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a blog by Chris Barrow

The Business Retreat Week

Later today I will be hosting the introductory dinner for our first client retreat in Helford, Cornwall. The Riverside Cottage is way off the beaten track, with no mobile phone or internet access and I will be working with a group of 7 clients, hand-holding them through their own “annual retreat”

  1. Tuesday – 3-year business vision, 12-month plan, 90-day goals;

  2. Wednesday – time management and their calendar for the next 12 months

  3. Thursday – financial controls and a 12-month cash flow forecast, leading to accurate pricing

The group includes 4 dentists, one finance broker, a property developer and a management consultant – quite a mixed bag and so I am interested to see how the week develops. I am envisioning a cross between a Chris Barrow workshop and Celebrity Big Brother! The setting is so English – the Helford Estuary is a secluded beauty spot on the South Cornwall coast – very close to the setting for many of Daphne Du Maurier’s novels, in fact Frenchman’s Creek is a few minutes walk away. My plan is to spend each morning “training” the clients on how I do my own retreat, using many of the tools that I talk about in the workshops – and then each afternoon have them work on their own material, with me in attendance as a sort of roving “chess master”, answering questions and assisting. Then working dinners to discuss progress each day. One of my clients arrived from the North of England yesterday, complete with wife, baby and parents-in-law. They have decided to take a week’s break in a rented cottage across the estuary from The Riverside (5 minutes walk) and he will walk over to us every morning. This is new ground for Chris Barrow – I’m excited and apprehensive at the same time. Hopefully by the end of the week we will have a list of “did work” and “didn’t work” – and then I can look at repeating this exercise in other locations over the years ahead. We already have a waiting list for the next event. I’ll bring you reports from The Riverside as the week progresses.

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