James Reade is one of the founding directors of SME Advisers Ltd, a management consultancy firm he recently set up with Worcester law firm SME Solicitors and sharing their offices in Sansome Walk.

James, 53, grew up on the Wirral but moved to Worcester in 1989.

Starting out in commercial roles and growing into general management positions, James’s career has spanned the newspaper, confectionery, soft drink and alcohol industries.

He has held leadership positions on the boards of companies in the UK, Ireland, China and South Africa and has experienced many different business scenarios across his 30 year career.

Between James and his fellow directors, Ian Stirzaker and Yvonne Tivey, SME Advisers provide advice and assistance to businesses in the Midlands.

James said: "What we all bring to the table is a wealth of experience.

"The chances are that most situations that come up in a business, we can offer practical advice on how to deal with them based on our own personal experience.

SME Advisers Ltd helps businesses with a range of issues including acquisition and sale, mergers and joint-ventures, start-ups to mature enterprises, marketing, business development & sales, strategy & exit planning, exporting, franchising & licensing across many business sectors, including professional services and not-for-profit.

An example of this is the work James has done with SMEs to help the shareholders separate their status as owners of the business from their roles working in the business.

He said: "One of the big things I have noticed is that people often set up small or medium businesses and it becomes them.

"What you have to do in owning and running a business is be able to separate yourself from the business.

"If you can get the right people with the right ideas in to help you, it makes your life so much easier."