23 Jun 2021
Steve Smith, Consultant at Business Doctors and author of Leadership, Levity and the Power of Baked Alaska is using his experience and training to help support local entrepreneurs across the region to start and grow their businesses.
Steve has over 30 years’ experience in sales and marketing, and has extensive knowledge of the business world, which makes him uniquely placed to advise other business owners on how to create their own success.
Steve explained: “While I was at University in Sheffield, I was approached by Procter and Gamble and offered a role after one of their assessment centres. It was an amazing start to my career and over a decade I worked with products everyone knows and loves like Pampers, Fairy Liquid and Head and Shoulders.
“An opportunity then came up with Kellogg’s where I worked in category and customer marketing; before becoming Sales Controller and finally Marketing Manager for their kids’ brands. After 5 years I decided on a change joining AG Barr as sales director. I stayed here for 15 years building up the team and increasing sales from c.£100 million to c.£300 million a year.”
With all this experience behind him, when Steve was offered redundancy from AG Barr during a company restructure he decided that it was time to start out on his own. After being approached by Business Doctors, he decided that he wanted to use his experience and extensive knowledge of the business world to support companies in his local community around St Helens.
Steve continued: “Business Doctors work with small and medium businesses and they said my training and experience would lend itself well to supporting local companies.
“The more I thought about it, it became clear that being my own boss worked better for my lifestyle and meant I could put down roots again in my local community after years of travelling for work.”
Steve now works as a Consultant for Business Doctors, providing advice and guidance to local business people looking to start or grow their own companies. With a range of services, Steve provides bespoke advice to businesses, to help them reach goals and achieve their vision.
Steve explained: “I’m really keen to help businesses in our community – I hope that my experience and training can help local companies excel and I’m really excited to be able to offer this.
“Business Doctors provide a range of support for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and we provide a free business health check to get you started.”
Becoming self-employed has also given Steve the freedom to pursue other interests and take part in voluntary work which fits in around his work with Business Doctors.
“Working for myself has allowed me to also “give something back” – so I’m now a volunteer careers Enterprise Adviser at a local school and I’m working with the Chamber as an NEA Adviser to help support local entrepreneurs through the NEA programme, which I progressed through myself.
“I am also working part time with Myerscough College near Preston to deliver sales training to Apprentices on the Golf Course and Greenkeeping Management programme. They say variety is the spice of life and having my own business gives me the opportunity to pursue varied interests.”
Alongside his work as a Consultant, Volunteer and NEA Advisor, Steve has written a book about his experiences designed to help other managers and business owners – combining management theory with practical examples from his experience in the business world.
Steve commented: “I’ve written ‘Leadership, Levity and the Power of Baked Alaska’ in a light-hearted and quite accessible way. The aim is to educate, enable and entertain people as growing up in St Helens helped me develop a very ‘down to earth’ approach to leadership. ‘Baked Alaska’ combines management theory with my actual experience of the theory in practice.
“The book is easy to read, has plenty of local references and provides leaders and managers with more of an understanding of the theory and challenges they might face. The ups and downs of my experiences mean you can laugh as you learn! It is available on Amazon and Book Depository, or I can supply it myself at a Chamber Members price if people get in touch (email@example.com). Ten percent of proceeds are being donated to various national and local charities.”
Steve worked closely with St Helens Chamber’s Business Start Up team to progress through the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme last year and is now back working with the team to help other aspiring entrepreneurs progress through the NEA programme.
Stella Libertini, Business Start Up Projects Co-ordinator at St Helens Chamber, commented: “It is fantastic to see how well Steve has done from setting up as a Business Consultant to now as an Author and NEA Adviser with us at the Chamber.
“Steve has a unique insight into the business world and his experience is really beneficial to our Start Up clients, we look forward to working with him in the future.”
The New Enterprise Allowance is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.
If you are unemployed and thinking of starting a business, speak to your Job Centre Plus adviser for more information about the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
Through the New Enterprise Allowance, Steve accessed support from St Helens Chamber’s Business Start Up team with everything from funding to writing a business plan.
To find out more about Business Start Up support, call us on 0845 340 9980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org