Thank you for your interest in my story. My background, experience and skills are geared to help you effectively start, develop and grow your business.

I am a business mentor, who has actually run my own businesses and advised many more in various advisory roles.

My core experience comes from running my own businesses, mentoring others and in senior roles that included strategy, marketing & sales, finance, operations, health & safety and people management.

I work with business owners and entrepreneurs to review the key areas for your business and establish what we need to focus on to make it work for you, your team (internal & external) and to the expectation of your ideal customer.

My practical approach ensures that your time and energy is best utilised. With my experience, skills and knowledge, I ensure that the business has a sound foundation from which to develop and grow.

My objective

To be the most respected source of guidance, support and inspiration for entrepreneurs looking to successfully start, develop or grow their own business.

My Values

  • Inspirational – committed to inspire and provide confidence
  • Honest & Truthful – providing support that can be trusted
  • Dedicated – to my clients success and as defined by our clients.
  • Respectful – respect in others skills, ability and commitment with no personal judgement
  • Challenging – to challenge ourselves and our clients to improve. Open to challenge myself.
  • Innovative – to be creative in my thinking and original in my ideas, as one size does not fit all
  • Results driven – focused on solutions and impact
  • Plain English – provide simple and clear explanations, personalising my language and avoiding high level jargon
  • First Class – providing a first class experience, to exceed expectations, at every touch point
  • Share my passion – I commit to share my passion for entrepreneurship and success in business.
Mike Foster at 10 downing street
Representing Entrepreneurship at 10 Downing Street during Global Entrepreneurs Week in 2017

FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE

I have started, grown, franchised and sold my own businesses. These have included businesses in bookkeeping & accounts, marketing, training, health & safety, an indoor soft play centre and a membership organisation.

Overall, I’ve loved being an entrepreneur, but there have been tricky moments as well. As you might imagine with six businesses, it turned out to be a big lesson in focus and execution for me.

Even more so when it nearly all came falling down around me…

I’d made an investment of over £100k in one of my businesses and thought the success would come the same way it did with the previous ones. So, I never gave it the same attention. But I soon realised that you have to be proactive with your plan and take action. It doesn’t just happen on it’s own!

My attention to the basics had been distracted, because I thought it would be easy. But if business was that easy? Then we’d all be successful already!

I realised I had to go back to my business plan and identify the areas that needed improvement. We had a great business, with good margins if people came to visit. Unfortunately, the number of visitors was less than what we needed to be profitable. So we ramped up our marketing and had a better look at our operational model…

Within two months, our visitor numbers doubled, and we even had a number of full capacity days that stretched our model.

It was very pleasing and a huge relief. But it also proved to be a huge lesson. We went on to trade profitably for another five years before we sold the business for more than our investment. Happy days!

And although the businesses I ran were all very different, they did share one thing. Each of them taught me how important it is to have an effective business model and a complete strategy. It’s the only way to achieve (and sustain) any considerable level of success.

As I have demonstrated with those that I have mentored in the past, I will ensure you benefit from my experience, and not make the mistakes I made or have seen others make.

My Background

In the late 1990’s, I was an area manager for Barclays in Oxfordshire with a team of business start up managers.

I then joined a team of leisure professionals to form a start up that was breaking away from the local district council to manage the leisure facilities in the county.

In 1999, I started my first business, which offered bookkeeping and accounts support. I later franchised and sold this business, before setting up a membership organisation to support others running a similar business.

After a successful start up period with this business, I started 5 other businesses, as mentioned above.

In 2007, my company were asked to run the ‘Be Your Own Boss Club’ on behalf of Business Link (MKOB) for new business start ups or those thinking of running their own business.

We also delivered a number of workshops and mastermind groups.

In 2013, I sold my businesses and worked within and then co-founded membership organisations to help their members start and develop their own business.

More recently, I have worked as the Commercial Director for a firm of accountants, which included offering advisory support to our clients, before moving to support entrepreneurs in the science and technology sector.

Since 2010, as The Entrepreneurs Mentor, I have combined this experience to help others build their own business.

I strive to inspire your action and motivate your focus on the right activities in your business. I am committed to ‘making it work’ for you, your team and your customers.

If you are looking to develop you business, then please contact me, let’s have a call or a coffee to understand your situation and I will explain more about how I can specifically work with you.

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Mike Foster with three mentoring clients
Pictured here with three clients that made up the finalists in their industry awards for business growth success

some further information

I am a member of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs and am certificated by www.getmentoring.org.

I have a wide range of experience in the small business market. I have trained at the Warwick University school of business, hold my financial qualification with the Chartered Institute of Bankers and have a diploma in Sales and Marketing. My other business relevant qualifications include being a qualified Bookkeeper, a qualified HSE & QCA approved instructor to deliver first aid courses and a NEBOSH qualified Health and Safety adviser.

I am an active speaker on a range of topics including marketing, finance, business development and business start up. 

I have also co produced two DVD’s, www.startyourownbusinessdvd.co.uk and www.firstaiddvd.co.uk

I run a number of networking groups and enjoy connecting business owners.​

I am married with two children (my reason why). My other interests are my voluntary work, where I held the post of National Chairman for the voluntary organisation – Rotaract, covering Great Britain and Ireland. I am a past president of my local Rotary club and Chamber of Commerce. I enjoy football and rugby, although now no longer play, but coach for a boys team.

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