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Case studies

Berwick Lodge - Spring Board help build their growth jigsaw

"I am delighted to be testifying to the unique contribution made by Steve Lobley, Corine Hines and Ann Sherrington to the growth and development of our business since its inception.

We are still a relatively new business, having, in our infancy, to confront the challenges of recession especially in the arena of hotels and restaurants. Developing the business at a time of global contraction and constrained finance has meant a massive learning curve for me and my colleagues. I can assuredly say that without Steve, Corine and Ann's support we would not be where we are today. Indeed, our very survival may have been in doubt.

When my husband and I established Berwick Lodge we did so with masses of experience at the grassroots of hotels and catering but virtually no experience in managing the many dimensions of a complex business in a hostile environment. Into this challenge stepped mentors and trainers, second to none, and referred to above.

Our first priority, identified by Steve, was the need to develop a robust, credible and achievable strategic plan. Steve worked patiently and methodically with us to build this plan across our key market segments - - weddings, hotel and restaurant. He helped us identify needs, develop value propositions and articulate a course of action which was action-centred and outward looking. Gradually we gained a vision of what the future might hold and how we could move towards it.

Ann worked closely with my Business Development Manager to write and implement a successful sales and marketing plan to meet growth targets. She also worked with the Weddings and Events Coordinators enabling them to convert 'enquiries' into bookings and customer satisfaction. This coaching and mentoring style was fully sympathetic to our own working environment and, of course, our own sensitivities. It was robust yet supportive and helped us all grow immeasurably in the business.

Corine was particularly supportive of me, as Owner and General Manager, on a one to one basis helping me manage the challenges of the team in a more effective way. Specifically, her advice and working knowledge of my environment enabled me to prioritise time and effort around the priorities for the business, all of which, of course, contribute to the 'bottom line'.

In a nutshell, therefore, this complementary and inter-dependent team helped me to fit the various parts of the jig-saw, which is Berwick Lodge, together. It helped us all to apply ourselves to leadership skills and mastering effective financial management and to develop a holistic business which fully appreciates that the team is far greater than the sum of its parts. A great achievement from which there can be no rest although great appreciation for all the support given!"

Sarah Arikan - Berwick Lodge owner and hotel manager.

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