Profile: Andy Payne, CBG Consultants

How to manage your way into business
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The Independent Online

Andy Payne became Managing Director of CBG Consultants Ltd in April 2005 following a management buy out (www.cbgc.com; 01865 864500).

There are really only two routes to owning your own business: start one from scratch or acquire an existing one. An interesting variant of the latter option is to buy the business that you already work for. While this may be out of reach financially for most individuals, it can be viable when the business is acquired by a team of existing managers. This management buy out (MBO) route was the one taken by Andy Payne, 43, and his colleagues when they acquired CBG Consultants Ltd (CBG) in April 2005. CBG is a specialist building services consultancy, now employing 37 people, which provides mechanical and electrical engineering solutions for complex buildings such as schools or luxury housing.

Following acquisition, Andy was elected Managing Director by the management team and set about tackling the challenge of how to develop the business. In order to grow the company, he realised it needed to compete with larger practices and offer a full range of technical services backed up by cutting- edge expertise. "What became clear," he explains, "was the need to invest in staff training and in the tools staff need to do the job such as IT." And invest he has, budgeting £2,000 per employee for training and equipment.

The key theme for CBG has been to match training needs with the growth aspirations of the business. And an important factor in that process has been the company's involvement with the Investors in People (IIP) initiative. This national framework (www.iipuk.co.uk) sets a standard for businesses of any size regarding staff training and management. The accreditation process involved detailed strategic analysis prior to application.

The benefits of going through IIP accreditation have been immediately apparent for CBG since they are now winning business in areas that had previously proved difficult.

"Staff morale is improved when the company shows a commitment to career development," says Andy. "I would recommend going through the IIP process to any business."

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