“In order to take my business forward the programme got me thinking like a leader.”
There was a degree of apprehension that Dave Poole experienced before commencing the Taking Your Business Forward programme. After all, 25 years had passed since he had last paused for any professional development.
“Despite the best efforts of people who knew how upskilling would benefit me, I kept finding excuses for not signing up,” admits Dave. “As a small business owner, it’s a dangerous trap to keep working hard in your business without taking the time to work on your business.”
Finally, an Asset Insurance Partners IQ-M Scholarship got him on board popular The Icehouse programme. As Dave puts it, the course reminded him that he doesn’t know everything. But it also reinforced ideas he’d learnt years ago and since forgotten.
“I rate myself a pretty good manager, but in order to take my business forward the programme got me thinking like a leader. I had to decide what I really wanted from my business.”
Actually, Dave was fortunate to still have a business. After all, 01.37am is not the time of day you want a call from your alarm monitoring service.
“I got out of bed and drove in the dark towards our building – Blenheim’s drycleaning service – and I could see the flames reflected on the low cloud. Everything burned.”
That was March 2018. It took time to source replacement equipment from Germany and Italy, but Everyday Best Laundry and Drycleaning was officially (re)opened in January 2020.
The Icehouse programme gave Dave the chance to discuss business with like-minded people, each with something different to offer.
“Some of the participants had been operating for six months, others for 30 years. I could pick the brains of each of them,” Dave says. “They all helped me to appreciate the long-term value in doing old-school business, in sticking with the basics.”
Since completing the programme, Dave has focussed on leading. He’s increased the number of employees and is empowering them to grow with the business.
“In much the same way that the Asset Insurance team has helped me to grow professionally, I’m now doing the same for my team.”
When asked what he would say to anyone still making excuses for not working on their business, Dave smiles — “If you get the opportunity to do this programme, jump at it.”