Category: Success Case Studies

Ash Vine Brewery's Hop & Glory

Robert Viney – My Story

Robert Viney  ~  My Story

Successful Entrepreneur & Business Coach

Roberet-6-300x169 Robert Viney  -  My Story

In 30 years, I have successfully started and run many businesses, including pubs, a microbrewery, sandwich shops and delicatessens, property rental, investments and business coaching, all cumulatively generating in excess of £100 million in that time.

I Am Originally A Chemist

Originally a chemist, I graduated with an honours degree in 1976 and subsequently worked in the Aluminium industry with the British Aluminium Company as a research chemist until being made redundant in 1980.

I promised myself that if I was ever to be on the dole again, it would be through my own fault and not the fault of someone else, so I embarked on a career of being self employed.

Prior to my redundancy, I ran the social club bar at British Aluminium and I had already decided that I wanted my own pub and set out on the road to achieve that.

I Needed More Experience

I did not have enough experience but was lucky enough to be offered the chance to run the ‘Frog & Frigate’ pub in Southampton, owned by Ringwood Brewery.

The White Hart Inn In Somerset Was Bought

The invaluable experience allowed me to buy my first pub, The White Hart Inn at Trudoxhill near Frome in June 1984.  This pub was very run down, when I took it on and, within 12 months, it was the busiest pub in the area.

white-hart-2-300x208 Robert Viney  -  My Story I still own the White Hart Inn and is currently run by my tenant Graeme Warberry.

A Microbrewery Was Added

3 years later a small microbrewery was installed to the rear of the pub producing quality traditional beer for The White Hart Inn and other local pubs.

More Pubs Were Added

By 1999, other pubs had been started from scratch including the Pig & Fiddle in Bath, The Frog & Fiddle and Fish & Fiddle both in Cheltenham and the brewery, known as Ash Vine Brewery, had moved to a large 5000 square feet site and grew to supply in excess of 1000 pubs nationally.

me-on-barrels-web-1-300x208 Robert Viney  -  My Story

Here I am pictured outside the brewery in a local newspaper item with the headline “Brewing For Hop & Glory”  – Hop & Glory was one of our many award-winning beers that we brewed.

Hop-Glory-Bottle.JPG-web-1-300x208 Robert Viney  -  My Story

I Retired From The Pub Business

In 2001, I came out of the pub business to take over a sandwich shop and delicatessen business, owned by a family member.

I Took On a Family Business

The business known as Picknics of Devon, trading in Torbay, had accrued a huge debt and was on the point of failing.  It took me about 3 years to turn Picknics around and to start to pay off the debt.

By the time I sold the business in 2014, it had become a massive success with a huge following and was the local market leader. By the time of its sale, the huge debt had been repaid in full.

PICKNICS-OF-DEVON-TORQUAY-SHOP-300x208 Robert Viney  -  My Story

When I sold the business in 2014, it comprised two shops in Torbay, one in Torquay and one in Paignton  –  this is a picture of the Torquay

I Now Coach Businesses

After taking a break in 2015, I am now putting much of my energies into Prestige Business Coaching to give businesses the benefit of my experience and expertise to achieve high levels of success, themselves.

I am not new to coaching businesses, though, as I have coached several businesses very successfully, previously, alongside running my own businesses.

I Have Some Powerful Methods To Share

As part of my coaching, I show my clients the very many methods that have successfully created business success for myself. These methods are massively powerful and are unique to me only.

Alessandra-Ruocco-of-Devoncair-Ltd-2-300x160 Robert Viney  -  My Story

I started coaching Alessandra Ruocco in 2009 and we turned her business around from large losses.  She is my biggest coaching success.

My Mission Is To Increase Business Success & Reduce Failure

My mission is to increase business success and reduce business failure & this site includes powerful advice for business owners to boost their businesses. This advice is offered here free of charge – just take a look, read and absorb!

If you are a business owner or someone planning on starting a business soon, I could probably help you, giving you access to my powerful business methods.

Please contact me at or leave a message below.

NEWSLETTER-300x300 Robert Viney  -  My Story

My Greatest Business Coaching Success ~ Coaching Alessandra Ruocco

Great-Coaching-Success-3-600x300 My Greatest Business Coaching Success  ~  Coaching Alessandra Ruocco

My Greatest Business Coaching Success  ~  Coaching Alessandra Ruocco

Large Losses To Good Profit in Just 5 Months

“Our Homecare business is now on the road to being a successful player in the industry and I owe that fully to the expertise of Robert and Prestige Business Coaching”

It is May 2015 and I am having lunch in a nice fish restaurant on the harbourside in Torquay with Alessandra Ruocco.  ‘Sasse’, as she is known to her friends and associates, is telling me about her vision, strategy and thoughts for her business Devon Cair Ltd.

As I listen, I cannot help thinking how far this clever, smart lady had come on her business journey and how she had become the strong, mature, confident and competent business lady that I viewed across the restaurant table. Sasse is now one of the 10% most successful business people in the UK., who I talk about much on

But the journey had been hard and long.

Devon Cair Ltd Is A Leader In Its Market

Devon Cair Ltd is the leading supplier of high quality care to the disabled and elderly in their own homes in Torbay, Devon.   The success of the business is testament to Sasse and her determination and drive, but it was not always that way.

But It Was Not Always That Way

In 2009, Sasse invited me to help her rescue the business after her business partner had walked out leaving her ‘high and dry’ -  her ex partner had founded and started Devon Cair Ltd but, following a catalogue of bad business decisions, had brought the fledgling business to the edge of financial collapse; the business was losing money heavily and it urgently needed saving.

There Were Two Big Mistakes

Two BIG mistakes were made initially:-

  1. Grow The Business Too Quickly
  2. Trade In Too Large A Geographical Area

These were deliberate strategies, but they both created huge operating costs, particularly employment costs that were just not sustainable.

I very quickly identified the problems and suggested a strategy for turning the business around and Sasse wasted no time in implementing the plan.

Her quick and decisive implementation of the plan was key to the success of what we did -  every day delayed was more money wasted and the outflow of money had to be stemmed quickly.

There Were Three Main Recommendations

The main recommendations were as follows:-

  1. To reduce and consolidate the trading area to just serve clients in Torbay only, shrinking the trading area to just 5 miles from the company’s office from 15 miles previously
  2. To make drastic changes to staff rotas and to reduce the employee working hours so that the employment costs were directly related the revenue generated.
  3. To slow down the rate of growth for the business

Initially the number of clients and revenue were both reduced, but the costs attributed to serving the clients were reduced by a far greater amount, thus increasing the gross profit margin significantly.

A Profit Was Achieved After Just 5 Months

Within five months, the initial changes were complete and the business moved from a high loss into a good sustainable profit. From this position, Sasse then moved to consolidate the business and the net profit, further, and to gain growth by acquiring new clients within her new Torbay only trading area.

Sasse Has Resisted Extending Her Trading Area

Since then, some seven years later, Sasse has resisted the temptation to extend her trading area beyond Torbay but, instead, to consolidate and establish her company’s position as the premier provider of home care in Torbay.

The business now boasts an army of very happy and loyal clients and an army of equally happy employees serving these clients. The business is very sound financially and is now a great success.

Sasse Needs Little Marketing

One big indicator of her success is the amount of effort she puts into marketing her business -  in short, she devotes very little of her recourses to marketing.

The quality of her service is so great, that reputation and ‘word of mouth’ constantly create new clients for Devon Cair Ltd.. Competitors are continually seen spending large sums on advertising and that illustrates the large gulf between her and the rest.  Devon Cair Ltd do not have to advertise and so do not have this cost and, obviously, this elevates her margin.

Logo-10-300x160 My Greatest Business Coaching Success  ~  Coaching Alessandra Ruocco

Businesses That Create Word Of Mouth Always Do Better

Businesses that can create ‘word of mouth’ and harness it to grow, always do much better.

Historically, ‘word of mouth’ has been a major contributor to the success of my own businesses and I coach businesses to set this as a definite strategy for growing a business.

Such A Strategy Creates a Superb Product & Customer Satisfaction

Sasse has achieved ‘word of mouth’ by creating superb care for her customers and a high degree of customer satisfaction.

A combination of a superb product and a high degree of customer satisfaction will always achieve ‘word of mouth’ and, through that, growth.

Businesses Think That They Can Grow By Extended Their Geographical Boundaries

So many businesses think that they have to extend their geographical boundaries in order to secure new customers in order to grow their revenues and this invariably leads to financial weakness and failure.

The smart way, often, is to do as Sasse has done and to restrict the trading area, but to totally focus efforts on securing a high number of clients within that trading area, exclusively.

Such a strategy minimises the cost of gaining and serving new customers and Sasse proves that this can be a very successful strategy.

What We Achieved Was Spectacular

When Sasse and I started working together, the problems within the business were immense and it is was an awesome achievement to turn the business around in such a short period of time -  many businesses can literally take years to turn around.

Our achievement was immense and is something that is very rare in business.

Business Coaching Can Be Hugely Successful When The Advice Is Fully Used

But this is only possible, when the advice of a good business coach with a wealth of experience and knowledge is incorporated fully by a business owner. Sasse never questioned my suggestions and she implemented them fully without hesitation, delay or procrastination.

I am sure there were times when she did not quite understand parts of the plan, but she trusted me. I am also equally sure that once the results of the changes were evident, her understanding grew and became complete.

logo-11-300x160 My Greatest Business Coaching Success  ~  Coaching Alessandra RuoccoSasse Is My Greatest Success

Sasse is my greatest business coaching success because she implemented everything that I suggested and, as a result, she was a ‘dream’ to coach.

When I coach others, less success has been possible because business owners question my suggestions and ‘cherry pick’ my recommendations -  the result is always not so good.

I now avoid coaching any business owner who refuses to take all my recommendations.

It Was Not Just Strategy

It was not just strategy that I showed Sasse -  I also worked to strengthen her attitude and her business mind.  When questioned, the most successful 10% in business say that a strong positive attitude and an open mindset is more important than strategy in the attainment of their success.

Sasse already had a good positive attitude but I created a belief in her mind that she could make the changes and create success out of a bad situation.

So many business coaches ignore the importance of a strong business mind and mindset when coaching their clients.

I Showed Sasse To Think Differently & More Smartly

I also showed Sasse how to think differently and more smartly about her business -  by doing so, it ensured that all her business decisions and actions were also smart but, importantly, it ensured that all her decisions and actions were right for her business, too.

One example was to ‘think money’ -  I said that she should ‘think money’ in every decision.  Sasse typically embraced this fully and even wrote ‘think money’ in very big letters on her office files to remind her constantly.

You Can Emulate Sasse & Her Success

You can emulate Sasse and her success, too, but you have to be prepared to work with a successful business coach and to do everything that the business coach recommends without delay, procrastination or cherry picking.


Business failure is currently running at more than 50%, but the above scenario can achieve 100% success, which must be something that every business owner must want.

The 10% Club

Alessandra Ruocco is a member of the ‘10% CLUB’ – the club that includes the most successful business people in the U.K..

You can be the same, if you copy what she did.

Alessandra Ruocco Is Managing Director Of Devon Cair Ltd.

Alessandra-Ruocco-of-Devoncair-Ltd-300x160 My Greatest Business Coaching Success  ~  Coaching Alessandra RuoccoAlessandra Ruocco is Managing Director of Devon Cair Ltd, Paignton Devon and is a member of the ‘10% CLUB’.  

Find out more about her business at

If You Wish To Discuss This More Fully With Me, Please Contact Me

If YOU wish to discuss this more fully with me, then please email me at

Or please leave me a comment below.

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