I have included a couple of client case studies from 2007 and one from 2013. Whilst every story is different, these examples tell you about each of the businesses, they challenges they were facing, the insights they had, the actions they took, the learnings they had as well as their personal blue print for success.  I have included these stories to give you an idea about what is possible for you.

KB 49: Marketing consultancy/full service, integrated agency 



In their first year of business prior to coaching, this marketing services agency enjoyed an encouraging start,  but by the end of the second year, a budget cut back and the loss of a major client resulted in  billings falling  to 20% of the first year figures. It was this loss, which was threatening the survival of the agency which prompted the Managing Partner  to start coaching


Client – Managing Partner

 Personal phrased business goal agreed:  The freedom of doubling my monthly take home and the thrill of luxurious bonuses


Insights and actions taken

The coaching process was started by having the client identify what is working and not working in the business. Analysis was done on monthly billings per client, sources of new business, strategies for winning business, strategies for growing existing, reasons business wasn’t won.  Strengths and areas of development for the key players in the agency were also identified.

The Client learnt more about his personal motivations and how they were affected the business. He also realised that as a business, they hadn’t been stretching themselves to go for anything other than the minimum. Through the coaching he was encouraged to increase his financial goal and the corresponding business goal.

 Most clients are predisposed to negative self talk which is normally disempowering, and typically they are not aware of the extent to which they do so. This client realised he had a tendency to look for what might go wrong. Simply looking for what might go right changed the results he was getting. Simply changing “I’m going to have no money, into I’ve done it before, I know I can do it”, made a big difference.

He learnt that being his clients’ ally was a key part to winning/growing business. He also realised that delegating was an area of development. He needed to fully trust others to do as good or a better job than he was. He put this in hand, and started seeing the business develop without his direct input. Taking a coaching approach to leadership (i.e helping his people to think)  supported the process.

The coaching enabled the client to define key USP’s,  develop internal PR programmes within their clients, and set up referral partners. It became clear that they weren’t practising as many business development strategies as they could.  A powerful vision was created which included the development of a full-service integrated communications agency. A vision cash flow showed what the business looked like.

The client identified his personal need for recognition which he was seeking to get met at work. A need for recognition is one of the most common needs and is seen at all levels in organisations. Coaching typically encourages clients to seek to meet their needs themselves, through relationships outside of work and through other non work related activities. This client benefited by finding more effective ways of meeting this need: including praising himself and asking close friends and family to help meet this need. We uncovered alternative ways that he could get his need for recognition identified and met outside of work – including taking up acting again.

Through the coaching, he identified that some of the pricing strategies in the business were not serving the business.  We looked at his own beliefs around money, and made some changes which helped.  Everyone has fears – fear of failure being one of the most common.  The coaching enabled this client to handle his fear of failure before starting to celebrate the joy of his success.


Coaching is a process of learning and reminders. Through the coaching, this client learnt and was reminded of:

  • The importance of on going business development and the importance of setting stretching goals
  • That he was strong at connecting clients and building relationships higher up client organisations
  • the value of rewarding and incentivising key people
  • the value of positioning themselves as a Marketing Services agency which combines the best features of a consultancy with those of a full-service, integrated communications agency
  • Value of scaleable ways to build the business by capitalising on their software products
  • Value of looking at money as energy and as material abundance
  • Value of being open to new ideas working

 Client’s Personal Blue Print of Success

 Hard work, persistence, patience and trust

  • Self Belief
  • Creative Deal Making
  • Excellent client service
  • Proactivity on projects
  • Building great relationships
  • Fully recognising contribution from team
  • Regular use of affirmations e.g. It’s happening perfectly
  • Empowering/uplifting reading
  • Ensure everything we do looks good
  • Set out for our clients to love us
  • Arrange regular brainstorming sessions for business development     
  • Self acknowledgement – including small treats
  • Visualise success


Turnover from Sept-Dec 05 (i.e. a four month period) was up 40% vs previous 6 months.2006 turnover is up y 125% vs 2005 

The client reported that the coaching supported him to feel happier, calmer and more aware during what was initially a financially challenging and scary time.


Chris King

Chris King Managing Partner  KB49

Combining the best features of a Marketing consultancy with those of a full-service, integrated  agency


I have found that Karen’s coaching has helped me enormously. It’s as if she has helped me to unlock a key inside which has allowed me to react to the world in a new way. The effects of this on my home life my mood and my business have been spectacular.


IBF – Intranet Benchmarking Forum

intranet bench


This client is CEO and Founder of the Digital Workplace Group (DWG)  which provides research, consulting and expert measurement for large organisations on the digital transformation of work. 


Insights and actions taken

The coaching process was started by having the client identify what is working and not working in the business. Analysis was carried out on the following areas: marketing and sales, admin and back office, service delivery, commercial, innovation, organisation, strategy, resourcing, environment and communication. He also rated what was and wasn’t working in the area of passion and care.

We also reviewed what contributed to him feeling confident and what detracted from him feeling this way.  Inconsistent confidence levels and/or lower confidence levels than they would like to have, is one of the most common areas that clients seek coaching in.  Coaching is extraordinarily effective in raising and sustaining confidence levels.

As he renewed the analysis, he became more and more confident that the new structure would work. It also became clear to him how he could manifest passion and care more visibly, for example, via key note talks.

In checking how he was feeling, he reported feeling under pressure. When the idea of reducing the size of the goal was discussed, and the concept of “playing for the goal” was included which allowed him to reframe the goal as an adventure with no attachment to the  outcome, the pressure was immediately alleviated.

The more he involved his team in his business, he realised that the business was less and less dependent on his input

 As the coaching continued, the client reported enjoying work more and more, having even better judgement, and more passion for work. He realised that he was feeling more confident than he had been acknowledged himself for. He acknowledged he already had good habits vis a vis getting things done – being both structured and flexible.


Client’s Personal Blue Print for Success

Remember my winning formula: stick to it, and adapt should it no longer be winning

  • Focus on what I like to do  – as I am best in these areas
  • Trusting others works, along with trusting myself to know who I can trust
  • Allow myself to  experience the highs
  • Seek to meet my need for excitement in ways that support me/the business
  • Remember  acknowledgement of self (as opposed to “could do better”)
  • Be aware of  expectations
  • Consistent  confidence comes from looking at the “bigger picture” and being a leader. 


 This business now (2013) has over 150 major globally. The coaching has positively impacted all areas of his life – personally and professionally.


I have been involved in coaching with Karen Skehel for 10 years, simply because coaching with Karen works. I focus pretty exclusively on the results which is why I have stayed loyal to her. Karen is a steady hand on the tiller and I would recommend her as a coach to anyone.”

Paul Miller

Paul Miller

Chairman The Intranet Benchmarking Forum


Time Out Case Study

In 2007, I was approached by Time Out to coach one of their most sceptical editors, Simone Baird. The article which reviews Simone’s coaching experience is below. Click on the image to read the article

Time Out

Karen coaches Time Out magazine’s Simone Baird, a self-confessed sceptic – January 2008After only six weeks, Simone tells readers that coaching does work and that she feels more inspired than ever before……

 Time Out Jan 08-page-001


Although I primarily work with entrepreneurs and business owners, I do offer a small number of personal coaching programmes to private clients.  The rates quoted in the article apply to these personally funded programmes.