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Better business, happier people, how business coaching has improved life in general for these IT specialists

Providing what you need, when you need it

Andy Chapman – Managing Director Ventrus Networks


Established in 2002, Ventrus Networks offers dedicated IT support, consultancy and real-time server monitoring services. Based in Berkshire, it had built a loyal client following around the south east and beyond, but when the recession forced several customers’ businesses to fold, managing director Andy Chapman decided it was time to take external advice.

What was the issue?

"I’m essentially a technical person", Andy explains, "rather than having a natural business focus. I knew my knowledge was inadequate if I wanted to grow my business in this climate, so I enrolled on a two-day strategy course in 2010 which was led by Ian Banister. It was an excellent course, which really made me think differently, and I asked Ian to continue to coach me on a one-to-one basis".

What did Ian do to help?

Over the last six years Ian has been providing support to Ventrus as a business coach initially working with me to challenge me on the way we operated as a business and change the way I worked as the Managing Director.

Andy and Ian meet on a regular basis. ‘Ian has really helped me to change the way we operate as a business, and change the way I work as an individual,’ says Andy. ‘He turns everything on its head and throws it back at me from a different viewpoint. He’s extremely good at asking questions – and making me question what I’m doing, but in a very positive way. It’s made a vast impact on our sales and turnover.’

What was the outcome?

Ian continues to work with Andy, however he has widened his involvement to look across the business and support the growth of Ventrus and the people that work in it. At an early stage Ian took direct responsibility for coaching the sales team and developed a clear marketing and sales strategy which increased contract sales by 45%.

'As a business coach Ian’s support of the business and the individuals working with it has changed the way we operate. I’m very grateful to have found him, I no longer work in the business, I drive the business, But I also have someone to lean on. It’s a role I’m enjoying – it feels really good, not only because we’re so successful but also because I’m less stressed and can now take holidays – my work/life balance has really improved.’

Ian added 'Sandlea Associates approached this project carefully, as it was our very first undertaking of this scale. We studied our client’s business to create a focused and effective solution - and then watched it grow. We loved working with this client, and look forward to collaborating together on many more successful projects in the future.'

How business coaching has improved life: Projects
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