REBECCA Bonnington is the first to admit that now isn’t the easiest time to be an entrepreneur. Her coaching business, Tricres, has been helping to support firms through some of the most difficult months in recent history, while also having to make a few of its own adaptations.

Originally hailing from Manchester, Ms Bonnington has been working as an executive coach across Scotland for more than two decades. She decided to launch Tricres a little over two years ago, alongside her brother Nick, with a business model based around giving face to-face training to help professional services firms build sustainable growth.

Of course, that face-to-face coaching has now morphed into Zoom to Zoom – a change that Ms Bonnington admits to finding initially challenging.

“I’ve had to adapt my approach to delivering on Zoom. It’s difficult to spend all day online, delivering a workshop, so I’ve packaged things up into smaller chunks. What you miss on Zoom is the depths and the nuances but I’ve tried to adapt to that by offering breakout rooms.

"We also have all of our programmes on an online platform, so they are available to even the smallest of businesses. You can subscribe to all our courses from £25 a month, or you can buy an individual course from around £99.”

While Tricres is now fully immersed in the world of online learning, Ms Bonnington explains that becoming digitally literate hasn’t come without hard work and commitment.

“I knew social media was important, but I didn’t know how detailed and complicated it was. When March arrived and a lot of my clients put their business on hold, I spent that time teaching myself digital marketing.

"My husband was out doing the gardening and I was sat in my office putting myself through courses on Facebook adverts and ActiveCampaign. I’m still learning – but it was a very steep learning curve.”

As clients postponed their investment during the height of lockdown, it would have been easy for Ms Bonnington to sit and fret about the uncertainty ahead, rather than throwing herself into learning new skills.

“I’m a born optimist,” she laughs, “so I only see the glass half full – with shiny sparkly bits in it!

“I’m a huge believer that it is the entrepreneurial community that will get us out of this, because the one thing I know about businessowners is that they are really good at finding a way to make things work – being creative, innovative, finding a way round things. It will be the small to medium-sized businesses that will pull the nation through this crisis.

“Yes, there are some days where you want to hide, and you are crying into your pillow, but the vast majority of the time being an entrepreneur means being in control of your own destiny, making your own decisions, and shaping and growing something. It is just incredibly rewarding. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Ms Bonnington’s optimistic nature means she had a bold vision ‘since day one’ that Tricres would eventually become a global firm. But although it may have seemed ambitious, it’s a goal that is already being realised after just a few years in business.

“We’ve already got US clients. I always set Tricres up knowing it would be a big business. I want to see our tools in the hands of as many business owners as possible because I hate to see them struggle. I know our methodologies work and they help transform businesses, improve the culture of their business, staff retention, and set them up to succeed.

“We are set to grow quite substantially next year, so we are looking for up to ten people that we can train in our methodologies. It will be done on a licensed basis, so they get the freedom of being self-employed, but they benefit from our expertise to help them grow their own coaching business.”

Having a clear vision of where you want your business to end up is one of Ms Bonnington’s most important tips for entrepreneurs.

“A common mistake that business owners make is getting really excited about starting a business and focusing on that, but you actually need to start with the end in mind. You need to have a vision of where you want the business to end up.

“And that doesn’t necessarily mean how much the business will be worth, but setting out a 10-year vision of what you want the business to do for you, for your family, your clients, what kind of business you want to have in ten years. Then work backwards from there.

“You don’t know how you are going to get there, but plan where you want to be, rather than what you think is possible.”