Real World Business Experience Wins Everytime

So, Vic Hogg my favourite business conspirator invited me to the Start Up Grind, Founding in Your Fifties, Fireside Chat with Sue Nelson (cor that was a mouthful).

Located at the ever-reliable Platf9rm Hove site and hosted by the ever-reliable, Kristina and Sophie we were treated to an open, frank and free flowing conversation with Sue Nelson.

For the uninitiated Sue worked for 35 years as a highly successful designer, illustrator and marketeer specialising in brand development in London. At 54 she founded Breakthrough Incentives, an independent tax consultancy focusing on R&D, and took it from zero to a £2.5m profitable turnover company in just 5 years when she then sold it to the multinational professional services company EY.

Sue and her team took the seemingly dull and confusing process of applying for R & D claims and reinvented it as a story-led exercise which everyone and anyone could understand. And they did, in their droves. The company was rewarded with a growing revenue stream with an enviable 40% profit margin.

Sue’s story was full of “horribly wrongs”, the challenges of not being able to raise finance, personal tragedy, never bloody giving up, duplicitous buyers and the underlying value of bringing in advisors with real world business experience.

Rather than retire Sue was clear about the duty she feels to help others in the business community whilst making it onto the Commander of the British Empire in the New Years Honours List of 2022.

Main takeaways:

Build culture as well as revenue

Let your people get on with their jobs

Ask for help, people say yes!

Never trust a journalist, ever……..