Robert Ashton, Business Speaker, Entrepreneurship Speaker, Business Consultant, Business Advisor, Robert is an entrepreneur and business author with a passion for young businesses. He his most recent book, ‘The Entrepreneur’s book of Checklist’ was described by the Sunday Times recently as a book that can go a long way to reducing the sense of panic most people feel when they start a business’. The Malaysia Star commented that this book offered ‘a rare blend of common sense and sound business acumen.’

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Background

Robert is an entrepreneur and business author with a passion for young businesses. He his most recent book, ‘The Entrepreneur’s book of Checklist’ was described by the Sunday Times recently as a book that can go a long way to reducing the sense of panic most people feel when they start a business’. The Malaysia Star commented that this book offered ‘a rare blend of common sense and sound business acumen.’

Born, raised and still living in East Anglia, Robert followed a pretty conventional corporate sales and marketing career until 1990. For the past 15 years he has worked for himself, establishing, building and selling two marketing services companies. Now he enjoys a diverse portfolio of activities, including being non-executive Director to two recent start-ups; leading the business development of a £2m turnover manufacturer; writing features for both business and consumer magazines.

A founder and Trustee of Norfolk Community Foundation Robert gives 10% of his chargeable time to projects within the voluntary sector. He is also a Trustee of the Chartered Management Institute and a Director of ‘The Exchange’, an organisation that builds links between businesses and schools.

Learning is high on his agenda and he reads widely. An active Fellow of the RSA, he regularly meets and challenges leading thinkers, constantly reviewing and formulating his own views and opinions.

As a conference speaker, Robert brings his experience of working with private, public, education and the voluntary sectors. In fact one of his strengths is ability to bring together unusual, but highly effective cross-sector partnerships. He describes himself as an enthusiastic networker, collaborator and explorer of all things that can benefit the small business.

A prolific author, he is currently working on three books that will be published during 2006/7. Subjects include ‘re-inventing yourself at 50’, ‘how to be a successful social entrepreneur’ and a book on the folly of sectarianism loosely based on the writings and musings of a recently deceased Irish recluse.
Robert has not always had it easy and five years ago successfully overcame acute depression. He can speak from experience on the reality that depression is an almost inevitable consequence of being both highly intelligent and highly creative. As an entrepreneur he also admits to having made many expensive mistakes, although fortunately good decisions significantly outnumbered the bad ones.

Areas of Expertise

Robert speaks with authority, humour and sincerity. He illustrates his presentations with real case studies and examples and makes sure he leaves his audience with things they can put into practice straight away. He does not make one slick presentation fit each audience. Instead he listens to each client and builds a presentation or event that delivers the desired results.

Robert speaks to audiences that:

Are thinking about starting a business
Have a small business and want to grow
Advise small businesses and want to understand them better
Sell to small businesses
Are corporate teams seeking to become entrepreneurial
Social entrepreneurs

Themes include:

Have I got what it takes to be my own boss?
How can I find more customers without spending money I haven’t got?
Subtle selling; the 21stC alternative to the foot in the door!
How to network
How to make my organisation more entrepreneurial
How to build recruit business partners to my social enterprise
Marketing and the social entrepreneur – where should I draw the line?
How to grow a small business and keep your sanity

Why every business has to grow and how to make it fun

1o0 things that might trip you up and how to avoid them

What makes owner managers tick and how to turn them on


Books include:

Achieving Business Alchemy' - Hodder & Stoughton Aug 2002

‘Copywriting in a Week' - Hodder & Stoughton Nov 2003

‘How to Sell' – Hamlyn Aug 2004

The entrepreneurs book of checklists – Prentice Hall Oct 2004

Robert also writes regular columns and occasional features for many business journals.

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