Andy Stephenson | Profile
BusinessLinc’s founding director is Andy Stephenson, an experienced business professional with wide experience across a range of sectors including SME, large corporate, and public sector, including two start-ups and working with several businesses during periods of rapidly accelerated growth.
Starting his first business in the late 1970s whilst still in his teens, Andy spent 20 years in the home entertainment software industry, in a variety of sales and operational management roles in the East Midlands, London and the South West of England.
After three years of running his own company [an independent record label and manufacturer], in his early 20s Andy joined a leading home entertainment software distributor/exporter [annual T/O c. £40M] in a regional field sales role, achieving promotion to UK national account sales manager within 18 months and relocating to London. He progressed quickly through the company to become general manager of the import business, followed by promotion to sales and marketing director of the export operation in the late 1980s. Both latter roles involved significant international liaison and travel, with Andy able to spend time working at a group business in the USA.
Following an approach from a pan-European competitor, in 1990 Andy joined a rival international entertainment software group [annual UK T/O c. £30M] to establish a new UK sales office based in London [recruiting and managing a national sales team of twelve], followed by promotion and a move to head office in Bristol as operations director, responsible for a multi-site national distribution network, facilities management, procurement, fleet and IT [four direct/60 indirect reports].
Coinciding with a downturn in revenues caused by changes in consumer habits, Andy left the entertainment software industry in 1999, joining a family-owned educational/training video producer as product manager, responsible for commissioning new productions, writing and producing marketing materials, and representing the business at trade shows and conventions.
As the new millennium arrived, a period of personal enterprise arose once again when Andy joined forces with a firm of chartered accountants seeking to diversify its interests and, together, they established an office products business based in Bristol. This ran successfully under his control and direction for several years, achieving an annual turnover of c. £1.5M from a standing start in a very competitive industry. As MD, Andy was responsible for all aspects of the operation, and built a team of eight colleagues servicing a diverse range of customers across a wide regional area. The business was subsequently sold to members of its management team.
Seeking a temporary break from the pressures and responsibilities of working in rapidly growing businesses, Andy spent 2004/5 working flexibly as an IT contractor in the public sector, developing and managing database systems for a local authority in the South West of England.
A desire to relocate to be closer to family members led Andy to seek a return to his roots in Lincolnshire, and, in 2006, he joined a large corporate print business [annual T/O c. £300M, 1,400 employees] in the county as revenue manager. In this very demanding role, Andy led a team of up to 30 people responsible for ensuring that annual revenues of c. £80M flowed into the business, and that around 15,000 customer contracts were managed effectively. During ten years with the business he subsequently undertook several other roles, including financial/business analyst and project manager.
In 2016, Andy decided to offer his significant experience and skills, gained from over 35 years working across a diverse range of industries in a variety of senior roles, to assist SMEs and organisations through the provision of advice and hands-on support across key areas including start-up, business development/review, sales development, marketing services, interim management, and outsourced back-office support.
Through BusinessLinc, Andy works closely with a number of associates able to provide a range of complementary skills, and offer broad insight gained from senior management positions in large organisations.
Areas of particular expertise across the wider team include sales and service management, customer service, supply chain/logistics, project management, procurement, facilities, and IT.
BusinessLinc also partners with a range of trusted professionals in the business support sector, including specialists in finance, legal, health and safety, and IT. Services provided by associates are fully managed and quality assured by BusinessLinc, and are designed to work seamlessly as a fully integrated part of the wider offering.