About Charlie

Hi, You’ve probably dropped by to find out who I am, and why I’ve set this site up, plus, most importantly how it can help you. if so read on… and yep I will be as brief as possible

Back in 2009, two years after I had opened my cafe, which was a dream I’d harboured for over 10 years. I felt like the dream was rapidly being replaced by total exhaustion.

My week was often over 100 hours long and my days looked like this;

I would open up my coffee shop in the morning after going to the market. I’d be there all day, stubbornly doing 12-hour shifts only to go home, spend a little time with my newborn son. As he fell asleep, and go to my desk to get on with my night “JOB” of bookkeeping, administration and marketing.

Honestly, I was shocked by the amount of additional skills that were essential to run a successful cafe.

When I started, I’d been sure that my fifteen years’ experience working with high end café’s, Harrods in London, and the ultra-luxurious Hayman Island Resort on The Barrier Reef would be all I needed to thrive in the café world.

So when I opened in 2007, I thought I would be living the dream in no time.

Which is exactly why I spent all my time working as hard as I could.

But what happened was that I was running around trying to “do it all” that I eventually started to burn out, I had no idea I was falling into every pothole a café owner could fall into.

As my wife gave birth to our second son, I wasn’t getting any quality family time.  I badly needed time off, but I couldn’t leave for more than a couple days without everything falling to pieces because the business was all about me.

To say that I struggled to separate my business from myself would be an understatement.

I condemned myself to all of this because I had made a massive mistake so early on, I’d set up my café the only way I knew how: from the perspective of an employee.

Eventually I was forced to stop and think instead of trying to “do everything”. I asked myself if there could be a better way. What if there’s an easier, better way to run this cafe?

What if I could put the systems into place so that I can work more on building a business that works for me as well as my customers and staff?

What if I could actually devote time to the marketing of the business?

What if I could train the staff to do more, freeing me up to concentrate on growing the business?

It was through theses questions that I realised I needed to make some big changes in my business. I realised before it was too late that in getting the vision, the procedures, My finance and finally my marketing processes in place was critical to success.

It was then that I was able to successfully sell my business and get the time with my young family.

And it’s these answer’s that I want to share with any cafe owner who is overwhelmed and feels like they’re either stuck, or wanting to get to the next level of success.

I know, what it takes to run a cafe successfully which is why it’s my goal to help cafe owners like you get to the next gear. You don’t have to go through the pain like I did. I’ll give you the tools to help you to run your business the right way.

Here’s what you can do now get in touch and I will do a one hour free clarity session with you. In it we look at two things
1. Where you are now (your current reality)
2. Where you want to be in the next 12 months to 3 years (with a plan) that is specific to you and what you want to get out of your business.

Sound good? just send an email to me via my contact me page. It comes directly into my inbox and we can arrange a call.

My Biography – If you can put yourself through all of it!!

My initial foray into hospitality was thanks to my mother. When I was in my teens she ran a successful catering company, operated from our farm, near Armidale in Australia, so it was here that I gained my first experience, preparing food and assisting in service on the day, and I loved it.

After school, I attended The Hotel School, Sydney which is closely associated with the Hotel Intercontinental which kicked off my career in such a busy, exciting and vibrant industry.

I have been very fortunate throughout my career to have worked in a diverse range of areas, including a “leading hotel of the world” on the Barrier Reef, Harrods in London, a Ski resort in Australia, a large, privately run catering company in Sydney, as well as managing a number of independent cafes, before finally running my own café and catering company for four and a half years in Tunbridge Wells before successfully selling it in January 2012.

The knowledge I gained from my time prior to opening my café was instrumental in my decision to go out and pursue what had been a long term dream for me. With my previous experience I had no problem operating the practical side of my business from service, cleaning, ordering and all the other tasks required.

However I was not prepared for the amount of additional skills that were essential to run a successful cafe. This was a shock for me, as I thought I knew it all!

But I had set up my café from the only perspective I knew, the perspective of the employee.

I was working “in” my business thinking like an employee. I simply did not realise how much additional knowledge I required to climb the proverbial business mountain successfully.

When going from working in other peoples businesses to owning my own I needed to have a complete change of thinking.

I truly believed I knew how to run a business and did not need any additional education or help from others. However in my naivety I had no idea how wrong I was.

Pretty soon I had my café open and was working 7 days a week doing anything from 70-90+ hours and I was simply chasing my tail becoming ever more exhausted. Eventually I was forced, through the arrival of my second child, to stop and ask myself some difficult questions. The answers have led me to where I am now.

I truly believe I can help café owners such as yourself, on your journey, to avoid the mistakes that I made. I will provide you with the tools required to develop your business in a structured way which can give you the greatest return on your most precious assets, your time and your energy.

My training and resources will:

  • Provide you with specific usable information to drive your business forward
  • Information on how to set up and run your business from the very start or to reconfigure it so it works
  • The best ways to be clear on your personal direction initially by setting personal and business focused goals.
  • And then going to work ON your business NOT in it like an employee would.

These tools will help you avoid many of the mistakes made by literally thousands of other business owners.

The numbers speak for themselves 9/10 business will fail in the first 12 months and only 1 of every 10 that is left will make it through to 10 years.

I often ask my clients….

Would you prefer to be working 80 hours each week IN your business, highly stressed and paralysed by indecision about your future and direction?

Or

Enjoy working ON your profitable business, have a clear planned direction AND also have time for holidays, family and friends?

I certainly know from experience what I would prefer. This is why I have established a number of industry specific products. The aim is to provide the type of quality product that is easily accessible and immediately actionable. It has been developed by a hospitality professional with real experience both working in and owning my own business.

I know how it feels to have started a business only to wake up one day completely exhausted, realising I had created an unpaid unrewarding and frankly exhausting job. It is all consuming and it led me to a question;

How much longer can I keep this going?

I had a wife, and two young sons I simply could not keep working as I was, something had to give.

I realised I had to slow down and get away from my business so I could ask myself some seriously difficult questions:

  • How could I get some quality time with my family
  • How was I going to grow and continue to develop my business without working the hours I had been?
  • How could I have a business separate to and not part of me?
  • How could I leave my business for a week or more without it falling to pieces?
  • How can I get away and not have to constantly worry about my business?

What I discovered upon getting those answers has seriously changed both my thinking and the way I looked at business permanently, it was that profound.

Once you unlock the secret to running a successful business you will;

  • Have more time to enjoy the lifestyle you imagined before opening your business
  • Actually enjoy the work you do
  • Have a clear direction and goals giving you greater focus
  • Feel empowered to think much bigger

I want to help by providing you with the tools to build a business which enables you to have a great income, enjoy a good lifestyle, and have a business in which you have the control.

The uniqueness I bring to the table

  • Helping to gain greater clarity and balance in both your business and life
  • In depth understanding of the hospitality industry
  • Fast track tips on how to supercharge your business success
  • Specific examples of how small changes make big difference to you margins
  • The areas YOU need to be most closely focused on for greatest results

My goal is to help you by:

  • Creating an independent, profitable business which works FOR you
  • Learn how to gain and keep customers
  • How to market your business
  • Learn how to measure your marketing so it is more effective
  • Showing you how to develop a profitable menu with star offers
  • All areas of staff recruitment and development

Let me add a caveat, this may not be for you, you may be thinking it all sounds like too much additional work on top of your already very busy schedule.

This is only for those who truly want to;

  • Accelerate their business
  • Unlock the secret to powering up their business for success and profits
  • Find out the information no one will tell them (because most people simply don’t know it)

If you would like to make the changes to your business you can buy the cafe turn key system on my products page.

Alternatively you can join my mailing list, simply add you name and email. Anyone who subscribes receives a FREE video to help you get your vision nailed plus you will receive ongoing content to help you build your business.

Thanks for letting me join you on your journey.