  I unreservedly recommend Irene's creative services to anyone looking to progress their business.

    Clive Belfield

    Consultant

    Unlike some companies, who charge a fortune to tell you the obvious and, often, it's just expressing the jargon terms in vogue at the time, Irene forms a deep and proper bond with her clients and takes a real 'hands on' approach to shaping their success. 

    Ken Parkin

    Owner/MD

    We commissioned Irene for a very important tranche of work where we needed additional help and expertise. Irene has delivered excellent results working closely with our own team and her advice and input has also saved us money along the way!

    Irene demonstrates a good balance of strategic and operational working and her industry experience is evident.

    Keith McDougall

    Director

    We chose to work with Irene to help us drive our business forward during a significant period of change. She offers an external view which is very honest, creative, flexible and in a style that encourages you to want to incorporate her into the team to help the business be as good as it possibly can be.

    Del Phoenix

    Owner/MD

    Down to earth and very professional , whether its HR related or “bidding” for work Irene’s help and guidance in business matters has been invaluable to us.

    Martin Kay

    Owner/MD

    Irene’s expert knowledge, integrity, creative thinking will be a benefit to any company and I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending her.

    Catriona Lingwood

    CEO

    Irene had been involved with Constructing Excellence in the North East for a number of years.  She contributed her time and extensive knowledge of what is going on in the construction industry as a valued Steering Group Member of the North East Club.  Irene also acted  as a Judge in various categories in the region's largest and most prestigious Annual Construction Awards.”

    David Mellor

    Managing Director

    Irene’s individual personality traits are highly valued in business and she applied these traits through the delivery and application of her work.  Irene’s business contributions and outputs were always professional and of the highest level of performance.

    Some things you need to know


    • I don't work with everyone who asks.  
    • If we do work together, you'll get my personal attention to design and manage business projects that need doing.  These will likely fall into strategy, marketing, people or admin.
    • Your business has been established for at least 5 years.
    • Because of the nature of the work, I check for potential conflict of interests with existing clients.
    • If an existing client refers you, that helps a lot!
    • You must believe your business does a good job, with the potential to do a great job.
    • I only work with up to 3 clients to maintain quality of service.
    • Although I could work across any sector, I have extensive experience with businesses linked to the construction sector.  
    • The investment is £1200 per month recurring.  You can cancel at any time. Invoices are issued 1st of the month, covering that month and are due upon presentation.  
    • You will have budget of at least £5K/pa available for business improvement projects (may not be needed but does need to be available).  Where projects need additional spend to the monthly payment, these will always be agreed in advance.

    You'll benefit if you need to get things done to improve business that have been on your mind for a while, and you don't have the structure, capacity or expertise in house.

    Interested to explore if I could help you?  Please contact me, initially by email to irene@buildingtopcompanies.com 


    If you're not ready for personal consultancy, or not in the north east, then maybe this would suit you better

    themanagershelpfulhub.co.uk 


    Here are some of the more "personal" things that clients have shared about the impact of working closely with me.  Sharing them to show that it's never all about business.  It's about your life too.

    I had fallen out of love with my business, I hated it most of the time.  Now it's like I am back into the honeymoon phase.

    I never thought owning a business could be this much fun.  It's an absolute pleasure working with you.  Can we call this work?

    Your insights into the business and my life are amazing!

    My relationship with my family has improved dramatically, I think this can only be down to working with you as nothing else had changed.

    I am now living a life I never thought possible.  I have a lot to thank you for Irene.



    At this time (December 2018) there is only 1 space available.

    For a discussion, let's arrange a time.  Email me

    irene@buildingtopcompanies.com