On the back of nearly 20 years’ experience across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, Andrea Goodridge set up Ad Florem – Latin for ‘to flower’ – in 2015.
The leadership development consultancy challenges senior leaders to challenge themselves, with a primary purpose of embedding new learning and ways of thinking to build high performance teams and cultures.
Although Andrea had prior experience of setting up a subsidiary to a private company, and experience of supporting senior leaders, she needed start-up business advice, and a safe space to talk openly to someone independent.
Andrea signed up to the Hub’s Start Smart Workshop and began working with business advisor Isabelle Farquhar.
Andrea’s positive and energetic approach challenges senior leaders’ thinking and habitual behaviour. She supports senior leaders to tackle ‘real life’ challenges, create ownership and accountability, and encourages them to reflect on their leadership style and have more productive conversations with their teams.
Initially Isabelle identified the gaps in Andrea’s business knowledge, which were then addressed through a series of masterclasses. These focussed on market research including finance and pricing structures, performance monitoring, marketing and overall business strategy, including learning some important tips around tendering and proposal writing.
Andrea also started to work with the Hub’s business advisor Yousef Taktak, developing both a short and a medium-term growth strategy for the business.
As Yousef explains: “We looked at Ad Florem’s potential over the next three years, and it became clear that the key to growth was marketing, service development and establishing a team of associates.”
This strategic planning has brought immediate dividends. Since November 2015, Ad Florem has worked with senior leaders in the public sector including NHS Acute Trusts, Ambulance Trusts, Local Authorities and both established and start-up businesses.
One of Ad Florem’s values is collaboration. This has led to the business partnering with two professional institutions, two events companies, and the Chamber of Commerce, to provide leadership workshops across the UK; and Salford University to create an online learning programme enabling leaders to hold coaching conversations to nurture individual performance and growth.
Sales are now growing each quarter and Andrea is enjoying 100% repeat business. To support the growth, Andrea’s has used her newfound marketing skills to promote Ad Florem on social media, developed branded learning materials and relaunched the company website with fresh content.
She is also employing four sub-contractors to help run the operations side of the business, and is recruiting associates to support the delivery of projects.
Andrea explains: “The time I’ve had with the Hub has been great; it’s really focused my mind. They have provided advice, supplied templates and good practice documents, challenged my thinking and really stretched me.
“I call them my accountability partners - they ensure I don’t stagnate and instead continue to flower!”
Andrea is also a volunteer mentor for the Hub, where she brings her energy and business experience to help entrepreneurs accelerate their growth potential by stepping out of their comfort zone and working from their personal strengths.