Hi, I’m Neil

If you take a look at the picture on the right I’m the big one at the back with the slightly dodgy floral shirt on!

Me & The Family

Beside me is my wife Louisa and infront are our sons Frank and Felix (according to friends we must have had an ‘old fashioned names beginning with F’ phase…)

Anyway, for now at least, Small Business Big Ideas is just me, helping SME’s startups and to do better marketing to grow their businesses.

I hate souless, buzzword filled ‘About’ pages so instead I hope to use this page give you a little bit of an insight to me, my personal and professional life and what Small Business Big Ideas is all about.

In The Beginning

I was lucky enough to start my marketing career working for a brewery, not bad for a northern lad in his early 20’s!

Unfortunately this didn’t last forever – for reasons that will never fully be understood the powers that be at Whitbread decided that the best thing to do with a profitable regional brewery would be to close it and make all 2,000+ staff redundant!

Click here if you want to read more about  the shameless travesty that was the closure of Vaux Brewery in 1999. http://www.thejournal.co.uk/culture/restaurants-bars/painful-anniversary-vaux-brewery-sunderland-4480444

I moved to Manchester and spent a fantastic 8 years working in Ad Agency land (in other words, Didsbury) for a couple of international marketing agencies; TEQUILA\Manchester and Banks Love,  working for a load of great clients…and a couple of not-so-great ones.

Click the Marketing Clients I’ve Worked With link to go have a look at the all the brands I’ve worked with.

During this time I stood infront of my wife’s can of cider at a housewarming party…and the rest is history!

Massive Change

We got married, bought a semi in the ‘burbs (Cheshire), life was rosy…then in 2007 I decided that a Massive Change was needed so having setup a small but perfectly formed marketing agency with a business partner the previous year (which is still going strong, I must add) we moved back to my native Northeast and I opened a Belvoir Letttings franchise in Sunderland. As you do…

I enjoyed growing this from a cold start to one of the largest and most respected letting agents in Sunderland but in 2016, decided that again, Massive Change was needed and set about selling the business in order launch myself into what has become Small Business Big Ideas.

Small Business Big Ideas

I was inspired to get back into marketing and in particular focus on the SME market rather than going back to Big Brands by my own challenges & experiences running my own small business for the last 10 years.

Once this germ of an idea was firmly planted in my mind, speaking to other small business owners it became clear that many of them weren’t achieving their goals or maximising their business performance, and that improving their marketing would make a massive difference to both their business and personal lives – but they simply didn’t know what to change or where to turn to for help.

That’s where Small Business Big Ideas comes in.

Making Small Business Owners Happier…By Making Your Marketing Better!

It took a fair bit of intellectual to-ing and fro-ing to work out what Small Business Big Ideas was really all about and how I could articulate that clearly.

Being a plain speaking sort of bloke – opposed to those that don’t know much about Marketing making it appear as if they know more by using fancy complicated jargon  – I’m a firm believer that effective Marketing must be either about Attracting New Customers or Selling More Stuff to Current Customers

Nothing else.

But that’s still all a bit ‘Features & Benefits’ – I needed something which would appeal emotionally…

Then it struck me – having been a business owner myself for over 10 years I knew that more often than not my mood was directly linked to the performance of the business.

Business going well = Happy Chappy,

Business not-doing-so-well = Look Out!!! Major Stress, Worry & Grumpiness!

So that led me to the neat little sentence in bold above, which I think perfectly encapsulates what I do

Anyway, when I’m not helping SMEs with their marketing or ferrying the boys to their increasingly varied sporting and social commitments I am blessed/cursed* with being a lifelong Newcastle United supporter.

I drive a Nissan Cube. By choice.

I go to the gym a bit, run a bit, I like to cook nice food then eat it and enjoy the odd glass of wine or a beer. They all seem to cancel each other out…

Anyway, I hope this ‘About Us’ page has given you a bit of an insight into what makes me tick.

By now you should’ve worked out whether you would enjoy working with me or whether you want to run a mile – because ultimately that’s what this ‘About Us’ page is for!

If you’re still not satisfied and I’ve left you wanting more…here’s the link to my LinkedIn profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/neilwhitfield/ where you can download a ‘7 Things You Need To Know About Neil Whitfield’ PDF. Enjoy!

Neil

* please revise this depending on whether Mike Ashley is still peddling his SportsDirect wares via NUFC…