Little Voices - Case Study
Jane Maudsley and Holly Hammond founded Little Voices in September 2007 and formed the limited company in 2008. They had centres for Drama and Singing in Blackburn, Bury, Clitheroe and Bolton. They had opened a centre in Fulham, London in September 2008 and were hoping to expand and grow the business further but needed guidance, as neither partner had a business background. Jane desperately needed assistance with the finance and accounting side of the business so that the foundations were strong on which to build the business. There was no set marketing strategy in place and Health and Safety was also an area that had been unknown territory.
Little Voices were assigned Shelagh Brownlow as their Guardian Angel. Jane needed training on the QuickBooks accounting package and indeed the accounts needed a lot of reorganising. Shelagh had all the skills required to help her with this. This enabled Jane to be much more time efficient and more importantly enabled her and Holly to have information about the business at their fingertips.
Shelagh helped to get all the Shareholders agreements and insurances in place and really investigated the business so that its fundamentals were sound. She helped them to keep costs to a minimum and make decisions relating to admin staff that they were finding difficult to make. She chaired a Directors’ meeting to set out their marketing plan and goals and aspirations for the future. Follow up meetings were arranged to see the progress on the tasks they had set. Having goals clarified with the Guardian Angel was of immense benefit.
Everything has improved. They have a very efficient accounting package now. Jane is well trained and has been able to save thousands in accountancy fees by submitting very well executed accounts. A marketing strategy is in place for the local areas and they are now working towards a framework that they can roll out nationwide.
Through Shelagh’s help they have acquired so many core business skills in finance and marketing and their business has a solid foundation on which to build. They now understand ‘break even point’ in each of their teaching centres, they can forecast, create cash flow predictions and profit and loss accounts.
They have increased their sales by 46%. Shelagh helped them to know and focus on their target market. She has introduced them to several new contacts in the independent school sector and they are now in the process of creating lasting partnerships with these schools for extra curricular Singing and Drama lessons. This would not have happened if it wasn’t for their Guardian Angel.
Jane was also able to spend the hours driving the business forward rather than accounting by hand!
“Our guardian has been invaluable to us. We would never have achieved the business we have today without her help. Shelagh has given us so many tools to move forward with Little Voices indeed, within a very uncertain economic climate. Her guidance has brought about personal development in us as business partners and our business. She has been a fabulous listener, supporter and believer in us and we cannot thank her enough. We still have so many mountains to climb but we would not even be at the foot of the mountain without our Guardian Angel.”