For ambitious start-up and Growth Entrepreneurs wanting to create value.

Turning a young team into your future leaders

Heck Sausages. Premium quality sausage makers in Bedale.

Meet the

Debbie Keeble

Managing Director

Heck Food

“Rather than bring in more qualified people we wanted to upskill the existing junior team”

The background

Following an earlier successful venture in the premium meat market Debbie and Andrew Keeble decided to launch a new brand and company from scratch determined that it would become a family business. It grew rapidly to a turnover of £2.5m after the first full year, and £5.5million in the second. “Rather than bring in more qualified people we wanted to upskill the existing junior team,” said Debbie, “but I was struggling to teach them the things that I’d ‘just learned’. I didn’t have the right structure in place.” In October 2014 they met up with Winning Pitch coach Paul Gorman who was able to add discipline and direction to the process.

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The solution

“He brought all the junior members of staff together and said there’s an opportunity for you to grow here, but you have to recognise it, and work hard.” All team members received their own personal development plan, and while working on Heck’s broader development Paul and Debbie identified ten growth projects they could take responsibility for – from growing brand awareness to extending the factory. Training sessions in leadership, management, Excel and other subjects followed.

The benefits

“It was interesting because each individual naturally picked one area – finance, social media, product development and so on,” revealed Debbie. “And now the business has grown there are full time roles emerging in those areas. They don’t have to go back to packing sausages or cleaning out the shed!”

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The result

Heck’s plans involve extending their model into other areas, pushing the turnover to £8m and becoming the market’s leading premium brand. “We couldn’t grow without that team in place,” said Debbie. “They’ve risen to the challenge. The work they’ve done with Paul means we can leave them to get on with stuff – we don’t have to babysit. We can step back and think more strategically.”

The coach’s story…

“The key to unleashing the growth potential of Heck’s junior staff was ensuring that throughout the process the business and staff remained aligned,” said Paul Gorman. “The first step was to confirm the business strategy and the vital projects with the business owners.  The second step was conducting one-to-one sessions with the junior staff, helping them develop inspirational personal development plans, as well as assigning them relevant vital projects, all of which remained aligned with the business strategy.”

Jonathan Pow/ REF : POW_140726_3395

Take out for other businesses

Your greatest assets are probably already in your business but achieving their full potential – and yours – means having a proper, disciplined, training and fast track process. It doesn’t just happen.


How Winning Pitch can help

Are you a business like Heck? To find out more about the success we could have together, call or email Rona McFall, Head of Entrepreneurial Solutions on 0161 952 4350.