16 August 2013
UCL Advances SMILE Mentor helps plan for the future
Teresa Richardson owns Fulham Scalp and Hair Clinic, a specialist in treating hair and scalp conditions.
Teresa is an expert in her field (tricology) and has achieved outstanding results over the last 25 years, but felt her knowledge of setting up and running a business was not strong enough. Teresa’s daughter, Eleanor (UCL Natural science 2013), set about looking for help.
Eleanor came across UCL’s SMILE programme. SMILE matches business mentors with companies that would benefit from the knowledge and experience – just what Teresa and Eleanor were looking for.
What Eleanor hoped to get out of SMILE’s service was some basic business advice: Setting up an accounts system, perhaps some management ideas, and making sure employee contract were in order. Peter Hicks, business consultant, brought so much more to the table and in Eleanor’s words, “he made us think big from the beginning.”
Building from the foundations up
Peter helped Eleanor and Teresa take a more in-depth look at their business model and rebuild it from the foundation up. He asked a whole new set of questions, making the mother and daughter team challenge their own perceptions. The process was inspiring and helped them redefine what they set out to achieve, not only aiming higher – but making sure they had the strategy to hit those targets.
A five-year business plan
Together they devised a five-year plan that not only included the structure and procedures needed to create a solid business model but also the marketing, product development and market analysis, to bring the products and services to a much wider audience.
Peter instilled the ‘idea of ambition’ in the mother and daughter team.
Teresa and Eleanor set about developing a product range on a national scale –
“this is something we would never have dreamed about or even considered without the help from SMILE and Peter.”
With a clearly defined set of goals in place Teresa and Eleanor felt they had the confidence to approach some of the larger department stores, including Harvey Nichols, Harrods and John Lewis.
In addition to the five-year plan and a brand new product range, Peter helped develop the website to provide an online consultation service. This meant that clients no longer had to visit the business premises to obtain expert advice and opened up a huge new market.
Peter also encouraged Teresa to host master classes and develop a luxury consultation service focusing on the top-end of the market in Angola and Rwanda.
The relationship continues – Peter is helping test and develop some of the products. Whilst UCL continues to help with events, networking, workshops, and environmental management.