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Three new business leaders join BHP Consulting

The consulting division of BHP Chartered Accountants is pleased to announce the appointment of three experienced business leaders.

Rachel Hannan, Richard Simpson and David Manley join Head of Consulting David Mitchell and Mark Roberts, previously the Managing Director at Andrew Page Ltd, to form a powerful team which will help businesses across the region to develop and implement growth strategies.

BHP Consulting is rapidly developing a strong reputation for helping businesses of all sizes to identify and deliver their growth potential. BHP is one of only two firms in the UK to be shortlisted for the Top 50 Advisory Team of the Year Award in the British Accountancy Awards 2015 – the winner will be announced in November. Making this shortlist is testament to BHP Consulting’s success.

The Consulting division’s differentiator is the experience of the team members, who have each grown businesses to a noteworthy size.

Rachel Hannan has been involved in business growth from all angles, having initially gained consulting experience in large corporate businesses, including PwC’s Global HR Solutions practice, before going on to found, significantly grow and exit two businesses. She has since gone on to operate as a Board Advisor, Non-Executive Director and Angel Investor.

Richard Simpson brings extensive sales and customer experience to the team; he has grown companies of all sizes, including taking Shred It UK to become an established business with a turnover of £50 million over a period of 10 years.

David Manley brings with him a great breadth of experience in operational improvement and diversified growth, and has a strong background in export markets. He is extensively experienced in M&A, both as an acquirer and a target, as well as being familiar with the requirements of Private Equity as an employee and a business owner.

David Mitchell commented, “The real strength comes from our collective experience. As a team we can offer clients a depth and diversity of practical experience, having been there and done it ourselves, we can cover all key areas of consulting needed by business owners who want to grow their companies. We focus in supporting businesses with their overall strategy and sales growth activities and specialise particularly in their operational, customer base and human capital development.”

October 26, 2015 / by Jessica Hardwicke

A Few Lessons from the Leeds Rhinos

There was an incredible atmosphere at Old Trafford last weekend as the Leeds Rhinos took the treble, adding the 2015 Super League Grand Final to their already impressive list of victories this year. With a win of 22-20 against the Wigan Warriors, and with three domestic trophies now under their belts, the Rhinos are the ones to watch, not only in terms of Rugby League, but also in terms of business development and sales growth. Gary Hetherington and his team at the club have a fantastic business.

While the sporting world and the business world aren’t often so closely compared, there are a number of lessons we can take from the recent performance of the Rhinos, and apply to commercial and corporate growth. The team incorporated a number of aspects into their play that turned out to be the recipe for success, so how can modern businesses learn from the likes of Peacock, Leuluai, and Sinfield?

Accept there are going to be growth challenges

Believe it or not, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Rhinos. Their performances following the Challenge Cup win at Wembley weren’t anything to write home about, and the team know that. They have openly and publicly acknowledged that there was a performance dip, and worked hard to identify and resolve the issue. It

“Wasn’t through a lack of trying. It was just through the emotional effort that Wembley takes out of you”, according to Jamie Peacock. Our Consulting services can help business to identify current problems, and create plans to work through the issues; a major part of our strategy is to coach the board with the softer skills of leadership, dealing with stress and retaining high performance under pressure.

Stick to the execution plan

Throughout the first half, it seemed like the Rhinos had it in the bag, but the Warriors fought back during the second half, which saw Leeds trailing behind not once, but twice. However, ‘the belief the team showed at the end’ is what pulled them through, says Peacock. There are many obstacles facing businesses today - difficulties with people, operations and sales growth, as well as access to finance. Businesses should be clear about their ultimate goal, and how they're going to achieve it, having planned for the challenges.

Remain Calm Under Pressure

The Harry Sunderland Trophy for man of the match quite rightly went to Danny McGuire. He scored two tries, but what really stood out was his calmness as Wigan fought back, and his complete refusal to be fazed by the fight. Business should be encouraged to follow this lead, remaining calm under pressure and not making rash decisions

in the heat of the moment. Think things over carefully before committing, just like McGuire did with his high kick that contributed towards the winning try. Leadership can be a lonely place, so make sure you surround yourself with a team who will both support and challenge you.

Embrace change management and the skills of younger talent

20 year old Josh Walters made a name for himself, scoring the winning try for the Rhinos, and he wasn’t the only fresh face out there. 20 year old Liam Sutcliffe, 21 year old Stevie Ward and 22 year old Brad Singleton all made a big impression. The Rhinos are evolving - they’re welcoming new players with fresh ideas at a time when many of the Rugby League veterans like Leuluai are heading into retirement. Businesses shouldn’t be afraid to change, evolve and remain relevant in terms of their target audience. Execution of Human Capital plans, whatever the sport or business, are of paramount importance.

We could also learn a thing or two from the Wigan Warriors. Coach Shaun Wane went on record saying ‘They’ve won it and well done to them. They’re a champion team and never give in’. In sport, and in business, it’s all about public reputation. Take the high road, congratulate your competitors, and work on building up a loyal customer base that ultimately respects who you are as a business and understands why you do what you do. Powerful stuff.

October 16, 2015 / by David Mitchell

Let the dog see the rabbit; embracing change

It is crucial that businesses wishing to grow to have a positive attitude towards change. MD owners must let their upcoming talent ‘go for the rabbit’ so their companies can grow and increase value.

I thought of this analogy while out with my dogs at the weekend. I have two brothers, Tetley and Glengoye who are 11 years old and my young pretender, Bluey, who is two. We were ascending Pikedew Fell when two rabbits ran out of a rocky outcrop, the dogs breath shortened, muscles tensed and ears pricked up as they looked at me for permission to move.

A Labrador can catch a rabbit at 30ft – anymore and the game is out of their reach. The rabbits were at about 25ft. Tetley (my working pride and joy) and Glenn looked at me with a glance of “Would love to Dad but my body may not guarantee success” whereas Bluey was bright eyed; “25 Metres, I could make it! Let me try – I can achieve anything!”

This reminded me of the chairmanships I hold where companies are going through significant growth. Where the companies are most successful the younger generations take on more responsibility and the Directors adapt their roles to accommodate growth. Where they are less successful it is often because of a negative reaction to change.

I often advise that a negative reaction to change is due to people feeling threatened and clinging on to what they know, so it is important that everyone involved sees the benefit of change both collectively and for them as an individual.

To build shareholder value and grow your business you must let the young pretender go for the rabbit. They may not be successful first time (like Bluey this weekend…) but it will be a step in the right direction. In my case the pack, in your case the company, will be stronger..

BHP Consulting - David Mitchell Newspaper Review

July 24, 2015 / by Dataphiles User

A weekly review of the Monday morning newspapers by David Mitchell

A review of this weeks newspapers by David Mitchell, head of Consulting at BHP


England face an awesome autumn. We play the only two sides above us in the world rankings. By the time Christmas comes along I will be sat with my farming friends discussing our potential in becoming World Cup winners. Note 'winners'. Not contenders.Many a glass will be shared by the fire in the tap room of the Falcon, but what will be the conclusion? We now face a true test. I draw a parallel between the established corporate and our national side playing a sport my wife accuses me of loving more than her. What a ridiculous concept. I love them equally. What can we expect from England? Passion. A set of values and humility. Teamwork, pride in the shirt and endeavour. Tackling everything, hustling and disrupting. Like many quality performing business or sports team - that is now an expectation. All that should be demonstrated from someone playing for the national shirt as a minimum. England have been on a journey to this point and now they stand at the edge of their next phase, their chasm. For businesses who wish to progress beyond their current point of comfort another gear must be found. Cross the chasm. Take the chances. To deliver shareholder value the basics which a company have strived for in development are not enough. Before settling for posting average profits, having values on the wall and having a little talent in the boardroom, consider achieving more. The parallel - do England really have a competitive...

March 09, 2015 / by David Mitchell

Devomax for Yorkshire? We need unifying first

I have watched the recent independence debate and elections with interest. I had over 10 family members who voted, some with the YES campaign and some with the NO. Some of you who know my father in law is called William Wallace. He voted No. Ignore the message at your peril is my personal view to Westminster. The referendum itself was sizeable political theatre, but the real power and gravity of the event is still to be felt. All Scots had a view, and those in the NO camp will passionately protest against and allegation of a lack of national pride. This view is now extended across the rest of the Union, as all have an opinion on our own destiny being placed in the hands of those in the Ivory but medieval towers of Westminster. I am a passionately proud Yorkshire man. I did not let Heather leave the county boundaries before the birth of our 4 children, so they could lay claim to geniune Yorkshire citizenship on the hallowed turf at Headingley when the boys eventually make their debut in their cricket whites or those of the county Rugby Union jersey. Yorkshire has a greater population and similar GDP to Scotland, oil aside. Many Yorkshire folk dislike being dictated to by the Westminster elite. Similar to the YES voters further north, our national industries have declined, severing the ties for many with the rest of the UK and a feeling of national unity. Tradition and the right to...

July 24, 2015 / by Dataphiles User

Performance under pressure

The England RFU tour. Yes, I know, I am going on about Rugby and Business again. But, here is the thing, it works... Stuart Lancaster has half a squad to play against the best in the world. Stupidity. Money, TV rights and high paid player contracts all conspire against, in my view, one of the worlds most promising leaders and coaches. But my analogy works because in business and with BHP Consulting clients we very often have matters that conspire against us. We must still perform and deliver under pressure. Results are published, customers, banks, funders and staff are all eager to see how we got on. Did we win? Did we grow, make profit, produce cash? They, like the baynig press for England will not suffer excuses. Lancaster will not give one. He sees the situation as an opportunity. He can break in talent, deepen his squad, forge new partnerships. Like every great leader he has planned the situation. Well aware for many months he has had the Premiership final interfering with a winter tour to the best team in the world and most daunting physical place to play (more so than South Africa in my view), he is prepared. I just hope it is enough. The lessons for business are there. Man up and plan ahead. Despite the situation you find yourself being a total mess through no fault of your own. Those who complain show their true character.

February 20, 2015 / by David Mitchell
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