Rachel Hannan

Rachel Hannan

Rachel has a strong track record in both the corporate world, within a Big 4 firm and their consulting practice, and as an entrepreneur growing a range of businesses including one from start-up to £multi-million market leader in under 8 years. Since then she has become one of Yorkshire’s most active Angel Investors, investing well into 7 figures in businesses across a range of sectors including; technology, education, medical devices, food manufacturing, human capital and social enterprises.

In addition, Rachel is an experienced Board Advisor and NED. She is Chairman or Non-Executive Director for a number of the businesses she has invested in, as well as for other ambitious, high growth private companies. Her experience also spans broader Non-Executive roles as a charity Trustee and Chair, and she is also currently Deputy Chair of a University.

She has successfully delivered a range of client assignments across a number of industries but has a particular specialism in terms of supporting businesses in getting their strategy, business structure and management teams right to support future growth. Rachel also mentors a range of business leaders and also leads on BHP’s Business Leadership Academy and management development programmes.

Articles by Rachel


How to have (the right) impact in a new leadership role

As Elon Musk takes the helm at Twitter in the much publicised on/off/on again deal, it made me think about what a leader taking on a new role needs to do to make their mark.


Top tips for managing a myriad of challenges

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of senior people in SMEs asking for mentoring support and advice relating to dealing with new challenges to their business. They specifically ask for help in overcoming what could be…


What defines an entrepreneur?

What do you see when you picture an ‘entrepreneur’? Most people might imagine someone like Richard Branson or Elon Musk; a larger than life character or a disruptor who can turn anything into profit. Or someone who launches a successful start-up,…


Dealing with the ‘S word’: A practical guide to reducing workplace stress – part 2

The second part of our guide to reducing workplace stress focuses on how Managers and Leaders can reduce, not add to, the stress levels experienced in our businesses. So if you’re noticing signs of pressure or anxiety in your teams, here are a few…


Dealing with the ‘S word’ A practical guide to reducing workplace stress – part 1

We all know that employers looking after their teams’ mental health has never been more important. And arguably we’ve never faced such a perfect storm of world events that could potentially have a negative impact on our levels of anxiety,…


Three Motivational Tips For Your Team

It’s no secret that a motivated team delivers better results, and enjoys a higher level of job satisfaction and wellbeing. But knowing how to motivate your team is not always easy, especially if you don’t physically see them as often now hybrid…


Behind Every Successful Business is a Strong Team

Building a business relies on you creating and leading a team of able and committed people, who grow with the business and power its success. If you have real growth ambitions for your company, you can’t do it alone. You need to attract, develop…


So, you think you’re good at multi-tasking?

I’ve often heard leaders and managers say with pride that they’re great at multi-tasking, or alternatively, worry about not having this particular ‘skill’. I’m going to come clean; I’m not good at multi-tasking, and it’s taken me years…


Developing good habits to navigate change

Our recent business insights have looked at the importance of adapting to changing circumstances and how a constant barrage of information can leave us overwhelmed and, at times, unsure about how to move forward. So how can we focus on the messages…


How delegation can be your business’s secret ingredient

In our previous post, we looked at priorities and in particular the challenges that the current market conditions present. To be effective, you must ensure you use all the tools available to you - and delegation is one of the most powerful tools that…


How to Adapt to Changing Circumstances

Life today is constantly changing and presenting us with new challenges. We're experiencing a period of unprecedented and rapid change, and something that worked yesterday may well not work at all tomorrow.


More Tips for Supporting Employees’ Mental Health

We've previously emphasised the benefit to your business in supporting your employees' mental health. We saw that promoting an open culture is a key factor, along with monitoring situations that most often cause stress. Today we're sharing three…


Supporting Your Employees’ Mental Health

The issue of mental health used to hover on the murky side of illness, but we're now more aware of the need for support. People today are less reluctant to acknowledge and talk openly about their mental health issues, and employers are accepting that…


Finding the Perfect Pitch

Every business needs finance, and this means finding investors or shareholders who'll take a chance on your ideas. This is even more important in the charged climate of today's start-ups...


Why Habit-Forming Behaviours are Important

As an entrepreneur launching your own company or a career in business, you probably set out with a vision of where you wanted to end up. You may even have achieved your primary goal and gone further. Have you ever wondered why some people succeed…


In today’s world, why having focus is more important than ever

As we move into the Autumn it is increasingly apparent that one of the challenges we face and will do for the foreseeable future, is the reality of the “new normal’ and how we adapt to this environment as business leaders. …


Creating the climate for greener SMEs – part 2

In our last Business Insights, we looked at why now is the time for SMEs to embrace action to reduce their carbon footprint and suggested some small but important first steps you can take. …


Creating the climate for greener SMEs

As we navigate our way out of the Covid crisis, many are warning that the next crisis, that of global warming and a climate emergency, is just around the corner if not already here. …


Are you suffering from ‘potential problem paralysis’?

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of senior people in SME’s asking for mentoring support to help them overcome what could be described as ‘scenario overload’ or ‘potential problem paralysis’. Given the…


Do you love your customers?

We all know the importance of attracting new customers to grow our business. But if we are losing our existing customers along the way, we must find more and more new ones to stem the tide and get beyond our existing size. And that’s expensive and…


How to have that difficult conversation

If you’ve run a business or managed people for any period, at some stage or other, you will have had to have a difficult conversation with an employee or team member. These can be very difficult experiences. …


‘Timeboxing’ – is it time to throw out your ‘to do list?

As a previously self-confessed fan of the ‘to-do list,’ this is a tough question to consider. But a few years ago Daniel Markovitz published an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled ‘To-do lists don’t work’, and it got my…


Tame your ‘to do list’

I admit it, I’m a list person. Not just in business, but at home too. When I’m under pressure I feel more in control as I tick things off the list. When things are less fraught my list gives me structure and focus. …


Why good delegation is a vital ingredient for growth

Delegation – it’s probably one of the most useful tools for a business owner – and potentially the least well-executed. …


Habit-forming behaviours: why are they important

When you started out on your career or first set up your own business, you probably did so with a vision. It’s likely you had an idea about what you wanted to achieve or where you’d like your chosen path to take you, even if you weren’t yet…


Learning to love ‘Sales’ – Part 2

Last time we looked at how sales can get a bad rap and some ideas to overcome ‘sales phobia’ in your teams. Here are a few more ways to help your teams learn to love sales and contribute to your sales effort.


Learning to love ‘Sales’ – Part 1

‘Sales' can get bad press. But no matter how innovative your product, or amazing your service, if you’re not selling it then you will never have a thriving business. …


Leading in today’s world

It’s not easy being an effective business leader in today’s fast-paced and often pressurised and uncertain world.  …


Acting as a leader

In the last of this series, we look at the challenges of being a leader in today's world pose.. Not only are you facing the high expectations of your workforce, but you have to deal with unexpected circumstances such as lay-offs, returning to work…


What does good leadership look like?

We have looked before at some of the skills that make a good leader. Like most things in life, though, there has to be a balance. Good leadership is all about compromise, and juggling the different priorities presented by your business. …


Want to become a better manager? – Here are our top tips – Part Two

Over the next five emails, we are going to take a more in-depth look at leadership. …


Want to become a better manager? – Here are our top tips – Part one

Over the next five emails, we are going to take a more in-depth look at leadership. …


Top Tips to help you lead in today’s world

It’s not easy being an effective business leader in today’s world. The Covid world is unpredictable, fast-paced and there is a relentless need for efficiency improvement. In addition, customer demands increase, and it is vital that you meet your…


The Importance of Forward Thinking

When you contemplate the role you play in your organisation, are you working in or on your business? This may sound like an odd question. What does it mean, and what is its importance in business strategy?


Pitching for Perfection

Every business needs investors or shareholders who are willing to invest. This is especially the case with the fast turnover of today's start-ups. The most common procedure for finding investors is to pitch them with your idea. This means you're…


Making Your (Zoom) Meetings Productive

Meetings can be the bane of business, as people are required to devote a sizeable amount of their day to them. Are these meetings really necessary? Do they deliver any tangible results and, if so, do those results justify the amount of time spent in…


How well do you listen to your customers?

Our customers are the lifeblood of our businesses. Yet all too often when meeting prospective new customers we can be so keen to win their business we jump in all guns blazing, eager to convey what we can offer, why they should use us and why we’re…


Good leadership – what does it look like? – Part Two

Last time we looked at a few of the skills necessary to become a good leader. Like most things, however, leadership is a balancing act and one size rarely fits all. …


Good leadership – what does it look like? Part One

More than ever before businesses need good leadership to navigate them successfully through the current challenges and be ready for the ‘post-pandemic' era. But what is good leadership really, both for your business and your people? And how do we…


Looking After Your Team’s Well-Being in Lockdown 3.0 – Part 2

Last time we considered why it might not be ‘lockdown business as usual’ in this latest lockdown, the importance of a continued commitment to communication and being aware of the dangers of ‘Zoom fatigue’. …


Looking After Your Team’s Well-Being in Lockdown 3.0

We’ve endured lockdowns before and come through it. However, it’s probably also true to say after almost a year of uncertainty, anxiety and stress, both at work and at home, some in our teams may be suffering from higher levels of…


The Power of “adaptive leadership”

It’s no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has sometimes pushed our ability to adapt to its limits. But even before the words lockdown, furlough or ‘new normal’ become depressingly familiar, the benefits of adaptive leadership were well known…


The Business Case for Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a term we've used a lot recently and particularly how insufficient engagement among employees can lead to the business disruption that is sometimes critical.


5 More Motivational Tips That Cost You Next To Nothing!

In our previous blog, we suggested three tips for team motivation at no cost to you. Today, we're offering two more highly effective but still low-cost ways to increase your team's motivation.


5 Team Motivational Tips That Cost You Next To Nothing!

People work better when they're motivated, and at BHP we have first-hand experience and research to prove it. It's not always easy to know how to motivate your team, but our five top tips will really help. In this blog, we'll look at the first three…


Want to Strengthen Employee Engagement? Communication is critical

In our recent blogs, we've been discussing various areas of strengthening employee engagement. These include sharing your vision, organisational integrity, and the importance of effective management at all levels. In our final look at employee…


Want to Strengthen Employee Engagement? Here is how to become an effective manager

In our previous blog, we looked at strengthening employee engagement by sharing your vision and establishing mutual trust with your employees. Today we're exploring another key element that's critical to achieving a fully engaged workforce, and hence…


Want to Strengthen Employee Engagement? Here’s how…

Employee engagement is when people do a job because they love it rather than just because it pays their salary. It's where everyone in your organisation is on the same page and your performance and productivity start to demonstrate significant…


Want to become a better Manager? Here are our Top Tips

Is there a difference between management and leadership? This has long been a subject for debate, and depends largely on the difference between thinking and doing.


What makes an Entrepreneur?

Many people see entrepreneurship as an attitude of dogged determination in pursuit of the big buck. It's perceived as a fast track for talented individuals to succeed in business, but for most entrepreneurs that's not really true.


Top tips for getting the most out of millennials

Arguably millennial's have had a bad rap over the last few years, variously described as entitled, ‘Snowflakes’ and difficult to manage. Clearly this generation, generally described as those born in the 1980s and 1990s, are not all the same and…


More ideas to support your employees’ mental health

In our last email we highlighted the importance of supporting your employees’ mental health and how promoting an open culture and keeping an eye on the things that can most commonly cause stress can help. …


The business benefits of supporting your employees’ mental health

Understandably this year health is at the top of everyone’s agenda. Allied to this there’s been a big increase in the awareness of the importance of promoting mental wellbeing, and of the need to support those who find themselves suffering from…


The essence of good leadership

We have looked before at some of the skills that make a good leader.


The importance of wellbeing in the ‘new normal’

In our last few articles we’ve looked at how to aid transition to home working and tips for managing remote working teams. This time, we’ll suggest more ways to help maintain wellbeing and positive mental health in your teams.


Managing the ‘new normal’ of a remote team

In our last article we covered the transition to home working. This time we’re going to focus on some tips to help you manage the team once remote working has been established.


Remote working – the ‘new normal’

With a large proportion of our collective workforces now working from home, knowing how to support and manage them effectively is becoming increasingly important for most businesses.


Four C’s to help you lead

Aside from the direct health implications, it is perhaps the uncertainty around the duration and severity of the impact of Coronavirus that is one of the most serious issues we face - for individuals, our businesses and the broader economy.