How ActionCOACH Cheltenham supported Penguin Uniform to double its turnover and team size

Jared Wilson, owner of Andoversford-based workwear firm Penguin Uniform, reveals how business coaching from ActionCOACH Cheltenham has helped him to achieve his business and lifestyle goals — from mastering his busy diary and spending more time with his kids, to achieving a whopping 182 per cent growth rate this year.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
Leading workwear firm, Penguin Uniform, has doubled the size of its team since starting business coaching with ActionCOACH Cheltenham.

Growing from a one-man band to a 11-strong team, smashing its targets and doubling its turnover are just some of the successes that Gloucestershire workwear firm, Penguin Uniform, has experienced since it started working with business coaching firm, ActionCOACH Cheltenham, in 2021.

With such impressive growth in a short space of time, SoGlos spoke to the owner and CEO of Penguin Uniform, Jared Wilson, to find out how ActionCOACH Cheltenham's award-winning business coaching has helped him to achieve his professional and personal goals.

When and why did you start working with ActionCOACH Cheltenham?

I started working with Billy Smith (managing director and senior business coach at ActionCOACH Cheltenham) and his team back in April 2021, following a few conversations with associates whom all spoke very highly of Billy. Not only do his credentials speak for themselves, I think reaching out to a mentor when you're running a business alone is an absolute must.

What were your expectations of business coaching, and what has surprised you?

I thought it would help to hold me accountable — which it does, in abundance! However in the early days, it was more about unravelling what I wanted myself and the business to become and where we were going.

What has surprised me is that Billy doesn’t actually tell you what to do or give you the answers. By picking your brains, he supports you to get your own answers in a clear concise way. You cannot do that alone, I’ve tried!

What are the three biggest things you've learnt in your business coaching sessions?

Although I'm only two years into business coaching, I know I'm on a journey. 

The first lesson I learnt was about time management. I started setting strong habits like waking up at 5am and I now use a default diary to plan blocks of time to spend on certain areas of the business, as well as schedule time in for relaxing. Without this, I wouldn't have the regular time with my wife and young family that I now have everyday. 

Next, systems and processes. I kind of knew this was vital to success, but it's true in every part of the business — whether it's the first customer contact point or the end-of-day production close down. I'm really fortunate to have an awesome team who lead themselves daily.

Finally: KPI, KPI, KPI! My team do KPI (key performance indicators) reports themselves as a reflection of their day, week or month. It means that if they don't like what they see, they have the chance to discuss why and how we can improve it. As a business owner, I can see on a snapshot how we are performing, which helps me to make better, more informed decisions.

Micromanaging people is old hat; let good people become great by empowering them to do their job with the right tools!

How has business coaching helped you to focus on your goals?

It's really helped me to create short, mid and long-term goals — not just business but personal. Without this goal setting, it's just in your head; when it's written down, it becomes realistic and achievable.

The key to doing this is knowing what you want: being there for my kids every day is crucial to me and it's now something I'm able to do daily.

How has the business grown since you started working with ActionCOACH Cheltenham?

When I started working with Billy in 2021, I was a lone ranger wearing every hat in the business. As it stands today, we're up to a team of 11 staff — having created job opportunities for local people — and are recruiting for our 12th and 13th team members in September 2023.

From a financial position, we have exceeded all our targets and in the year running 2021 to 2022, we doubled our turnover. We have an impressive growth rate of 182 per cent year on year for January to May 2023 versus 2022. This has seen our staff grow from five to 11 today. 

How have you grown personally and as a business owner since working with ActionCOACH Cheltenham?

Personally, I have learnt so much. Self development is a big one: to strive for continual improvement by doing something as simple as reading books about thought leaders, is something I never would have done before.

Discussing my long-term goals and what it's going to take to make them a reality is another big growth for me, both personally and in business — it creates clarity in thought and execution. 

Through working with a business coach like Billy, my family and I are on a journey to make our dreams a reality — and above all, enjoying the process along the way!

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