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Case Study: Gill Pipkin Consulting
Gill Pipkin Consulting joined Cornwall Chamber of Commerce in late 2016 as a means of promotion. However, the benefits of membership have not just been confined to networking, the business has also attending Chamber events on issues such as GDPR, cyber security and exporting.
Since joining, Gill Pipkin Consulting has run Sustainability Masterclasses for the Chamber and spoken at Chamber lunches, which has helped raise awareness of the business and its expertise.
With a focus on making businesses more sustainable, Gill Pipkin Consulting offers organisations a 360⁰ review to identify key areas where changes can be made to improve processes, reputation, use of resources or staff engagement, and works with staff and management to embed change effectively.
The Founder – Gill Pipkin
Gill Pipkin moved into consultancy following a long career in hospitality management and ownership, and ultimately supported the NHS to become more sustainable in its operations.
Gill acknowledges that sustainability was an integral part of her childhood. In contrast, her early career in high end catering in London in the 1980’s was characterised by excess and huge waste.
This persuaded Gill that running a business sustainably had to make financial sense, so in the late 1990’s, as a hotel owner in South East Cornwall, she was able to put her beliefs into practice to introduce water and energy saving measures, a menu based around local, seasonal produce as well as initiatives to reduce waste.
These measures quickly led to a reduction in overheads, but the unexpected outcome was the reputational benefits – customers liked the changes and were prepared to spend more as a result. Adding information about the changes made to the website and marketing material also led to an increase in bookings. Changes made to save money led to the business being busier and more profitable!
When the business was sold, she was able to use her knowledge and skills to help other hotels become more sustainable and achieve accreditation, and subsequently moved to the NHS to work on a variety of projects including a waste management initiative which led to better segregation and a reduction on costs.
Since taking the leap into consultancy, Gill has worked with a variety of organisations from preparing documentation in advance of applying for accreditation, to a total reorganisation of a business that has grown through mergers and takeovers but is not enjoying economies of scale and thus needs a major reorganisation.
Why Cornwall Chamber of Commerce?
Gill has belonged to other Chambers in the past and found them quite intimidating and not supportive of small businesses. Cornwall Chamber feels very different and Gill Pipkin Consulting has benefited from a wealth of advice and information concerning the practicalities of running a business, increasing your market and new opportunities available.
The networking events are always welcoming, informative and held in great locations with delicious food! Members seem keen to understand your business and actively find ways of working together for mutual benefit.