Spotlight on…Nigel Heald and Matt Clayton

The IOEE’s member base is incredibly diverse, with people from all walks of life signed-up to enjoy the privilege, services and benefits associated with it. To let you know just how broad a spectrum of people we work with and what membership represents to them as individuals, we’ve created Spotlight on… which, every month, introduces you to an IOEE member with an interesting story to tell. For March, the spotlight is on Nigel Heald and Matt Clayton, who run Build a UK Business. This enterprise support company is based in Staffordshire but serves clients operating across the UK and has lifetime IOEE membership.

Build a UK Business was set up around 12 months ago and in that time the company has had great success in helping other businesses. Nigel and Matt both have a background in business support, although each man brings his own specialisms to the table. Nigel explains the two primary services Build a UK Business provides:

“Firstly, it’s about helping new businesses set up - people who haven’t started a business before. We support them with every area of starting out, from business planning to cash flow forecasting. The other side of the business is designed for people who’ve been up and running for a while but have hit a glass ceiling and need support to grow their business. It’s about getting those businesses past the obstacles that are stopping them from growing.”

Nigel enjoyed a long career in sales and marketing within large corporations before setting out alone to help small business owners excel within their sectors, as he recalls:

“About 12 years ago I started up my own company up delivering training courses in sales, customer services, communications skills, leadership and management. As part of that I was also doing business consultancy, helping businesses grow and prosper.”

Matt’s background is in banking and tax, having worked for both HMRC and as an independent business consultant across various markets. Although Build a UK Business is a private enterprise and very much commercially driven, Nigel and Matt offer clients free initial support to get them off the starting block, before inviting them to join a subscription service so that they can access more support as they require, to grow and develop.

As a master practitioner of neuro linguistic programming (NLP), Nigel offers more than just practical guidance to his clients. Along with expertise on every business area, from legal and financial to marketing, sales and tax, Build a UK Business also works towards changing people’s patterns of thinking, as Nigel explains:

“Lots of people fail in business because they haven’t got the right mindset. They wake up in the morning and they have limiting beliefs that can thwart them right at the start of their enterprise journey. They then lose confidence or the motivation isn’t there. Challenging that chain of events and helping someone develop a successful business mindset can have major impact.”

The NLP strand of Build a UK Business’s offer is the company’s unique selling point. Above and beyond the staples of the enterprise support sector, this NLP dimension is designed to help people conquer the ‘limiting beliefs’ that prevent them from fully pursuing their aspirations, as Nigel explains:

“If people think they can’t do something, then they won’t even start. We can help people get the right successful business mindset using face-to-face coaching or our online programmes. With that mindset in place, they’ve got more confidence and they’re more motivated, plus we’re there to help with business strategy, funding, planning etc.”

It was Matt who originally decided to join the IOEE as a member, which he did before Build a UK Business was established, bringing the membership to the new company with him, as he says:

“I joined the IOEE around two and a half years ago when I was with my previous company. My primary reason for joining was the credibility and recognition membership gives you in this sector. I believe the mark of membership gives clients more confidence doing business with us.”

One of those clients is Kai Longshaw, who approached Build a UK Business with an idea to start a company called Blueprint Robotics. The business would be based around an animatronic arm Kai had developed that would operate both as a learning tool for school children and as an aid for those with disabilities. Nigel explains how Build a UK Business was able to support Kai to bring his idea to the market:

“Although Kai had this great product, he needed some support turning it into a business. We helped him get the loan he needed by creating a solid business plan, and to get his first customers within the education market.”

As well as Nigel, Matt and a third director, Eric Mitchell, Build a UK Business’s services are supplied by a number of associates, all of whom boast their own specific skills sets and many of whom are SFEDI-accredited. This allows Nigel and Matt to handpick those associates whose skills most closely match the support requirements of individual clients, creating a bespoke service that might cover anything from Health & Safety to website building, through to community businesses and finance. Nigel says:

“If a client wants some specific expert advice, then we’ll go to the person who’s got that real skill, that niche expertise.”

For Matt, the capacity to provide clients with exactly the service they need is key and the stamp of IOEE membership gives Build a UK Business the gravitas it needs to assure potential clients they’re in safe hands. Plus, as he explains, membership means he and Nigel can feed back their expertise into the wider enterprise support sector:

“As well as the credibility, IOEE membership shows that we care about providing our clients with quality support. Plus, it means we can ‘give something back’ to the business development and enterprise support community via the IOEE member forums.”