Surrey Chambers here we come!

  • By Anne Renshaw
  • 09 Sep, 2016

We're excited to have joined such a vibrant chamber...

After being a member of the Chamber in different guises over the last 15 years it's really exciting to become a member as Flamme Rouge Consulting. I love the support and guidance that you receive from the Chamber, and from other members and can't wait to make the most of the membership over the next year. Surrey has such a vibrant business community and I can't wait to be a part of it!

Flamme Rouge Consulting

By Anne Renshaw 01 Nov, 2017
I was very grateful to be asked to speak at the Institute of Directors' 8:59 meeting on the topic of how to make a difference. If you'd like to see the end result click on the link below!
By Anne Renshaw 14 Sep, 2017

Anne Renshaw is celebrating raising over £1,000 for Disability Challengers, a charity for disabled children and young people and their families in Surrey and Hampshire. After doing her first ever triathlon to raise funds for them six years ago Anne has done various fundraising efforts (including a 14km swim in the Thames) culminating in her biggest challenge to date, a half ironman distance triathlon. She undertook the 1.8km swim, 90km bike and half marathon in the Cotswolds in August and managed to cross the finish line in 8 hours and 13 minutes. Training for and completing such a feat is gruelling enough but Anne was also hampered by being hit by a car whilst cycling in Mallorca in February and is still having treatment for damage sustained to her legs, so training for the race was difficult to say the least.

Anne (founder of Flamme Rouge Consulting based in Leatherhead) said “not finishing wasn’t an option. I’d had huge support in financial and other terms from friends, family and the local business community in the run up to the race and I couldn’t let them, or Challengers, down. The race was immensely tough, I had to walk the whole half marathon due to pain in my legs which was hard mentally as well as physically, but it was absolutely worth it to raise much needed funds for the amazing charity and the children and families that they support. The feeling of achievement when I crossed the finish line was completely overwhelming and to then smash my fundraising target was the most amazing feeling”.

As part of her fundraising Anne also walked up and down Guildford High Street in her wetsuit, and hosted a business meeting for a morning dressed in the same outfit. “This was probably the most challenging bit for me – it was hot, sweaty and hugely embarrassing – but when it’s for charity you just get out there, have fun and make people smile – and raise money while you’re doing it, Everyone I know thinks I’m very outgoing, but actually I’m very shy – so to walk in public wearing neoprene, flippers and a snorkel took me WAY outside of my comfort zone”.

Anne has her eye on another event in the next year to raise much needed funds for this amazing charity, particularly after their recent fire which has led to an even greater need for fundraising, so watch this space! If you would like to support Anne’s efforts you can find her JustGiving page here .

Released as Press Release on 14 September 2017

By Anne Renshaw 31 Aug, 2017

It’s that time of year again when you start thinking about preparing your Legal 500 and Chambers entries. Suddenly cleaning the office oven seems like the most appealing thing you can do with your day JUST to avoid filling in the reams and reams of seemingly useless information.

At many law firms I’ve worked with if you mention Legal 500 or Chambers then you stood quite a good chance of being flung through the nearest open window – or even a closed one if an open one wasn’t an option. So why do people hate them so much and are their fears and loathing valid?

In this series of blogs I’m going to uncover some of the (as I see them) myths around directory submissions and shine a new and hopefully more positive light on the preparation of these submissions and how you can get the most out of the process as an individual and as a firm.

Let’s start with the most uttered phrase in any law firm…. “they take forever to prepare and it’s a complete waste of everyone’s time”…

Ahem – NO! Let’s look at this statement in two parts.

“They take forever to prepare” – only if you leave it until the last minute and you’re scrabbling around for information with days to go, panicking, getting everyone including the managing partner involved and you’re madly scanning through hundreds of client files trying to find cases that match the area you’re submitting under. Never mind e-mailing and calling clients (who are NEVER available) to ask for their permission to be a referee.

Solution – prepare for these submissions ALL YEAR ROUND! It’s easy to set up a spreadsheet (or any kind of document which you can use) to collate the key information that you need for these submissions – they rarely change significantly in what they’re looking for from one year to the next. Set up a sheet which has cells for each of the areas that the directories look for information under sections such as case studies and fill them in AS YOU GO ALONG! If you finish an interesting case that you think would be a great example write it up when you finish it! Get a quote from the client, get the permission to use the case study (even if anonymised), get their permission to name them in any client lists and ask them if they would be a reference. Share these documents with your teams and set up one per submission area. It takes 10-15 minutes after each case finishes which is nothing when you’re in the throes of post case success! It really doesn’t have to take up days or weeks of time.

“It’s a complete waste of time” – what implementing the process above also does is give you a bank of case studies, testimonials and referees to use in documents such as credential/pitch documents and to put on marketing collateral – all year round. Share the document with people – make it a live document that people can refer to for information rather than just keep it secret to populate the (now hopefully not so) dreaded forms when they’re released.

So hang on a minute, these submissions are suddenly generating easy to access information for other areas of the business? Well who knew? It doesn’t just have to be about preparing the submissions, if you’re clever you can use the information you collate in a myriad of different ways to benefit the firm.

Hopefully this has made you feel slightly more positive about the whole experience of why you should embrace directory submissions rather than procrastinate eternally over completing them. Go on, show of hands as to who has considered cleaning the office oven rather than filling “their bit” in?

Next time I’ll cover how to put together an effective process and increase buy in throughout the firm. But if you can’t wait until then feel free to contact me for a chat about it – and of course I’m always here to help and happy to come and visit you to discuss how I can help you implement some of these ideas in your firm. Go forth and be a directory entry WINNER!

By Anne Renshaw 16 Mar, 2017
Now I LOVE a bit of networking - so much so that when I do it during the day I feel guilty, as though I'm not "working" and feel like a bit of a fraud.  But even though I love it I often still get that feeling of dread before I go to an event, particularly one I've not been to before....

"But what if no-one talks to me? What if I'm left at the side holding my coffee and slightly stale Danish Pastry on my own?" says my internal voice. "What if I spend the whole hour there stuck to the spot, cowering behind a pot plant?"

If you asked most people who attend networking events I'm sure that at least 80% of them would say they get nerves of some kind before an event so if you suffer like this then you're definitely not alone!

At a networking event yesterday a very lovely lady told me that she really didn't like networking and she got really nervous before events, so I shared with her one of my secrets.  That of "Anne the Confident" (a bit like "Richard the Lionheart" but quite a bit less exciting).  When I arrive at a networking event I stand outside the venue and think of myself as the most confident networker in the world. I picture myself walking in and approaching people with a big smile and a firm handshake, and entering into thrilling conversations.  Then I take a deep breath, walk in and become "Anne the Confident". And funnily enough I've got a big smile on my face and I spot a space in a group to slot myself into a wait until an opportune time to introduce myself to the group with further smiles and firm handshakes. I'd like to say at this point that the conversations are always thrilling but we all know that wouldn't be true, but even if they're not I still pretend to the other person that they are!

This is just one of the ways to make a networking event seem less scary and enjoy it more.  The more you do the easier it will get but even the best networkers still get that nervous feeling before an event they've not tried before so don't feel like you're alone.  Watch out over the coming weeks for more hints and tips on how to network, any questions feel free to email me on or call me on 07802 532647.


By Anne Renshaw 14 Mar, 2017
As well as being a lover of all things marketing and business development I also have a passion for all things triathlon, despite being rather useless at at least two of the three disciplines! Since discovering that passion while doing my first ever triathlon for a truly amazing charity called Challengers in 2011 I now try and do something to raise money for them every year. This year, for the second time, I'm attempting a half iron distance triathlon.  My first attempt was thwarted a few years ago by slipped discs in my back (and due to picking the hardest half iron distance in the world to try as my first one - not clever!) so this year I am even more determined to cross that finish line!  I'm doing a race called the Cotswold Classic on 13th August which consists of a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride finished with a half marathon.

I'm going to be doing lots of wild and whacky things in the lead up to my race so watch this space for news - should you be able to spare a few pennies for an amazing charity you can find my page here  .  I'd be so grateful for every penny and it will spur me on to get over that finish line!

Now - as you were....back to blogging about more business related issues but I can't promise not to keep updating you on my progress every now and then!
By Anne Renshaw 17 Jan, 2017
It's all too easy to focus on external markets to grow your existing business, particularly in professional services.  I don't know about you but at every law and accountancy firm I've worked at - regional firms in particular - I've driven around the streets locally thinking "if we could just win these businesses/individuals as clients we'd have loads more income". And it's true, you would have more income if all these people came and used your firm - but it's often hard work to win them as clients (although not impossible - and I can help, but that's another story.....or blog!).

What a lot of firms don't think about enough are those opportunities to gain more work from their existing client base.  I'm not saying you should shove your employment lawyer infront of a client who's only used you for divorce and "sell" them a service they don't need - but you absolutely SHOULD learn more about your clients and their lives/families/wider circumstances so that a) you can give them better advice more suited to those circumstances and b) identify if there are any other areas where the firm could provide much needed help. 

Some people feel this is salesy - it isn't.  If a client NEEDS a will as well as the divorce advice that you're giving them then it's right that you would offer to introduce them to a colleague who can help them.  If you don't then they either won't get the advice or they'll go to the firm down the road to get it.  Surely it's of benefit for all their advice to be done by one firm - giving them (and I hate to use this word) holistic advice that ensures they're covered?

A useful exercise might be to look at your client base and work out how many clients are using more than one practice group or service offering (if your reporting structure can do that - and if it can't you need a new one!). Where there are clients who are only using one service review these people and just ask yourselves if there are any opportunities to introduce these clients to other parts of the business.  A firmwide ethos of getting to REALLY know your clients is also important along with tools to enable the team to identify opportunities for introductions (and educational structures to ensure all teams know each other does - you'd be amazed how many don't!) and processes for recording information about clients for the future (within DPA regs of course!).

It's been proven that getting work from existing clients (when it's required - not "selling") is up to eight times cheaper and faster than getting the same work from a new client - so make sure you're making the most of your existing client base.  You'll grow, your clients will be getting a better service - there will be peace and harmony in the world.

If you need any help or advice on how to create an ethos like this within your firm, or need help designing systems and processes to really make this work give me a call!
By Anne Renshaw 13 Jan, 2017
I was asked why I joined the Guildford Business Hub and what I got out of my membership.  Here are some of my answers in a case study put on their website.

I absolutely believe in the power of networking, particularly in professional services.  If you need any help or advice about where to network, how to network or how to make your existing efforts more effective then give me a call!
By Anne Renshaw 09 Sep, 2016
After being a member of the Chamber in different guises over the last 15 years it's really exciting to become a member as Flamme Rouge Consulting. I love the support and guidance that you receive from the Chamber, and from other members and can't wait to make the most of the membership over the next year. Surrey has such a vibrant business community and I can't wait to be a part of it!
By Anne Renshaw 18 Aug, 2016
Many professional services firms have a raft of referrers, after all it’s often their main source of new clients, and they’re forever adding people to their list of “potentials” but struggle to understand why they’re not getting as many work referrals as they’d like. There are a number of reasons why your network might not be generating the amount of work you’d expect for your firm.

Quality not quantity

Trying to build relationships with a large number of referrers is unlikely to provide satisfying results. The number of referrals you can give each one will be smaller and the reciprocity will therefore be poor. Focusing your efforts on a number of KEY referrers, passing more referrals their way and building a deeper understanding of each other’s service will generate rewards.

Build your foundations

Spending time with key referrers, with both teams getting to know each other and their strengths, will highlight opportunities for referrals into the future. Understanding when and how you can make referrals from each of your client bases will set the stage for the future.

It’s all in the planning

You can’t just see a referrer once and expect referrals to keep flowing. Making a plan of how you’re going to keep in touch via newsletters, case studies, seminars, round table discussions and just the odd coffee (or something stronger!) will ensure you stay abreast of opportunities to refer and stay front of mind should one come up.

Give and thou shalt receive

It’s all about reciprocity. The more you give the more likely it is that you will receive referrals in return. It’s vital that you train your teams on how to identify when clients have a REAL need for a referrers services. Putting a process in place which allows more junior members of the team to flag these opportunities to the relationship manager/partner will empower them to be more proactive.

Reporting is key

Ensuring you have a process in place to record all referrals given and received will help you identify where there are referrers where the stream of work passed is biased one way or the other. Identifying these and planning on what steps can be taken to improve these work flows is vital to a healthy referrer relationship.

The dating game

You wouldn’t go on a first date, ignore them for months and then expect a marriage proposal. Maintaining meaningful relationships with a small number of professionals, maintaining regular contact and sharing up to date information is far more likely to generate the results you’re looking for.

The other fish in the sea

This doesn’t all mean to say you can’t keep in touch with your wider referrer base. Sending newsletters, case studies and catching up at networking events will ensure that the wider pool are still thinking of you should an opportunity arise for them to pass a client your way.
By Anne Renshaw 18 Aug, 2016

LinkedIn has some great tools for providing us with instant ways to communicate with our network. Their “stay up to date” box at the top right of the home page (or at the top of your connections page) makes suggestions as to people we might want to congratulate on an anniversary, new position or birthday, making it easy to find reasons to contact people in our network and keep up to date, which I’m all in support of. BE WARNED however that what should be a fantastic opportunity to re-establish old connections, or reinforce current relationships, can easily be wasted by using their auto generated text.

I’ve been lucky to have the chance to start up a new business in recent weeks and was keen to update my profile to tell my network the good news. I was thrilled to receive numerous messages congratulating me on this change – but when looking through my inbox I couldn’t help but think how many people had missed a chance to make themselves stand out and generate an opportunity for conversation. The majority of people had obviously pressed “send congrats” and allowed LinkedIn to formulate the text without changing a thing. Whilst still a very kind thing to do, and these messages made me smile, with so many messages saying the exact same thing not one of them prompted me to reply with anything other than a “thanks so much”. Those who did stand out didn’t necessarily have to write an essay on my change of career – just adding my name, a message of “good luck” or a smiley face (whatever you might think of the new “emoticon” language) – they just had to show they were making an effort over and above pressing a button. I was quick to respond to these people in detail and entered a number of discussions, some of which are now leading us to reinvigorate relationships offline which may lead to business being passed.

So although it’s a huge plus that LinkedIn is providing us with easy ways of keeping in touch with our network without having to delve through our (ever more cluttered) timelines, make sure that you don’t miss the greater opportunity of using this tool to establish real conversations. It needn’t take long – 30 seconds is all it takes to personalise your message – and you never know when that investment of seconds could lead to great opportunities to warm up relationships and expand your business.

And don’t get me started on people just clicking “Connect” on the “People you might know” page and sending an auto-generated message to them asking them to LinkIn…..okay do but let’s speak about that another time?

If you need help with your, or your team's, approach to getting the most out of LinkedIn then get in touch!

Share by: