In Profile: Chris Spratling, Chalkhill Blue

By Anita Jaynes on March 03, 2018

Chris Spratling is the founder of Chalkhill Blue Limited, an award-winning business and executive coaching practice based in Brinkworth, near Royal Wootton Bassett.

A former CEO of Readers Digest and serial entrepreneur Chris has vast experience of launching, growing and exiting multiple businesses as well as being an experienced transformation consultant and a certified business coach.

When did you launch Chalkhill Blue and why?

Chalkhill Blue was originally launched in 2005 as a transformation consultancy and executive coaching practice. However, in 2015 we decided to expand the offering to include business coaching with the sole aim of creating the South West’s leading business and executive coaching practice.

As an owner of multiple businesses, I understood only too well the many challenges that keep even the most experienced company owner awake at night. Moreover, having seen just how little quality support existed, I became passionate about helping entrepreneurs – from start-ups, fledgling brands and established enterprises – to build and grow their business.

Why do companies need a business coach?

I’ve personally invested in coaching over the years and have benefitted enormously.

At Chalkhill Blue we pride ourselves on the fact all of our coaches are successful business owners in their own right and have “hands-on” experience of launching, growing and successfully exiting their businesses.

Our ethos is firmly based on the fact that without this background it is impossible to help all but the smallest company.

We work with a range of clients from £100,000 turnover to £30 million! We tailor our approach accordingly. Irrespective of size, problems tend to be similar within a company.

The biggest buzz we get is out of helping our clients achieve an average of 50-70% growth year on year.

We’ve worked out for every £1 our clients spend on us, we help them deliver an incremental £15 to the business.

How do you differ from other business coaching practices?

Sadly the business coaching industry remains unregulated meaning just about anyone can claim to be a business coach. The industry is littered with coaches making all sorts of unsubstantiated claims and false promises of success.

At Chalkhill Blue we pride ourselves on the fact that all of our coaches have hands-on experience of launching, growing and exiting at least one business successfully. Our ethos is firmly based on the fact that without this background it is impossible to help all but the smallest company.

We equally offer a “no contract” proposition to all of our clients because we’re confident about what we can deliver. It’s a great WIN :WIN as the client is never handcuffed to a solution that isn’t right for them and it keeps us really focused and under pressure to deliver the necessary results within the agreed timescales.

Why do companies need a business coach?

We often come across established business owners who are caught up in the day-to-day running of their company and don’t know how to move things on. Simplistically we think there are 4 simple reasons why hiring an award-winning firm of business coaches might be the smartest, most valuable decision you could make, namely;

1.OBJECTIVITY 

Our coaches use all of their experience to bring another a pair of objective eyes to bear by looking at your business, your actions and your decisions.  They identify your blind spots, and act as a sounding board whilst recognising your potential and ensuring that you develop a plan to realise it.

2.ACCESS TO WORLD CLASS RESOURCES 

As a business owner you have to manage your team, your customers, your sales and marketing, your finances, your systems, and your strategic planning. A good coach will leverage all of their experience on your behalf, ensuring that you are using the very best systems, tools and techniques to address all of these areas efficiently and effectively.

3.ACCOUNTABILITY 

In most businesses, unlike your employees, there is rarely anyone to keep you, the business owner, accountable. A great business coach not only helps you build a winning plan but also keeps you accountable for delivering it.

4.RESULTS

Like any investment you should expect a decent return on any investment in coaching. If you’re not confident that the coach can really deliver find another one!

Who’s an ideal client?

We work with a hugely diverse portfolio of clients from all sorts of industry sectors. The common factor across all of these businesses is without a doubt the owners level of ambition and determination to grow and/or reach their other goals such as an exit.

Given the background of our coaches we tend to attract the clients that really want to achieve significant year on year growth i.e.50%+. It’s really where we are at our best.

Fortunately the results we help our clients achieve more than match these growth percentages and today our largest proportion of new business comes from client referrals.

What else are you involved with?

Outside of work I have two very ambitious daughters who compete nationally and internationally in pursuit of equestrian glory. Consequently, I am regularly found holding a horse or behind the wheel of a horsebox. It’s a great leveller!

I’ve also been hugely privileged to be a Special Trustee with Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity for 7 years. As a company in 2018 we are also supporting the Reading-based Dingley’s Promise charity which supports under 5s with life changing needs and their families.

Personally, I’m passionate about giving back. If you’ve got knowledge and had success it’s important to share it when and where you can.

To find out more about Chalkhill Blue visit: www.chalkhillblue.org

Pictured above: Chris Spratling, Chalkhill Blue