Chris Barlow

Chris-s-mugshot_mn59Chris started out working for large enterprises, first in offshore engineering and then in IT sales. In his early thirties he became an SME owner-MD of companies in IT/Software development and in the hotel-leisure industry.

This multi-sector multi-functional experience has given him an insight to understanding the underlying issues common to many businesses along with first hand expertise in:

  • assessing viability
  • company acquisitions and sales
  • business planning and turnaround
  • marketing
  • working in partnerships.

Furthermore Chris can help busy executives step back from day-to-day firefighting and think strategically about their business – not just to make more money, but also to fulfill their own personal lifestyle ambitions.

After university Chris joined BP as an engineer in the North Sea and subsequently leapfrogged his line manager to became an Oilfield Production Manager while still in his twenties. After the oil business went into recession in the mid-eighties he moved to IBM as a Large Enterprise account manager, achieving recognition as a top-performing salesman in his first full year. A short time later he lead the management buyout of a hospitality software development and systems supply company, IGS. Together with his partner as joint MDs the company was grown organically, and by acquisition, from £0.5 million revenue and 11 employees in 1990 to £3 million revenue and 70 employees in 1995 before it was sold on to a larger concern.

Chris invested his proceeds in an under-performing hotel business with an annual revenue of about £1 million which as MD he grew through acquisition and business turn-around into a hotel, restaurant and leisure group with three hotels employing 165 people and annual revenue of £5.5 million before selling out and retiring in his early fifties.

Chris openly admits to periods of self-doubt at some stage during almost every business venture he has undertaken. “Investing in yourself can be lonely and worrying before it becomes fulfilling and rewarding” he says, “but with good planning, learning from your mistakes and a bit of luck, the chances of success can be greatly enhanced”.

After a couple of years of travel and voluntary work he missed business life. So now he enjoys using the benefits of his experience in supporting others to succeed and hopefully, as he says “help avoid the pitfalls and mistakes I made as well gain from those insights that proved successful”.

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