Sharing Experience to Accelerate the Growth of Your Business

As a business owner, you can sometimes feel “you get in your own way”, getting bogged down with day to day issues and not making the time to develop strategy and focus on growth.

This is not surprising.

As the person at the top, the sheer number and variety of things you get involved in to keep the business operating can mean there is not enough time to stand back and look at the wider picture.

It can be a lonely place.

Although you may be surrounded by employees, family and friends, you don’t always want to share your thoughts or ask their advice. As a result, your decisions are limited by your own experience and knowledge.

How do you think it would feel to be part of a group of like-minded business owners with similar challenges, who want to contribute their thoughts, ideas and experience to your decisions? Imagine how they might broaden your thinking and help you develop even better outcomes.

That’s exactly what High Flyers is – a group of 10 owners of growing businesses in and around Cambridgeshire who are striving for excellence to drive profitability and growth.

We meet for half a day every month, away from everything, to focus on helping each other:

  • Develop strategy
  • Generate new ideas
  • Focus on growth
  • Solve problems
  • Make better decisions
  • Assess risk
  • Define/ focus on actions for next month
  • To be held accountable
  • Have FUN – we always finish with lunch and often a pint

The members are independent and unrelated. They have no vested interest and so can ask “difficult questions”, give their honest opinion and challenge thinking – all the things you don’t usually get from your team, family and friends.

This means we get “real” business leaders contributing to “real” business issues.

The content and outcomes of our discussions are amazing – they generate greater confidence and faster growth.

We believe other business owners would benefit from our thoughts and ideas and have decided to publish every month (on the Blog/Articles page), a selection of the issues, discussions and learnings in the belief that they will help you by bringing an added dimension to your business thinking. We’d all be interested in your thoughts, opinions and comments.

Brian Soanes



Brian Soanes - High Flyers ChairmanMore About Brian Soanes

Owning and running your own business puts you in a unique position – success or failure is down to you. You haven’t got a boss to guide you or tell you what to do and how to do it. The buck stops with you!

In my career, I have managed both large and small companies in the manufacturing and service sectors. The largest was a national group where I was MD with 1350 staff and 92 locations. I have also founded and run 7 of my own businesses.

Looking back I realised there were two key elements that would have increased my success significantly :


1. Having like-minded people (unrelated to me or the business and with no axe to grind) whom I could bounce my ideas off and get their thoughts BEFORE I finalised and implemented my ideas. You’d be amazed at the different perspectives others have – it would have broadened my thinking and lead to better ideas and decisions. I have realised we are all very much limited by our own knowledge and experience – particularly experience !

2. The 2nd issue is somewhat similar. Having the same sort of like-minded people around whom I could ask “this is my problem – how would you solve it?” The odds are most business owners have the same problem at some time – I could have learned from their experience, overcome the obstacles more quickly and saved time to focus on more rapid growth.

Even now, after many years’ experience and recognising the value of asking others, I STILL have to stop myself from thinking “I know best”.

Nevertheless, I truly believe that there is no such thing as a bad decision – you make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time. So, the more input and different perspectives you can get, the better your decisions.

Working with 100’s of owner/managed businesses over the years, I have realised that faster, better decisions are critical to rapid growth and success – it helps create an environment within your company which is energised, is motivating for you and your people, and perhaps most importantly, results in a “Can Do” culture.

In 2015, I decided to apply this thinking and launched High Flyers – aiming to select a group of just 10 Business Owners who shared a common goal, “the pursuit of excellence to achieve growth” in their companies.

To be invited to join there were a number of criteria:

– Already successful
– Shared values including honesty, integrity, open mindedness
– Not apologising for making profit
– Enjoy helping others
– Want to learn, learn, learn
– Believe business should be Fun

We are now 5 years on and it’s fabulous – I LOVE IT, and more importantly the members love it !
They are all incredible people who in their ” pursuit of excellence ” genuinely want to help their fellow members achieve the same.

They eagerly share their thoughts, their ideas and their experience – consistently achieving better outcomes and we’ve had many, many ‘Aha’ moments that have proven to be game changers.

The members aren’t privileged rich kids – they are just like most successful business owners who start their own business, mostly without any formal management training or “big company ” experience.

What they are is great at what they do and getting better all the time – I would suggest you make a point of reading our blog, where we document their “Hot Seat” issues so you can learn from their thoughts and experience with issues you may have, or may have had already. )

I would also recommend you have a look at their profiles and contact them if you feel there could be common ground.

I’m privileged to work with them and I’m proud of what they get from being a member of High Flyers – it validates what I’ve learned over the years ( and still learning ! )