Case studies of Bristol business coach Inge Dowden | Inge Dowden Coaching

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The HeadMasters salon in Bath is an upmarket hair salon which is part of a national franchise. It had been going for many years and was doing a good turnover, but recently the results had not been on a par with the rest of the country. In fact, when I came in to work with them, they were third from the bottom in terms of turnover and other performance indicators.

In a hairdressing salon, the stylists are almost more important than the customers, because people tend to be loyal to their personal hair dresser, independent of where they work. So keeping the staff happy and motivated was crucial, as when staff members leave, they would often take the customers with them.

By focusing on this particular element of the business and helping improve the management and leadership skills of the business owner, they soon saw a big improvement in the result. Turnover was up 17% and after only 6 months they were the second best performer in the group – an amazing achievement considering a lot of the other salons were in London. And more importantly still: the business owner felt happier about the business and got more sleep at night, and the staff said that morale had improved and they were more likely to stay.

In my business, staff are incredibly important, because if a stylist leaves, they often take the clients with them. Through the work I’ve done with Inge, I have been able to retain key staff, improve staff morale and ultimately increase our sales and profits by 17%. I always look forward to my sessions with Inge as I know I will come out of them with fresh focus and enthusiasm.

David Maxwell, Owner, HeadMasters, Bath

OMB Direct

OMB direct is a husband and wife led design & marketing agency in Bristol. Both Chris and Sharon have many years of experience in this sector and have won numerous awards. They had moved out of their home office into nice premises and had a good bank of loyal customers. However, the economic crisis hit them too and when one of their main contracts got cancelled, they found themselves in the challenging position of having to look for more clients. Furthermore, they were also doing work for lower fees than normal and this had a knock on effect on their confidence.

After working out what their personality profiles were, and talking to them about their preferences, they stated that they didn’t really like business networking, as this didn’t suit their personalities. We then explored other ways of getting business and discovered that partnerships with previous contacts were actually a much better way for them to get new contracts. After concentrating on this for a few months, and being clear about who their ideal customer was, they won a couple of lucrative new contracts and their cash flow improved greatly. They were able to turn away a client who wasn’t right for them and their confidence was boosted. So not only did they have better results, they also felt a lot better about the business and themselves.

Since working with Inge we’ve got a number of new clients through strategic partnerships, which is something we didn’t really explore before. Our cash flow has improved significantly and recently we’ve even turned a customer away, because they weren’t of the right calibre. Inge has done wonders for our confidence as well as our bottom line.

Sharon & Chris Barbour, Owners, OMB Direct