Written by Clients for Clients
Discover the issues and challenges I've helped clients solve and the results they've achieved by working with me.
Click on Read Full Testimonials for more details from a specific client. Or scroll down for a list of full testimonials.
Martin Tierney // FD & Owner
Our business had grown to a certain size but getting to the next level was a goal that seemed elusive. We were ...
James Leckey // MD & Owner
I'd been struggling for a while to translate my vision for the business into reality ...
John Lunn // MD & Owner
With all this uncertainty, we needed to be absolutely clear what our altered strategy is, both in the short and medium term ...
William Corrie // MD & Owner
I was trying to do everything causing me to miss a lot of the important stuff within the business as I just didn’t have the ...
Gary Wallace // MD & Owner
We needed to transition from a small company structure one that enables us to grow without dependence on the owners...
Steven Cassin // MD & Owner
Covid 19 really impacted us mid-March as clients began to feel direct impact to their business...
Joseph Doherty // MD & Owner
Our restricting factor was the family made all the decisions, and we weren't able to grow they way we wanted to ...
Fintan Duffy // MD
We were getting a bit lost - we were doing something wrong here, and there's some part of this business that we're failing on ...
Robert Pierce // MD & Owner
I didn’t feel we were achieving our full potential or taking advantage of our opportunities. ...
John Megaughin // MD & Owner
I'd agreed a deal to buy my business partner's shares but several major issues in the business presented themselves ...
Describe the issue that made you decide you needed external help
Our company needed to transition from small company structure to a structure that enables us to grow without dependence on the owners.
How were these issues affecting you and the business?
It left me and my business partner extremely busy boys but also we had reached our capacity as individuals to deal with our business efficiently. And yes we were permanently knackered.
What were your biggest concerns about working with me?
Could we afford the time to do this? We'd no concern about you. It was more about effort versus results. When you are already maxed out then its daunting to take on a significant change like this restructuring.
What helped you overcome this concern before starting work? And what did you feel after we'd worked together?
You were referred from a good and trusted source and after reading your website and seeing the Flywheel I felt that is what we needed.
I didn't have too many concerns about you, especially after our first conversation I felt your personality was of someone I could listen to. I tend to read people quickly and decide quickly.
What benefits did you get from working with me?
The biggest benefit was slowing me down to get organised, get the people on my team to help us and have a map on the way forward for the company. It's ongoing but benefits can be seen already.
The other things I learnt were to leaving an open question hanging long enough for someone else to answer , to look for someone else to take a project/task on if it doesn't need my input and how to handle performance issues.
Would you recommend working with me? If so, why?
Yes. I would recommend a company that requires a longer and more structured outlook to work with you.
It's a lot of work to get the process going properly and we are still a work in progress here but without your guidance this simply would not have happened and I would still feel overwhelmed but now I see a better future personally.
GARY WALLACE // Managing Director & Owner
Our business had grown to a certain size but getting to the next level was a goal that seemed elusive. We were doing much of the right things and serving customers well, but the growth was not there.
Personally, it was a constant effort to push and drive things forward with our team which is an effort on a daily basis. On a company level, it meant that staff didn't have opportunities for progression or growth like they should have had.
We wanted to work with someone who had experience in building their own business and helping to implement change in businesses like ours. We were unsure if a consultant would be able to come into our business and get a grasp of what we needed to do in a short space of time.
After our initial meeting and then our first session, it became apparent that Richard had a really good grasp of the business challenge we were facing and knew how to tease out the issue to get to the heart of the problem.
What We Got From Working With Richard
We now have a clear structure in place to define roles of staff members, our main success criteria and a roadmap for the company to work towards to achieve our goals over the next number of months and years.
We’ve also benefited from getting clarity on the business challenge, setting a clearly defined business goal and understanding the steps we need to take to get to the end goal.
What We Think Now
I can recommend working with Richard as he is a capable and effective business coach who can be relied upon to deeply understand your challenges, help you figure out areas of improvement and help you to create a roadmap to a better business future.
MARTIN TIERNEY // Finance Director & Owner
I was facing a number of issues: I lacked a management structure and clear job roles. I also didn’t have any accountability or a clear plan of where I wanted the business to go.
I was trying to do everything causing me to miss a lot of the important stuff within the business as I just didn’t have the time or head space for anything else than running the day to day, my business was organically growing and getting busier and I was not able to grown as a leader as quick as the business was growing.
At the time it was the worry of someone coming into my business and scrutinising it and me.
I only overcome this concern after our first meeting. It was instantly clear Richard had great business knowledge and he was going to be a great support to me moving forward and give me that kick up the ass I needed.
What I Got From Working With Richard
The biggest benefit for me was creating a structure within my business and creating job role success cards. This has given me time to focus on the growth of the business.
I also benefitted from creating a clear 5 year plan, Richard acting as a sounding board with great strategic advice, and Accountability. (I underestimated the importance of this)
What I Think Now
I would highly recommend working with Richard, the experience he brought was crucial for me moving forward with my business. I now have a structure within my business and clear plan of where I want to be.
Thanks to Richard I am now focusing more on business strategy and focusing more on the numbers rather than the day to day running of my business as this is now left to the management team.
WILLIAM CORRIE // Managing Director & Owner
You can work with Richard and take the things he tells you and run with them the very next day - which is what I did
I had agreed a deal to buy the shares of my business partner but in the time taken to agree the details, several major issues in the business presented themselves and I was unsure of the best way forward for the company and for myself. It was affecting the business on a long-term basis - how could I fully commit to something in my mind that I wasn't sure I'd be a part of? This was obviously cascading down through the company and was creating - even subconsciously - an uncertain environment.
I didn't have any concerns in bringing Richard in
In fact it was quite the opposite. He was recommended to me by someone who I'd trust with my life and I was excited to have the opinions and guidance of an expert who wasn't connected to me or my business.
I thought I'd get 100% honest feedback from him - he has no skin in the game here - and that's exactly what I got. It's what I need. A kick up the arse, if you will. A clarity of thought that was missing before. That's the main thing. Also - information on what you can and can't do.
Richard is clearly an expert in business, but he's also switched on at a human level
He knows the boundaries of the law but also understands that sometimes, people are people. I'd say that Richard brought a straight-talking and methodical approach to the problem. This is pretty unique for me - in the past, I've listened to talks or podcasts and a lot of the business advice is bollocks to be honest. Airy fairy nonsense about thoughts and feelings and no actual detail or pragmatism.
That's what I got from Richard - a nod to thoughts and feelings but guidance based more on the reality of business than what colour you are on a personality test or what your most listened to artist on Spotify says about you as a leader. It's David Bowie, by the way.
I liked his approach a lot
It was clear, concise and easy for someone with my limited ability to understand. It was like what football was once upon a time. Sure - you have tactics, but your objective is to win and the manager told you how to achieve that without filling your head full of nonsense about a midfield pivot or an inverted wingback. - it was well thought out and considered and very memorable.
I also enjoy his style. He's clearly very good at what he does and very knowledgeable but talks on layman's terms and is human in his approach, not a robot like a lot of people.
He's also very likeable and enjoyable to be around. A different view in how to approach hiring new staff. A different approach in how to motivate and manage a team. A better way to evaluate my own worth, or sometimes lack thereof, in my own organisation. Some of the ideas he presented were not his own, but he told me that - he didn't try to take credit for it. It was open, honest and refreshing.
Would I recommend Richard?
100% yes. Why? Because you'll get to the root of the problem in a way that's probing without being intrusive. It's like keyhole surgery - it's precise, it's accurate, it fixes the problem but won't leave you flat on your back for a week after it.
You can work with Richard and take the things he tells you and run with them the very next day - which is what I did.
Also, if you've been struggling with a business issue for a long period of time, then talking to him even on the phone will help to bring some clarity of thought. You can't put a price on that.
JOHN MEGAUGHIN // Manaing Director & Owner
I've worked with Richard for almost two years and find the process highly valuable
Covid 19 really impacted mid-March as clients began to feel direct impact to their business. Uncertainty crept in, defensive positions were taken, budgets frozen and projects were paused meaning our programme of work and revenue forecast was significantly impacted.
We’ve had to review every area of our business from new opportunities, projects in flight, team planning and client engagement and support. Our main priorities were to gain complete clarity on financial impact and forecast, securing our business and ensuring we would be in the strongest possible position coming out of the crisis.
Working with Richard is highly valuable
Whilst keeping a tight eye on cash I never considered stopping working with Richard. Sharing a fully transparent analysis of the situation and opening myself up to a rigorous challenge can be difficult, but I’ve worked with Richard for almost 2 years and find the process highly valuable.
I have a fantastic senior team who have been outstanding but as the MD, it's often difficult to get a critical analysis of the strategic plan at a macro level, rather than a specific department or functional area.
Working with Richard ensures I’m taking the right steps and not missing an opportunity. I also knew Richard had very relevant experience from previous crashes in 08 and 01 which he could quickly bring to bear. It’s akin to having an NED or board to consult – but in a rapid and cost effective way.
The process really helps my confidence
To execute on agreed plans to secure our businesses future, to drive forward on the opportunities that arise in this awful situation and to create value and growth for our clients, their customers and our own team – even now.
I’ve also benefited from years of insight across a number of sectors and tools to apply those within my business. Whether they be finance and accounting tools or concepts, client engagement strategies or just solid advice on how to step through challenging situations whilst retaining a strategic focus.
Would I recommend Richard?
Yes. If an MD / CEO doesn’t have access to a trusted, experienced, professional business leader who is accountable and committed to positive outcomes for them, their business and their team, I think they owe it to themselves to invest in one. We all know we should surround ourselves with the best and most experienced people possible but very often we only think that about our direct reports.
I'd urge others to put support, challenge, and accountability in place for themselves. Richard’s excellently placed and committed to deliver that as a high-value add service.
STEVEN CASSIN // Managing Director & Owner
If you want to really create something, these conversations are essential, and you’ll get the return on your investment
Before working with Richard we had no clear vision for the company. We'd been trading for 12 years and we had an idea of where we wanted to go but no clear vision and definitely no idea of how to get there.
Our main concern about bringing in external help was price and possibly a bit of embarrassment
We were running this business for 12 years and it is embarrassing to admit that we didn't really know what direction we were driving in. That was difficult. Consultancy fees are also often automatically labelled as waste before the consultant as ever done anything!
We got a lot of clarity ...
Over the course of a few sessions we defined the company vision, ten-year goal and the strategy for how we are going to get there. The key thing was that while we started with looking at the long-term vision for the company this was eventually broken right down to a 1 year and first quarter plan which brought the vision to life. Vital!
total honesty ...
At times there was way too much of it! It's tough to hear that your ideas are often not the best fit for the company, unlikely to pay dividends or just downright awful! On reflection though, it's much better to hear that at the planning stage than finding out multiple years and cash investment into a project.
and an impartial perspective
I think this is the key to creating a successful strategy: having someone independent of the business but with a good understanding and plenty of experience to offer an objective view on the strategy and even more importantly to force us to look at the strategy from different perspectives ourselves and really shake down major concerns.
Richard brought outside perspective but with excellent business knowledge, and experience of running companies big & small that is very applicable. And he gave us clarity over where a discussion should be going. This can be very difficult when trying to take a wide-angle lens and then dig down to the details of potential issues
Would I recommend Richard?
Yes. You get high quality questions that force more thoughtful analysis, ensuring that you start and finish with the goal in mind and brutal honesty when it can't be found within. You need to want to take your business somewhere special. If you want to tick along these conversations will be too tough.
If you want to really create something, these conversations are essential, and you’ll get the return on your investment. Honesty is cheap in the long run; compliments can be expensive
PAUL VALLELY // Managing Director & Owner
There’s now a marked difference on people’s focus on delivering, and the results we’re getting
I had a fairly new management team, we were reasonably inexperienced in the roles, and not as productive as I wanted us to be.
The company had grown, but the management approach had stayed the same. We weren’t focused on where we were going, there was ambiguity over who was responsible for what and who was accountable. I roughly knew the direction but wanted us to have a definitive version. We also had some new senior recruits joining and I wanted to get them involved in setting the direction.
My big concern was about not everyone buying into what I wanted to do
I was concerned that I’d tried stuff before, and never made it really stick the way I wanted. So I needed to make sure that whatever I did, it wouldn’t fizzle out but would stick.
I also wanted someone who’d been in a similar position to me, who’d experienced a similar journey, and experienced what I wanted to do and had done it. Someone who’d a system for growing the business and had implemented it themselves.
Personality was also really important – I needed someone to click with, and who got me and what I was facing.
The work on attitudes and behaviours really helped
It’s so powerful for recurring, retaining and coaching people. And it’s given us a process and the confidence to deal with people whose behaviours aren’t what we wanted. We’re now able to deal with the people who deliver but don’t behave the way we expect and want for our company.
We’ve exited people because of this, and I realised that we had to do that if I wanted to build a great team and maintain morale. You have to remove the organisational terrorists who suck the happiness from people. You can’t be walking around on eggshells. It takes too much emotional energy.
Previously our meetings weren’t working
Probably the biggest benefit is the structured weekly meeting with the team. Previously, our meetings weren’t working, we’d no timelines, lots of talk, no action, people were frustrated, there were no guidelines.
Now everything is tied together, we know how this week leads to the quarterly promises, to the one-year milestone to the three-year ambition to the five-year courageous vision.
We’re getting better outcomes across the business
The quarterly promise setting process really gets us focused on where we are going. It also allows me to hear what the team think and get their buy-in, but I still influence the process and ultimately make the decision. It’s given me confidence in my decision making and to structure things. There’s much better clarity on responsibility and accountability.
There’s now a marked difference on people’s focus on delivering, and the results we’re getting. I still need to work on building individual accountability but I’m getting there.
We’re getting better numbers too – sales for the first nine months of this year are already ahead of last year’s total!
Would I recommend Richard?
Yes. I’ve a real passion for what I’ve been through and how it’s helped me. It’s a very powerful tool to run a business by. It’s working for me and the business.
Personally, you helped me understand what was needed and how to make the changes necessary in the business to get the growth we want. I know the whole team feel the same way, and everyone got lots from working with you.
COLM GRIMES // Managing Director
Working with Richard has genuinely been one of the best things we’ve ever done – it's had an amazing impact on our focus and performance
I had been struggling for a while to translate my vision for the business into reality; to get everyday life in the business connected to delivery of our mission, vision and values. I knew where I wanted to go, but just wasn’t getting the traction I wanted. The business felt stuck and I was very frustrated that I couldn’t get things moving as well as I wanted.
Richard was recommended to me ...
by another business owner, whom he'd already helped overcome similar problems in his business.
Richard took us back to first principles to re-affirm our mission, vision and values, and to get us clear on what we wanted to achieve, and our strategy for how we were going to deliver that.
Once we had that clarity, we worked with Richard to develop our plan to implement the strategy, and put in place a revised organisational structure, and a new performance management approach to ensure we delivered what we said we would.
We now have complete clarity
We now have complete clarity on what we want to achieve, and how we will deliver that. Our strategic intent is to keep ahead of the competition through product innovation, and we have a drumbeat in the business that keeps us focused on annual delivery of new market-leading products.
All of which are delivering our vision of making a massive difference to the quality of life of children with special needs.
and have strengthened our top team
One outcome of the process has been that we have strengthened our top team to ensure we have the right people in place to deliver our strategy.
And the strategy implementation process we are following (and I recommend people don’t deviate from this) has had a significant improvement on how we function as a team. Our team communicates well, we solve issues together effectively and efficiently, and our performance is improving in all areas of the business.
Would I recommend Richard?
Richard is brilliant at helping people define and implement their strategy. If you want help in making your business vision a reality, take your business to the next level, or simply get ‘unstuck’, then I highly recommend you engage Richard to guide you through that journey.
Working with Richard to make these changes in our business has genuinely been one of the best things we’ve ever done – it has had an amazing impact on our focus and performance
JAMES LECKEY // Managing Director & Owner
Even though we’ve gone through a lot of change in the last 12 months, profits have grown substantially
I started working with Richard in early summer 2015. We had been restructuring and repositioning the business over a number of years and had achieved a lot, but I didn’t feel that we were achieving our full potential and taking advantage of our opportunities.
It was really frustrating knowing that we’d got something really great, but not delivering the results quite as fast as planned.
Richard is a very commercial business leader
He has helped us strategically and operationally with running the business. Working with him has helped us be really clear on what we want to achieve over the next 5 years and what we need to do this year to get us there.
Over the last year, we’ve been through a lot of change including two mergers, but everyone in the business is fully on-board with what we’re trying to build and we have a brilliant, cohesive and focused team in place to take us there.
The team is really excited at our prospects
What’s very pleasing is that even though we’ve gone through a lot of change in the last 12 months, profits have grown substantially.
More importantly for me, the entire team is really excited at the prospects for the coming year and I have absolute belief that we will now start to take advantage of our opportunities and grow quickly and profitably in our chosen markets.
We've really improved the speed of change in the business
One of Richard’s strengths is helping us work out what’s really important, getting us to focus on that, and holding each-other to account for delivering it – this has really improved the speed of change in the business.
ROBERT PIERCE // Managing Director & Owner
We were getting a bit lost
We know we have a good product. We know we have a good service. We know that we can do what we say we can do. But that wasn't translating into getting customers talking to us. And I suppose from the journey of going through a couple of Business Development Managers, and not getting any traction, I was very sceptical of taking on another one.
Some people were saying, "Just get another person." And I was sitting back looking at this going, "We've tried this twice, if you take it over the course of a year, between salary and expenses and everything else, you're talking about 150 grand of something that just clearly wasn't working." And for me, keeping on just going at that again, with no guidance on it, was just a recipe for disaster and a recipe for wasting more money.
We're doing something wrong here, and there's some part of this business that we're failing on.
And that was really the driving force behind starting to talk to you. And, as you know, when you're so involved in the business, it's very hard to see what you're doing wrong or what you're not doing right. And that's where I wanted someone like yourself to come in and take a look from the outside, and use your experiences to say, "Right, well here's what I think you are doing, or what you need to be doing."
I'm very sceptical about consultants
It's happened before where you've seen consultants come in and it's nearly, "There's my next cash pinata to whack." Right from the start of Regen Robotics, I have been 100% anti-consultants, because I find, you bring a consultant in to do something, they nearly own that part of the business, and they're always managing it.
And what I have seen before in business, is when a problem happens then, it's, "Ring up the consultant to come in and fire fight the problem." And I don't agree with running a business like that, because I think you should have the skills In-house.
If I hadn’t known about yourself, I would have been sceptical about just going out to the market looking for someone to help. But having talked to different people that had worked with you before, and from having sat in meetings with you before, where I sat back and thought, "There's something in this, there's definitely something here that's completely different thinking."
I've seen the success of what you’ve done before, so it was an obvious step to take to say, "Right, well there's Aurelius we know who it is, we know what they're capable of." So it was a fairly comfortable decision.
The work we've done has been crucial
When I sit back now, and look at what we've come up with over the workshops, it's in the back of your head all the time now. You can sit down, and when you're sitting talking to someone, be it in an interview, in a presentation, or in a conversation, you're thinking, "Is this the customer we want to work with?" As opposed to, "Well, we're in front of them now, we best make the sale." So it just brings focus to every conversation.
And you know, we put together that 90 day action plan in terms of the marketing strategy, sales, recruitment strategy, around that whole, and this is how we're going to make it come to life. You know where you're going.
It's very easy to get bogged down in the day to day stuff and I think that's what was happening to me certainly at a lot. I was just getting stuck into the day to day stuff to a certain extent because that's the easy thing. I know how to do that. I can do that all day long but that wasn't sorting out the long-term problems.
Having 90 day rocks now, and having that structure on it, leaves me that, "Yes, I do the day to day running of the business, but I also have my eye on what I need to have done in the next three months." And it just gives me a drive on getting all them other things, that actually have to be done for the long term benefit of the business, it's getting them done now, as opposed to saying, "I'm too busy. Sometime when it's quiet, I'll go and look at something like that."
I think the approach you have, it's different
I've seen consultants coming in, done the job, went out again and think they’ll be back next year to do the same job again. And that always left me very sceptical of having consultants come in and taking the knowledge away with them again, as opposed, I suppose, to what you’ve done with us. It's teaching us about what we're missing. That's a massive difference.
I suppose, the one thing I would say, and anyone that knows me would know, is my scepticism of consultants, and of having someone coming in and telling you how to run your business.
At the start of this, and when I started thinking about it, I thought, 'no, it's fine for certain industries, but our business is different than that. It's not that type of a business. So you can get stuck into that mindset of, "Well, it's actually a different thing than they're probably used to dealing with, so they wouldn't really know how to help us in this."
Where, I suppose, the approach you're taking is the same approach as I take to tank cleaning. You just think you've a different tank. I know you've the same tank. And I know how to sort your tank as well as I know how to sort everyone else's tank. So, it's the same approach. And that's what I would say to anyone – you think your business is different, but it isn’t really.
I'd recommend you to anyone
But especially somone like myself who gets stuck into what they’re good at, who’s great at the, "How to do things." And the fire fighting and the solving of problems, but not good at getting time to themselves to stand back and look at, "Where's this business going?"
We’ve an idea in the back of our heads about where the business is going, but aren’t actually doing anything long term, to actually get it there. We think we are because we're working hard, and it's nearly the old adage of the busy fool, we're running round being really, really busy, but long term, we're not getting ourselves to where we want to be.
Everybody thinks they're doing the best, and they are doing the best that they know, but I think every owner should just take the time out to do this even if you might think you're too busy to do it.
And if you are too busy to do it, you definitely need to do it. Because you shouldn't be that stuck, you shouldn't be that involved, and if you are that involved, you definitely need to do it because you definitely need to learn how to take a step back and start looking at things in a long term, and working for that.
FINTAN DUFFY // Managing Director
I'm seeing greater opportunities, even now, in the midst of this pandemic
Like previous economic crises, this has brought uncertainty to all of us; both internally and externally. And with all this uncertainty, we need to be absolutely clear about what are altered strategy is, both in the short term and medium term.
The team is really excited at our prospects
I first began working with Richard in 2016, and my main concern was would he be able to understand how our business works. Like many, we consider our business to be quite different in its culture and approach, and I didn't want this to be lost due to misunderstanding or misalignment.
But for me to develop as a leader and add more value, I knew I needed to take that leap of faith and be open to new and different ways of looking at our business.
In truth, yes the first few meetings were challenging both professionally and personally, but that challenge proved to be instrumental in altering my thinking and approach as a leader.
Growth & reduced levels of agonising
Most significantly working with Richard continues to expand my thinking to see greater opportunities than previously, and even now in the midst of this crisis. Working the issues through with Richard and really getting to grips with them gives me the confidence then to take them forward.
The other two big benefits I've had from working with Richard are continual challenge, which has led to growth, and reduced levels of agonising over key decisions.
I'd very much recommend working with Richard
I'd very much recommend working with Richard. For me, the key has always been the challenge as I’ve said which has brought so much learning and scope to see more potential in what we as a team are doing and the impact we can make.
JOHN LUNN // Managing Director & Owner
Book Your Free Thirty Minute Discovery Call Now
Having read all that, you're hopefully feeling more reassured I can help. Or maybe the testimonials I've selected don't quite relate to the challenge in your business?
Regardless, it's time to do something. And that something is to book a 30 minute discovery call to stop beating your head against the wall, and start unlocking the potential in your business. You won't regret it, as John Megaughin said "talking to him even on the phone will help to bring some clarity of thought. You can't put a price on that".