business and life choices

Why employ me - and costs

What makes me qualified to help?

Fifteen years of hard-nosed Managing Director / CEO experience in manufacturing, retail and distribution for a start. My first business started with 200 sq ft of floor space, rising to 14,000 sq ft. We went through two major recessions, the collapse of our main supplier - twice - spectacular growth and abysmal cashflow. Even our bank foreclosed after we won several large contracts and they thought we couldn't cope. The same had happened to a competitor and we moved to their bank after tortuous days of negotiation.

I made a small fortune, then lost it again in the late 80's as recession hit and interest rates soared, narrowly avoiding liquidation. I joined a supplier as MD, a manufacturer nosediving to extinction. Day three and it was clear that 90% of the stock was worthless and we took the balance sheet to zero, made 50% of the staff redundant and battled our way like guerrillas against everyone. I've had spectacular successes and also learnt some very hard lessons. This is backed by several years running various projects in large corporations, working with departments as diverse as IT, treasury, engineering, marketing, audit, retail and others. There are some fancy terms bandied about large corporates like ERM, SCM, CRM. I feel I wrote the book. I've negotiated hundreds of deals across the UK, Europe, the Far East and America and have undertaken several interesting and profitable acquisitions, mergers and business investigations.

So that's business. At forty I did do what I'm suggesting you might think about: throw everything in the air and go for the big adventure; and now intersperse my working life with time off to do the same. I'm also a single parent, bringing up my children alone for many years - so I've some experience of the difficulties of work and life balance.

I'm no panacea, and I'll tell you straight if I can add value or not. I do enjoy a challenge, love strategy and achieving the so-called impossible and get as great a kick out of a business success as in climbing a mountain.

[John is Chair of Trustees of Kidney Research, (, a writer, artist and sailor. He lives in a houseboat, built by himself and friends, off the Thames near London.]


Up to you and me to decide. Here is some idea:

The basis of all costs is agreed in advance. I'm more than willing to discuss terms that suit your circumstances and, to an extent, pocket - and hope that our relationship is long-lasting and highly beneficial to us both. I'm happy to work under non-disclosure and all work is highly confidential. Terms can be agreed on a per-job or retainer basis. Professional indemnity insurance can be included for all work. VAT will be added to all invoices and payments are 30 days nett unless otherwise agreed. If you need the work done, but are unsure I'd give value, then please tell me. We can work out a fee that is strongly loaded towards proven results.

Contact and what comes next

In strictest confidence email John Simnett, or call me on +44(0) 780 1967 606.

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