A serial entrepreneur who helped turn an IT business into a multi-million pound empire is aiming to share his secrets of success in a one-day masterclass.
Neil Stephenson has turned his hand to helping small businesses thrive after being inundated with requests for advice on sales and marketing.
A lot of the businesses I have been speaking to, one of the recurring themes are around sales and how they can market better.Neil Stephenson
Last year, the 44-year-old former Harton Comprehensive School pupil sold data hosting company Onyx in a £65million deal after working his way through the ranks from marketing and sales director to chief executive.
During his time, he helped take the business from a turnover of £1million to £30million.
Since the sale, Mr Stephenson, who has more than 20 years’ experience in business-to-business sales and marketing, has been looking for new ventures to get involved in.
After spending a few months speaking with early-stage businesses and those wishing to grow, he identified a skills gap within sales and marketing.
He said: “A lot of the businesses I have been speaking to, one of the recurring themes is around sales and how they can market better.
“They have the product, but the selling side of it doesn’t come naturally.
“Sales and marketing seems to be a key skill most are missing, either because they have limited business experience or are new to the whole area of sales and selling.”
Mr Stephenson is looking to link in the work he has been doing with South Tyneside Council, in particular around One Trinity Green, with helping people new to sales or those that want to develop their own skills.
He will be staging a sales and marketing masterclass on Thursday, January 19, at One Trinity Green, Eldon Street, South Shields, covering topics including cross-selling and upselling, tenders and dealing with procurement teams, management of sales teams, markets and marketing and the use of online tools.
The masterclass, from 10am until 4pm, is limited to 20 places, to allow for a more personal approach and opportunity for specific coaching.
He added: “This course is for those who want to learn and want to take their business to the next level.”
Places are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For details and to book a place, visit www.stephensonventures.co.uk/events.