Client profile: People Kaizen Ltd
- Used pension to launch franchise partnership and take on staff
- Pension provided £85,000 preference share investment in the business
- Paid back over 5 years with a coupon rate of 12%
- 'I’m topping up my pension again. It’s a way of me growing my pension. I’m all for it'
When you are a behavioural change coach it pays to be well prepared to adapt to the challenges ahead.
Rebecca Shorthouse had the experience of training as an accountant, becoming a financial controller for a firm of tax practitioners, launching a children’s nursery before jumping at the chance to specialise in leadership and management development by joining a friend who was going it alone from a firm of business psychologists.
She had worked with major clients such as E.ON, JLR, Channel 4 and Virgin Media and played a key role in the Toyota and Lexus Leadership and Management Development Programme.
With her 50th birthday on the horizon and emerging from some personal challenges, it was the time to take People Kaizen Ltd to next level with a move into personal coaching and a partnership with the YB12 (your best 12 months) franchise. Kaizen is Japanese for breaking things down and putting them back together in an improved way.
Throughout her career Rebecca’s entrepreneurial spirit had shone through and now she needed to put her money where her mouth was, and that money came from her pension savings.
“I am an untypical behavioural coach as I was an untypical accountant,” admitted Rebecca.
“I know I’m in the right career, I love it, it suits me and I’m good at it.
“But I knew there was a limit to me. I couldn’t do my work five days a week and run a business as well. The only way forward was to expand and take on new people.”
Rebecca was aware of the opportunities presented by Pension-led funding because of her background in finance but a recommendation to approach PLF from another lender, and the ability to borrow from her pension and pay the interest back to herself, convinced her PLF was the way to go.
“I’m topping up my pension again. It’s a way of me growing my pension. I’m all for it,” she said.
Rebecca demonstrated her commitment to her business growth with an £85,000 preference share investment in People Kaizen Ltd from her pension, to be paid back over five years with a coupon rate of 12%.
The injection of cash will fund the franchise partnership with YB12 and her move into life coaching, the recruitment of two graduate employees, training opportunities and increased marketing.
Promoting herself comes naturally to Rebecca who sees her approaching 50th as a help, not a hinderance. She said: “Age doesn’t start being a factor, quite the reverse. The more knowledge I get, the more experience I get and that can only add to my credibility and worth.”
Rebecca’s experience, allied to her ability to build a good rapport with her clients quickly and her “unique style”, has proved an attractive mix to her clients.
Rebecca said: “Because of my enthusiasm and honesty, people trust me very quickly. People feel that I have got their back, they feel supported and are more prepared to make changes because I am there to catch them if they fall.”
“I can stand up and train in front of 50 people on anything or I can create a competency framework for a global company.”
When Rebecca worked in a firm of business psychologists a Profiling Programme, including a profiling report, a discussion of the findings, an action planning session and backed up with six 1½ hour coaching sessions would cost a client £9,600.
“Today I charge £3,300. I feel I am value for money and more accessible to small businesses,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca is kicking off People Kaizen’s link up with YB12 by offering two three-hour seminars on “how to avoid procrastination and take control of your life”. She charges £350 per person.
“The first time I watched the original Australian presentation I just stood up from my sofa at the end and applauded. It’s so inspiring it makes you want to do it.”
Rebecca said: “This funding is enabling me to envisage growing my business at the rate that it should grow because it is a great business. It adds value to the person as an individual as well as their working lives.
“Having people recommending me is great but what I really like is when they say ‘you’ve made such a difference’.”