Helen Phillips celebrates three successful years of working with Mustard by reflecting on some achievements and challenges, and looking to the future.
Helen Phillips began working with Mustard Business Advisers officially with her first client in April 2018, following five months of training.
Helen studied at Imperial College London before beginning her career as an Engineer and Project Manager. She further developed her skills and knowledge with a Master’s degree at the University of Manchester. Helen is now a certified Business Adviser for Mustard, and has been since she began her training in November 2017.
As part of celebrating three years of working with Mustard, Helen looks back at some of the clients she’s worked with, some of the challenges that have been faced and overcome – particularly in 2020, and gives her top three tips for business owners.
Over the last three years, the main thing Helen has discovered that she loves about being a business adviser is working with clients. She finds her job “incredibly rewarding seeing the positive impact it has on [your] client’s businesses and on their lives.”
A recent example of great work completed by Mustard can be seen in their latest case study. Finishing working with P4B Law allowed business owner, Roger, to have more fun in his work and home life.
Allowing clients to have more fun is what Mustard is all about, and is what Helen has helped multiple clients achieve in the last three years.
While having more fun at work and at home is a great outcome, the most common reasons that Helen found people come to Mustard for advice, and work with her in particular, all have a family connection. She summarises the most common reasons people seek help:
- Wanting to be able to spend more time with the family
- Building a “grown up” business to give them a stable sustainable income to provide for a growing family
- Building a business to hand over to the next generation
- Increasing the value of their business so they can look forward to a long and comfortable retirement
Some key challenges
Success in life often follows challenges or hardships. And it’s overcoming these obstacles that makes the success really worthwhile.
In her time with Mustard so far, Helen has had plenty of success – but not without the hard work she’s put in.
The process starts with the Mustard Diagnostic, and Helen’s experience as a quality auditor helps her dig deep into where a business is doing well, and where there is potential to increase the value in a client’s business.
If they don’t already have one in place, Helen helps her clients to set out a business plan or financial model for client businesses for a 3, 5 or 10 year plan. She calls this the “easy bit”. Helen goes on to say:
“Where we really make the difference is to put practical plans in place to achieve that vision, to challenge their assumptions, and to hold them to account and make sure they achieve their goals.”
It starts with leadership and vision and how that’s shared with the team. The robust eight step programme is designed to build the strong foundations needed for stable, sustainable growth. This part of the process is where the real hard work comes from, and is where you start to see huge differences for your business.
Helen’s hard work was especially prominent in 2020 – a year that threw up a host of challenges for businesses and their owners. “It would have been easy to scale down your business and give up hope at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic”, says Helen, but this is neither what she nor her clients did.
Helen saw that business owners that weren’t part of the Mustard programme were also facing a tough time. Through offering free 90-minute workshops, Helen was able to help business owners find focus and direction in their work in an unprecedented and ever-changing climate.
Both hard work and Helen’s support resulted in success for her clients. Particular highlights that Helen has noted include businesses Jammy Custard and AOTV, both of whom adopted their business models quickly and doubled turnover this year.
Learning and growing
As well as helping many clients along the way, Helen has learnt a lot about herself in the last three years.
Working with Mustard has improved Helen’s confidence; she’s always had a wealth of business knowledge and experience, plus a burning desire to help, but hadn’t found the best avenue to combine those skills.
In Mustard, she gets to use both her passions to help businesses achieve their goals.
Business Adviser and Managing Director, Alan Jones, has helped Helen grow in her role in the last three years, by helping her fill the gaps in her knowledge and providing learning opportunities.
The insights provided by the TTI Success Insights that Mustard Advisers use with their clients has given Helen an insight into her own personality and helped her to develop her relationship building and coaching skills
As Mustard’s programme is an intensive one, each business adviser can only work with a small number of clients at a time.
Over the next three years, Helen is aiming to grow her client base to eight clients. As an engineer at heart, with a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering and MSc in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management, plus over 30 years of experience in manufacturing, Helen would love to work with more engineering and manufacturing businesses.
Helen has worked with a number of clients over the years, and has plenty of success stories to share. Her top three pieces of advice for business owners are:
- Your time is precious; invest it wisely. Doing the admin tasks yourself might help with the cash flow but it is not going to help you grow your business.
- Have a crystal clear view of who your ideal customer is, how you add value to them, and where they hang out.
- Put time and effort into defining your goals, make them engaging, bright and colourful, and look at them every day to remind yourself why you’re here. Every day, ask yourself “What have I done today to take me closer to my goals, and what is the most important thing I can do tomorrow to help me get there?”
Helen has a successful track record in the last three years. She’s helped business owners to create goals and stay focused on them, allowed business owners to have more fun at work and at home, and of course increase turnover.
Interested in discovering how Mustard’s expert business advisers, such as Helen Phillips, can help you and your business?