- Managed teams in both corporate and SME sectors
- Developed many business projects from start-up
- Managged - Management buyout, Venture Capital input, Grant and self funded projects
- Managed a corporate acquisition / expansion programme
- Headed a complex and successful business recovery programme
- IT Project Management - Devised and Implemented many it/web projects including
order processing systems, activity reporting systems and 30 + on-line ventures
(now making great progress with social-media - in particular
"would you believe" Pinterest)
- Marketing, promotion and sales - Sold and marketed in corporate small and mid range business environments
- Creative Writing - written/published many articles, business plans, papers,
web content and blogs
CURRENT ACTIVITY - Business Consultant
- specialist areas:
Garden Structures (in particular accommodation and annexes), (Legislation, Design, Planning, Building Regulations, Costs, Manufacture and installation support.
Start-up advice. - (Retail, Rental, Purchase and Service sectors).
Small Business website development in particular, SEO and Social Media consultancy + Fully responsive web design - modification and conversion for existing small business websites.
Other Business consultancy - business plans and fundraising advice for both start-ups and new projects within existing companies.
2002 – 2016
Project Director: Garden Structures
Following on from a consultancy project (importing log cabins from eastern Europe in 2001) Richard established Aarco in the new business of building Garden Offices. This business became a major player in it’s own sector with hundreds of satisfied clients throughout the UK. The marketing has been almost exclusively via Internet with multiple PPC and SEO strategies.
The timber building business developed as a full service operation ex was closed at the end of 2016. (The site of the business workshop facilities is being re-developed fortending
activity to ancillary accommodation buildings, annexes and
Outdoor Kitchens) and now offers consultancy in these
Principal Business Consultant
- Having sold the highly successful mail order businesses in December 2000 (to a larger competitor), Aarco became the vehicle for a new business consulting company. Projects included business advice services, business planning and capital raising advice for young entrepreneurs throughout the UK. The specialist area was on-line ventures.
Managing Director of Aarco 120 Ltd:
Richard developed a thriving mail order business selling computer consumables nationwide with emphasis on home user / Small Business markets. The business grew significantly over the years and has been sold to a larger company in a similar market. Sales were made by telephone and multiple e-commerce websites. Aarco took its first on-line order in 1994 and subsequently developed 5 active e-commerce websites accounting for 65% of business turnover.
Managing Director of Vastflex Ltd:
Vastflex started life as a group holding company attracting grant and venture capital funding. The Group employed over 150 people with business interests in the UK and Russia. Richard developed 5 trading companies in the reprographic market spanning manufacturing, distribution and customer service. All group companies were sold or closed before October 1994. Three of the companies still trade actively under different ownership.
Service Development Manager Rank Xerox UK Ltd:
Richard was recruited to help transition of the company from its reliance on photocopiers to a broader market position in IT. Richard developed the 3-year business plan covering 1989-1992. In 1989 Richard led a management buyout of the photocopier refurbishment facility to form 4pm Limited (the original company in the Vastflex Group).
Business Planning Manager British Olivetti Ltd. In 1983 Richard became responsible for strategic development of the Service Division, which was facing technology driven change. During this period the company developed Multi-Vendor service offerings within the IT environment. Richard led the sales operation and an acquisition team buying many companies to speed up knowledge development. In his final year the company won a £multi-million maintenance contract for Barclays Bank. Richard developed a computer based product knowledge system to support the field engineering operation in handling service on more than 1000 new high tech products.
Regional Manager British Olivetti Ltd (North East). Responsible for operational and business performance issues Richard became the youngest ever Regional Manager at 26 years of age. With budget and profit responsibility Richard led a team of 70 people from 5 branch offices in the small business computer sales and service business.
Customer Service Manager British Olivetti (East Midlands). Leading a team of 15 engineers servicing business computers in the East Midlands. Richard was involved in developing a computer based field engineering reporting system. The system was later, implemented by Olivetti on an international basis.
Educated at Herbert Strutt Grammar School Belper Derbyshire and Branksome Hilders Management School Haslemere Surrey
Accreditation including specialisation in e-commerce and ICT was achieved with the British Accreditation Bureau in September 2001. (Certificate No SAC2072)
Richards company - Aarco 120 Ltd Est. 1994 was a member of Chester and Wirral Chamber of Commerce. Richard is a member of a consulting group with access to Venture Capital and Business Angel funding.
Professional Association Achievements
In 1986-89 Richard Served as UK Director of the Association of Field Service Managers International and a full member of the worldwide board.
This role involved speaking at conferences on both sides of the Atlantic on Business Development, Customer Service and IT.
Richard is a qualified electrician, plumber - (Part P certified domestic installer). Richard has significant knowledge and experience in domestic building (all trades).
Richard is married (40+ years) to Noella, a businesswoman, dancer, singer and choreographer. Noella and Richard have two children and four grandchildren.
Contact by email at
Consultancy – www.calfpath.co.uk
Address: Richard Grace, Bracken House, Woodlands Road,
Chester, CH4 8LB or telephone anytime on 07376 746265
Favourite quote: "Experience is what you get when you
don't get what you want" I heard this in 1968”