“If you ask any successful businessperson, they will always (say they) have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” – Richard Branson

I took control of the family business, Jane Lewis, from my Mother in 1994. At that stage the business had been successfully supplying temporary nursing and care staff to Care Homes, NHS establishments and Private Hospitals for 7 years.

My team and I grew the business significantly over the next 5 years and by 2000, we had more than doubled turnover and opened 2 new offices in Manchester and Liverpool.

We moved the business into a couple of different sectors, namely Occupational Health and Homecare.

The business continued to supply temporary nursing and care staff to private organisations and NHS establishments. However, it was around about this time that my daughter joined the business and started to look at the provision of complex care.

We grew this side of the business whilst continuing to supply temporary staff. We currently provide around 8,500 hours of care or care staff per week, from offices in Cardiff, St Asaph, Shrewsbury, Crewe, Manchester and the head office in Chester.

The staffing crisis in the NHS led us to consider recruiting from other countries. In 2014 we started recruiting staff from Spain. To date we have placed around 800 nurses in NHS Hospitals in locations throughout the UK.

The market in Spain ceased to exist after the Brexit vote in 2016, Spanish staff were understandably nervous about committing a future to a country who are outside of the EU. However the crisis in the NHS continued, so we took the decision to look outside of the EU for potential recruits.

We now run regular recruit campaigns for our customers in India, Singapore and the Philippines.

Succession planning is a key decision for any business, and one that is often best made early. With this in mind I decided to take a step back from the business in 2015 – although I’m still a Director, I no longer play an active, operational role.

Jane Lewis is in very safe hands though, my daughter Becky is, if anything, even more ambitious than me. She’s taking the Jane Lewis story forward with a style and panache of her own and I’m very happy to be on the sidelines, helping and advising when required.

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About Me

Small businesses make up the vast majority of the UK economy, we employ more people, generate more tax revenues and create more wealth than the rest of the UK economy put together.

All businesses need a little help from time to time, that maybe the oversight of a Non Executive Director, or an interim manager who offers help and support at a time of need or crisis or simply an outside eye to offer support and pracical advice at regular intervals.

I've been involved in small and medium-sized businesses for over 30 years. My first career was in the Hospitality sector, I then moved into temporary healthcare staffing, healthcare provision and finally international recruitment.

I've been involved in businesses that experienced extraordinary growth, and stagnation. Both can be problematic and need management, different styles of management, but management none the less.

Many issues draw a business owner away from their primary role; to strategise, to ensure success and make sure the business is still trading a year from now. Often, that re-focusing requires an outside eye, that's where a good business adviser is invaluable.

I offer practical no-nonsense advice and support. I can't honestly say I've seen every eventuality that a business may encounter, I don't believe anyone can, however when times get difficult, as they do in all businesses, it's good to have someone you can call on who's prepared to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.