The Enterprise Nation Marketplace is home to over 13,500 advisers and this week we are spotlighting Enterprise Nation Adviser member Debbie Peplar from business consultancy, Peptalk.
Company name: Peptalk
Year company founded: 2009
What is your favourite business book and why?
The Go-To Expert by Heather Townsend and Jon Baker. I like all their books as they are written by professionals from the business services industry for professional people in the business services industry. The Go-To Expert reminds me what I need to focus my efforts on and that is being an expert in all aspects of growth for small to medium sized businesses.
Who is your business hero?
There are many, but the one I enjoy watching from afar the most would be Richard Branson. He is an astute businessman, a good decision maker and likes to keep it simple. Simple!
Describe your business in a tweet.
#PeptalkForYourBusiness - a critical friend in business when you need someone to add clarity, support, advice and inspiration.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My business started in New Zealand. I am a New Zealander, although I am married to a Wiltshire man and have lived in the Wiltshire for the majority of the last 22 years, except for roughly seven years between 2004 and 2011.
My business model was to expand to England and work between the two countries. My biggest challenge was growing my network and client base here in England. It started from nothing and it was hard work with a lot of networking events, talking to people and meetings, but I did it!
What has been your greatest success?
There have been many successes, but my greatest success would be starting my business from scratch here in England. The New Zealand side was much easier as I already had a network to tap my consultancy services into. Also, in New Zealand I was employed while I was carrying out the research for my consultancy services.
Here in England I wasn't employed by anyone else and my existing business network was very different to the one I needed to have. My husband was very supportive, but there was no other income for me to rely on. Back in the early days there were a few scary moments!
What piece of advice do you wish you had known when starting out?
Do your research and gather as much information as you can on your products, services and the industry you will be working in. Understand who your competitors are an what they are up to. Getting this information doesn't have to be a time consuming thing, but having it will help define your unique selling proposition and it will take a lot of the guess work out of your marketing plan.
Why do you consider long-term strategic advice important to business success?
It is so easy for a business to wander off the path of their business plan, especially if the market changes, or other factors influence a move in a different direction. Having strategic advice over a period of time helps business owners to reflect on where they have been and where their business is moving to. Often we don't realise the journey our business takes until we step back from it.
As a business advisor and an analytical person, this is one of the areas I enjoy the most. Saying this, strategic business reviews are not always positive, so having the ability to react to bad news in a proactive and constructive way is important for business owners. No one likes to hear they have 'failed' or that their business isn't performing as it was expected to. Instead, success can be measured in different ways and it is my job to help the business owner understand what their successes are.
If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
My superpower would be a subtle wink with magic powers that instantly give a business owner, or the person managing the people in the business the confidence to manage these major assets and resources effectively plus they would have the courage to make the right decisions.
Managing people and resources is one of the biggest challenges business owners face. I really would like to make it easier for them.
One of the benefits of our StartUp and Small Business Classic membership levels is three free consultation calls with advisers from the Enterprise Nation Marketplace such as Alison. Click here to read more about membership.
Debbie is one of our Small Business Adviser members, a membership designed especially for advisers, experts and professional service providers. If you're a business adviser, become part of the Enterprise Nation Adviser community today!