SINCE it was set up nearly a year ago, networking group The Tuesday Club has developed a rich and varied membership.
Folk from all walks of life have signed up to the Chad/Parker PR organisation, from independent traders to some of the biggest names in the East Midlands.
Marketing guru Richard Gourlay perhaps sits in between the two as he runs strategic planning firm, Cowden Consulting Ltd, with his wife Alison - but has a client list boasting some of the most well-known companies on the globe.
They include travel giant TUI, which owns Thomson Holiday, and world-famous manufacturing firm Caterpillar - as well as several businesses across Mansfield and Ashfield.
“I work with a whole range of companies, like SMEs - who really want to sit down and think about where they are going in the next five to six years - while in the past three to four years we’ve been working with bigger customers helping to develop people,” said Richard (44).
“I’ve been working with some of the TUI people who are developing their global product managers who look after large parts of their business empire - helping them to develop their strategy and where they are going.
“I’ve also worked with their senior new leader programme, high flyers from around the world, working with them as to where they should be to develop themselves.”
Richard created a name for himself working at Berghaus in the late 80s and early 90s, where he played a crucial role in helping to kit out BBC reporters in outdoor clothing by Berghaus.
Originally from a farming background in Galloway, Scotland, Richard has also worked for world travel clothing firm Craghoppers, as well as Go Outdoors, before starting Cowden Consulting Ltd a decade ago.
Said Richard: “People come to me when they want to know how they get into a certain market and say ‘our businesses are tired, where do I take it? We need to re-energise it, re-focus it and we need new customers’.
“That’s where I come along and say ‘ok, let’s see where the market is going and where the market might be in two or three years’ time’.”
But what exactly is Richard’s job title?
“Some people call me a strategist and some people call me a market guru,” said Richard.
“I was working with (one company) and people there introduced me as the future.
“They needed to know where they would be in five years’ time and they said ‘hey, this man will tell us what to do to get to where we want to be in five years’ time’.”
And Richard says despite the doom and gloom surrounding the economy in recent years, there are many firms enjoying successful times.
He said: “Nobody is looking at how fast internet companies are growing. But they are growing at about 20 per cent at the moment, compared to the High Street. It’s fantastic growth.”
He also believes having a clear marketing position and the products to match is the key to staying ahead of the game.
“The classic problem is that people wait until the issue becomes a problem,” he said.
“People just sit and see things get worse and worse and worse. They think it will get better but it won’t get better until they make a plan - and that’s what I specialise in doing.”
l Richard won the business card prize draw at the December meeting of the Tuesday Club, entitling him to a free profile feature in Chad.
The next meeting of the Tuesday Club takes place at West Notts College on 7th February at 6pm.
For details about the group, contact Chad editor Tracy Powell on Mansfield 456789 or Graham Parker on 07977 448 306.