1995 saw both of us leave the world of secure employment, and spawned the creation of M2 Associates.
Chris, having experienced his first Directors role at a Insurance Company, left and set up M2 Associates with a view to providing a range of sales and marketing services to SME’s.
Sandra took the opportunity of early redundancy to help develop the marketing services, and add project management to our portfolio.
For Chris the venture was short lived as late 1995 he was headhunted by a PLC to take the role of Managing Director of one of their subsidiaries. A turnaround and a Management Buy Out followed and by 2000 Chris was once again focussed on M2 Associates, this time providing an enhanced range of services which included interim CEO, pre and post MBO Coaching, Non Executive Directorships and the provision of highly skilled resources to SME’s that were looking to grow, merge or start up.
2000 to 2006 was spent completing two more Management Buy Out’s and helping three Start Up’s in the IT and Internet Sector. This involved time in UK, USA, Spain, Australia and Ireland, and at one stage we were splitting our time 6 weeks in Spain, 6 weeks in America, with a couple of days in-between in UK.
2006 was designated a ‘time out’ year and we opted to do this in Spain.
To ‘fill the time’ we set up a blog documenting and advising on expat life in Spain, which quickly became a full time commitment leading to the development of our content provision service, which saw Chris write a column for two years for the Telegraph Expat, as well as the main English Language papers across Spain. A regular contributor to Sky News and Sun Talk, we developed a range of services designed around the digital media and traditional media ‘space’, including a rather interesting contract in Dubai which was our first introduction to the lucrative world of internet marketing.
We also used our skills and experience to set up the not for profit project ALStrays Re-Homing and Transport which to date (August 2020) has seen Sands re-home 1901 cats from the streets of Spain to Germany, and Chris travel 800,955 miles delivering 4,132 cats and 3,908 dogs via Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, Belgium, Bosnia, Romania, Hungry, Cyprus, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and Croatia.
From a personal perspective this has been the most rewarding thing we have done, and we intend to continue in some form or other from the UK. The project has used a surprising array of our skills and talents, in addition to awakening a desire for future consultancy clients to always include a balance of businesses and charities so that we can continue to help both disadvantaged animals and humans.
Put simply as we get older we need to reduce the amount of physical input to these projects and increase the cerebral input.
As we have got older, and those around us even older, we have introduced a few more specific consultancy options based on the challenges faced in society and business today.