Sharon Warmington is a straight talking, no nonsense executive coach and strategic leadership consultant who has set her sights on conquering the globe. Having survived domestic violence, homelessness and near financial ruin, Sharon continued to pick herself up and keep moving forward towards success.
Born in Birmingham, UK, Sharon has had a varied and exciting journey that has taken her across mainland Europe, Scandinavia and North America, all of which have allowed her to draw on established and unique skills.
Sharon is always able to create from a ‘blank canvas’ and has set up and supported several businesses including her own. With executive coaching as part of her remit of skills, Sharon works with national and international organisations in strategic leadership development.
All information and links were correct at the date of original publication on
17 Dec 2012
Tell us a bit about who Sharon Warmington is and what you do at Suite of Services?
Suite of Services is a solution focussed business support service.
We make things happen for our clients by packaging/repackaging them, raising their profile/brand and/or providing business support in the form of; consultancy, project management, building infrastructure and/or operational support.
We also design and deliver educational and personal development training programmes which are delivered in-house, one-to-one, in schools, prisons and community organisations.
Our focus is to make a difference and take clients from where they are to where they want to be; quicker than if they were to do it alone.
The name ‘SoS’ came from the fact that people call us when they are in distress or in need of emergency [business] help.
Many people set up their business based on their skill or passion for a particular thing.
Unfortunately, they tend not to have the business acumen to grow and develop their business as required. That’s where we come in – we help to create the infrastructure and plug the gaps in; HR, Training, Finance, Sales, Marketing, etc, etc.
We are like a One Stop Shop – ask us first and if we can’t help directly, we find someone who can.
What was the catalyst that made you decide to go into business?
I have been in business for almost 15 years, but in partnership with others.
This time I wanted to go it alone primarily because I could see where the gap was and how it could be filled.
I created SoS last year and my client base has grown significantly during this time.
Many people have created businesses to follow their passion but struggle with building a stable business with the proper infrastructure – we don’t.
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What was holding you back from being an entrepreneur at the time?
I was being pulled in different directions and found that I was supporting other people’s dream which is a problem if it takes you away from your own dream.
I have finally come into my own and I am following my passion for supporting and helping people achieve greatness under my own brand.
What was the best business advice you were given?
“Take an interest in everything and dream beyond yourself”. This was a quote from Ben Okri when he wrote “The Famished Road” which I have still not read, but this quote gives me all I need to keep moving forward.
I actually read this quote many years before I got into business and it’s what I quote to my children regularly.
Keep searching until you find your purpose towards your destiny.
What is the most exciting thing happening in your sector right now?
It’s difficult to say because my business is not really sector specific.
Business support and consultancy are terms banded around all the time but with little substance in my opinion.
I focus on the sectors that my clients operate in and work with them to identify goals and maximise their growth in their respective sectors. If they grow, I grow.
Identifying and meeting their needs is my focus and that means they continue to utilise my services.
What are your customers demanding more from you at the moment?
My clients are requiring more support in strategically planning their businesses for sustainability.
Many of them are so caught up in the delivery of their products / services and they are not able to take a step back and look at where they are going.
Working with sole traders and small businesses mean they struggle to find the time and resources to do this fundamental thing.
SoS responds by staying one step ahead and highlighting changes in their sector and bringing their attention to new things that are going on to underpin their growth and sustainability.
What social media tool are you using at the moment?
I resisted social media for business for a long time primarily because I don’t have time.
However, I recognised that more and more people were using it for promotion etc at little and no cost
I don’t tweet fanatically but I try to tweet at least once a day and from this process I have secured additional business and raised my profile at no extra cost.
I encourage my clients to tweet to raise their profile / brand and sometimes just to relax a little and take the stress out of all the hard work.
What is your take on personal business failures?
Failure is not an option!
Changing your mindset means that ‘failure’ is a way of discovering what not to do again and a situation to learn from and this is how I live professionally and personally.
You cannot fail if you’ve learnt something from the process. You only fail if you stop moving forward.
Sometimes you can only crawl, sometimes you will walk and when things are good you will run but always keep moving forward towards your goal and you’ll get there.
What is the difference that is making the difference for success in business at the moment?
The current economic climate is forcing people to seek alternative sources of income and in some ways take control of their own destiny.
The ‘job for life’ is not an option anymore and therefore a growth in network marketing is making a difference to individuals, especially women as this type of self-employment / second job can be built around childcare and has little capital outlay.
Who are you following on Twitter and why?
I’m following as many positive, forward thinking people as possible with the usual suspects being; Oprah, Echart Tolle, John C Maxwell and Les Brown.
However, I’m also following my clients and friends ie; Jesse Gerald (Photographer), Stephen Arthur (Fashion Designer), Natalie Louise Brown (TV Presenter) Coach Lyds (Mentor & Coach), Jamie Dunn (Entrepreneur), Laura Ige (Singer) and The Eve Project (Radio).
What book would you recommend for entrepreneurs?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. This book taught me about financial education and the significant difference between assets and liabilities.
It should be a must read for all school aged children to give them a proper head start in life and a fuller understanding of the life ahead of them.
What is your favourite quote and how are you applying this in your business?
“You cannot get to second base without taking your foot off first”.
This reminds me to stop thinking about it and get on with the journey. Just go for it, every time, all the time.
What next for your business?
I’ve always liked jobs with a variety of tasks and where no day was the same.
I’ve taken this into my business and my client base includes; educationalists, community workers, fashions designers, singers, beauty technicians, innovation experts and TV/Radio Presenters.
This allows me to gain a breadth of knowledge and network to lead a very interesting life.
My next task is to develop my public speaking engagement portfolio as I wish to motivate and encourage a wider audience both in the UK and overseas.
I’ve started this process through online webinars and radio, but wish to widen it in 2013.