What Our Clients Say
We were introduced to Ian via the mentoring programme, offered through the Business Growth Hub – Manchester.
As newly appointed Director’s to SF Taylor, the opportunity to take guidance and to learn from such a vastly experienced individual such as Ian, was an opportunity not to be missed.
We worked with Ian over a period of months, both together and individually in the sessions that we had with him. Within these sessions Ian’s professional knowledge and experience shone through, his grasp of our business model and sector was quickly understood, enabling him to guide us on the principles, and path for us to follow – both collectively and individually.
During the sessions Ian brought clarity and structure to our duties as Directors, helping us to identify the key areas to focus on. Ian’s approach to question, to challenge and to focus clearly has proved invaluable to us both.
We would not hesitate in recommending Ian to provide mentoring or business guidance in any sector.
Persimmon Homes Plc
I was introduced to Ian Traynor as a business mentor as part of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce business mentoring program, as I started a new role within a FTSE 100 company.
As part of the business mentoring agreement, we met monthly, during which time I came to learn, what highly experienced and considered professional Ian is. The opportunity to engage with Ian, with his balanced view and pragmatic advice, has helped me grow and develop as a profession, through one of the most challenging periods in the industry and my career. The guidance Ian has given me and support throughout, has resulted in Ian becoming more than a mentor and into a friend.
I would highly recommend Ian as a business mentor or Director in supporting and growing a business.
Director - Procurement
Persimmon Homes Plc
Cheshire Joinery Services Ltd
One of Ian’s many strengths is his ability to make you reflect on your business and enable you to
prioritise the next steps in your business development. His clear, yet simple, plan of ‘Think. Plan. Do.’
helps you to focus on the actions needed to ensure the business will thrive not just survive – and just
surviving Covid-19 was enough of a challenge for so many small businesses!
It was clear to us we needed to re-assess fundamental areas of our manufacturing business. Ian’s
friendly and non-judgemental approach to the task was exactly what was needed. His unique way of
listening to what you say, then prompting you to ‘plan’ and ‘do’ allowed time to consider areas of
strength and weakness, revisit the desire to succeed and fulfil the business ambitions, leading you
naturally into the next phase. Ian’s knowledge, expertise and years of actual experience in such a
wide variety of fields makes him perfectly placed to look at key areas across the business and to help
you prioritise the improvements to drive through first. Our conversations introduced both new
concepts and the revisiting of previous ideas and actions which in turn led to a clear process moving
forward and the momentum to act.
But, above all, it is Ian’s genuine enthusiasm and drive for your business to thrive that really makes
the difference. I have no hesitation in recommending Ian of Luminate Ventures.
Cheshire Joinery Services Ltd
The Forshaw Group (TFG)
Over the past twelve months TFG has successfully consolidated the business in line with our flexible and agile offering to our key clients.
This delicate transition has been aided with minimal operational and financial impact with the knowledge and wisdom of Ian Traynor at Luminate Ventures.
Ian’s experience, patience and friendship has helped in all aspects of the decision making to this point and we look forward to building on this success towards the demand for a more diverse and inclusive future.
Liam Hanlon BSc (Hons) ICIOB
The Forshaw Group (TFG)
Luminate Ventures and specifically Ian, have been invaluable as part of the team helping Pro-Networks transition from a single owner managed limited company, to an Employee Owned Trust. His guidance in helping establish the new senior leadership team has meant we can carry on doing the day-to-day part of running the company while having someone with a wealth of experience guide us today and towards our future. Stability & Growth is our future. Think-Plan-Do!
Chroma Recruitment Ltd.
I have now had the pleasure of working with Ian at Luminate Ventures for the last 18 months. Over this time he has supported us on a wide range of topics. Ian diligently takes the time to understand the ‘whole’ picture delving into personal aspirations, business drivers and challenges; all the way through to future exit strategies.
When we meet, we always start where we left off; usually with a personal update, flowing quickly to business drivers and follow up. He is not shy in giving his opinion rather than just coaching, which works really well for me! We were also able to collaborate between my business and other customers he was supporting. He is always available to listen and it's clear his experience can flex to support a wide diverse cross section of businesses.
Adaptable, friendly, knowledgeable and straight forward!
"Ian is a true professional at what he does. The professionalism he shows and his wealth of knowledge on all things in the process of running a business, from raising investment through to the operational side of things.
He makes me better at what I do and helps me get the most out of myself by setting clear targets and setting a practical plan for me and my brother to follow.
The way he blends a no-nonsense approach with his friendly nature is a real skill. He doesn’t sugar coat anything and tells you the honest truth with where you are and what you need to do but he doesn’t make you feel like you’re being told off - It’s the perfect balance that is necessary to help with motivation and knowing what steps are needed to take my business forward.
There are many others in Ian’s field that are pretenders but Ian is the real deal and any company that involves Ian in their team will immediately become a better company for it. Me and my brother could not speak higher of him.
It was great working with Ian in developing growth strategies and focusing in on our target audience and branding for our separate services, as well as helping us to build up a networking profile and building up lasting relationships with other local businesses. Ian was a great asset to our business and we would highly recommend him to anyone else looking to further develop their business.
"Ian has been a great help and support in focusing my business ambitions. From practical advice on pricing structures to networking, access to funding and further support from other sources, Ian's professionalism and knowledgeable experience has given me the confidence to take my business to the next level."
Wrexham County Borough Council
Wrexham County Borough Council approached Luminate Ventures back in December 2018. The council had a strategic vision and Master Plan for Wrexham town centre. It had been approached to support and provide funding for a spin out from the Glyndwr University: Techniquest Glyndwr (TQG).
This was a complex and somewhat unique proposal and ahead of finalising a funding programme to cater for Techniquest Glyndwr re-location to a refurbished and town centre location, the core strategy, long time viability and its commercial viability needed to be independently reviewed.
Luminate Ventures stepped up to the challenge in short order – reviewing, studying and collating the goals, objectives and planned outcomes of; The town centre approved Master Plan, the bid documents, the feasibility study outputs and conclusions, the Business Plan, Marketing plan and the last 3 years trading performance.
Luminate Ventures provided a detailed report at the end of the review – with an excellent summary, clarity on the various elements and where/when they correlated and finally, with a clear set of recommendations and next steps. As a result, a revised Strategic plan, Investment case and a sharp Marketing strategy and delivery plan has been produced – providing surety and clarity about the project, its viability and attractiveness to fund. This was all done under a time pressure – but delivered on schedule with a high quality output.
Leanne Taylor, representing Wrexham County Borough Council said: ‘Thanks again for your in-depth work on the Business Case for TQG. As a result, TQG have made significant steps in improving the Business plan and the marketing Strategy. This should mean that we are in a position to offer some funding from external partners later this year.’
Leanne Taylor – Wrexham County Borough Council
2020 Legal Limited
Ian joined the business at a pivotal moment, with an impending Regulatory Change in less than 100 days that threatened our business model. Ian set about the task of developing a strategy to deal with both the impending regulatory impacts and a longer term focus and direction for the organisation – ‘Transforming’ what we were into a clear ‘future state’.
The first 100 days passed quickly – with an effective implementation of phase 1 of the change strategy. By day 400- we had a new Consumer brand, direct to our target audience and a B2B model (repositioned old trading brand) with our range of partners on board – with an overarching Group Identity.
Ian is both a strategic Operator and a strong ‘hands on’ player, with an enviable drive to succeed and I would recommend him for a range of senior Change & Transformation roles.
Colin Gibson – CEO 2020 Legal Ltd
Voice, Data, Managed Services
COLT was undergoing a massive ‘Change & Transformation’ strategy when we engaged Ian. As one of the senior Executives, his role was to turn around a loss making UK business and EMEA accounts into a ‘Best in Class’ telecoms, data and managed service operation.
Ian’s broader remit, beyond the Sales & Marketing of Voice, Data and Managed Services was to look at the product mix, sales funnels and channels. In addition, for him to look at the operational model and performance of ‘leads to booking, booking to sale/bill and service delivery’ ensuring the optimum Customer Satisfaction in a highly competitive market.
He is a focused individual, managing the complexity of Change (People, Operations, Go to Market), with high energy and strong leadership. He has great vision for the broader picture, but succeeds in active delivery- achieving successful outcomes.
I would, and have used Ian’s skills again and would highly recommend him to others.
Jean-Yves Charlier – (formerly) CEO COLT
I have known Ian professionally for many years across Financial Services. Working directly with Ian at Abbey for Intermediaries, there were three strands of work we engaged Ian to address:
1. The accuracy and auto update of the Intermediary broker system for Mortgage, loan rates across the industry platforms.
2. Mortgage propositions specifically for the Broker market (at that time).
3. Digital marketing/communications to our Sales/Account Managers, the Broker network and platforms.
He is excellent at problem solving, engaging and obtaining support of stakeholders and project managing the key work streams. He is energetic, enthusiastic and focused on delivering the results, despite the complexities of the tasks. I would not hesitate in using him again or indeed recommending others to utilise his skills.
Clive Cornister – COO Abbey for Intermediaries
I have worked with Ian over many years, the most recent project was to assist in establishing my new venture Alcema.
Ian went above and beyond the project brief, reviewing all processes and procedures to establish a business development strategy.
His passion, tenacity, knowledge and professional network have been a massive benefit to my business.
I would not hesitate in recommending him to another SME.
Jason Spencer – Managing Director
Ian is an intelligent and engaging individual, positive and engaging with all those around him. We employed Ian for a 6 month+ contract in our Lancaster business operation ABSL. This was to develop a new impactful Sales & Marketing strategy for our increasingly competitive product set in SME insurance services.
We also quickly made an acquisition of a broker business, which required integration and an acceptable strategy across Customer Journey’s, sales and marketing – direct and via brokerage. Our parent brand supported the trading brand of Premierline and then included the broking business – branded as Premier Businesscare to associate under the parent branding.
Ian worked across the businesses and functions to ensure the optimal customer journey, positive customer experience and crucially managing the acquisition costs and retention costs – earning a return from every lead or renewal account.
The revised strategy achieved regulatory approval, implementing a new ‘Direct’ web site and response model, with improving conversions and lowering acquisition costs and a practical and clear path for high value/complex needs in an ‘Advised Sale’ via the Brokers – demonstrating our obligation and desire to ‘treat all customers fairly’.
Ian is a strong people person and a great sales & marketing strategist – that is focused on leads to sales.
Ibrahim Moghraby (former) General Manager ABSL