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Bob Gorton
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Bob Gorton

Hard Hat Business Advice

DA3 8QP, United Kingdom

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About Bob Gorton


Bob Gorton - Professional Summary:    


A Managing Director with an MBA and a Chartered Marketer with a projects background who…
• Drives top line sales growth by capitalising on inherent business strengths and competencies
• Catalyses change for recovery and gives solid direction to reduce business risks
• Controls cash by assertive management of debtors, creditors, capital expenditure and stock
• Improves profits through overhead cost reduction and efficiencies to increase profit margin
• Mentors director teams - a track record of growth and recovery in competitive markets by exploiting proven financial, marketing and strategic planning experience.


Bob Gorton - Professional Experience:    

Business Advisor (Hard Hat Business Advice) 2005 to date

Delivering practical business help, that works, to build profitable enterprises – specialist help for director teams to deliver bottom line improvements through increasing gross margin and sales.

Interim Business Development Director (Bang & Olufsen Yachts) 2005
Generated €1.8m of entirely new prospect business within 6 months by opening a market for B&O products in luxury yachts.

Interim Group Managing Director (Impact Europe Group Ltd.) 2003-2005
A Norwegian quoted group of 9 companies with a combined annual turnover of £27m that lost £3m in 2 years was facing insolvent liquidation when the 3 funding banks, owed £8.5m, lost confidence.

  • Saved the business by conserving cash
    • Reduced debtor days from 93 to 34 by assigning collection responsibility
    • Saved £350k by arresting payments and disputing questionable invoices
    • Generated £100k with a redundant stock auction and imposed stock and buying controls
  • Restored profitability: imposed cost cutting to decrease overheads by £1.6m reducing the break-even point by 15% to generate £500k of profit on £18m turnover
    • Reduced employees by 60 staff and 3 directors – no tribunal actions succeeded
    • Clamped capital expenditure, closed offices in London and Manchester and divested legacy costs from unused assets
    • Consolidated market position by reducing trading entities from 9 to 5 and unified these under a single ‘Impact Marcom’ brand to exploit historical ‘goodwill’, also further reducing inefficiencies
    • Negotiated stay of withdrawal of a £7m overdraft and agreed additional £1.5m top up finance
    • Devised a ‘fallback’ alternative line of funding
    •  Managed shareholder dissonance and created the opportunity for a new share issue to fund continuation of the turnaround
      Interim Director (Marcom Systems Ltd.)
    • Turned around the special projects division over a 6-month period.
    • Transformed negative into positive cash flows with a key indicator reporting mechanism
    • Improved profitability by 15%, bringing £750k of loss making contracts under control by using value added techniques as the basis for assignment of responsibility and performance incentives
    • Increased revenue, winning £800k of new work by improved quotations for competitive tenders
    • Imposed joint profit responsibility on sales and fulfilment operations by instigating performance based job costing mechanisms and controls for reliable pricing

Founding Owner & Managing Director (Quest Technical Systems Ltd) 1991-2003
Started an audiovisual systems design/build business and grew it to £12m annual turnover from £15k investment capital by financing growth with profits to become one of the industry ‘top five’.

  • Personally responsible for sales up to £6m turnover when a selling team was recruited
    • Selling systems directly in the UK for £20k to £250k each and export orders up to £300k
    • Winning competitive tenders for projects up to £1.3m becoming a major supplier in the financial services sector
    • Service revenue stream grown to £1m at 80% margin
    • Facilities management revenue stream grown to £2m at 20% margin
  • Built an effective management team and grew full time staff to 120 plus sub-contractors
  • Planned and administered operating procedures compliant with BS EN 9000, improving efficiency and creating capacity to double turnover from £3m to £6m whilst maintaining service quality
  • Negotiated £750k of working capital to fund turnover increase from £6m to £9m by introduction of a unique suite of financial controls to improve profitability and cash flow
  • Found an American buyer and brokered purchase of the Company from the administrative receiver when 9/11 provoked withdrawal of working capital: ensuring entitlements to 95 staff. Then negotiated £1m of orders at 27% GP over three months by recovering the customer base.

Divisional Manager (Electrosonic Ltd) 1979-1991
An audiovisual equipment manufacturer with a turnover of £18m across a worldwide customer base. Accountable to the board for P&L on £10m turnover and fulfilment operations employing 45 staff.

  • Built the ‘Projects’ operation from one team with turnover of £2m a year growing it to £10m p.a. by developing 6 project management teams each running up to 8 projects simultaneously
    • Created a new revenue stream by establishing a service business worth £1.5m per annum at 80% gross margin delivered by a service manager, 6 bench and 4 field engineers
  • Projects Manager – Staff and P&L accountability for a series of world class design/build projects
  • Project Engineer - Audiovisual systems design and project management of major contracts
  • Design Engineer – developed a range of lighting control products kept in production for 6 years

Design Engineer (Elmatec Ltd) 1977-1979
Total responsibility for design, build and commissioning of semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Medical Physics Technician (Kent Area Health Authority) 1976-1977
Design, development, installation and maintenance of medical equipment

Technology Officer (Ministry of Defence) 1970-1976
A 4-year electronic engineering apprenticeship followed by 2 staff promotions.


Bob Gorton - Education:    


• MBA (Distinction): Small and Medium-Sized Business Enterprises (University of Greenwich) 2001
• Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing 2002
• Dynamic accounting & business recovery techniques (Business Dynamics Ltd.) 2000
• Growing the Business Team (Cranfield School of Management) 1999
• City & Guilds: Full Technology Certificate in Electronics (Bromley College of Technology) 1975


Bob Gorton - Interests:   

Bob Gorton started out as an engineer and developed his passion for business through the financial management of multi-million pound technology projects in many countries across Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia. He subsequently started his own manufacturing and installation firm with hardly any investment capital and grew it to £12m turnover within ten years.

As a business practitioner and problem solver, well used to the vicissitudes of business fortune, Bob consolidated this experience with an MBA in 2001 and was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in 2002.

Bob has developed unique techniques for improving business performance by harnessing his experiences as an SME owner/director; a CEO of an international, multi-group organisation and as an independent turnaround specialist.

These techniques connect sales, finance and production to work in synergy, uplifting profitability and freeing up the cash that enables a business to thrive. They have proved to be unfailingly successful at resolving the demanding turnaround and growth challenges faced by companies with turnovers ranging from £500k to £30m.

As a practising entrepreneurial business owner and investor, Bob’s has evolved a simple vision - to dramatically improve the statistics for business success in the UK.

To further this aim, Bob has written a book “Boosting Sales on a Shoestring” to make these techniques available to the wider business community, and has developed a highly acclaimed series of officially supported and promoted workshops for smaller businesses.

Bob has also founded and owns Hard Hat Business Advice, a franchise which connects his unique techniques to experienced business practitioners to deliver practical, hands-on help for struggling business owners - unlocking their drivers for sustainable growth. Hard Hat clients usually see a sustainable improvement in their bottom line within 4 months.

Bob is looking for suitably qualified people to join his team of Hard Hatters. If you think you’d get a buzz from helping business owners improve sales and profitability, look here



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