Startup coaching - confidently take your first steps | Phil Drinkwater

Hey, I’m Phil Drinkwater

a business coach who helps you get your business off the ground in a calm and confident manner.

Starting a business is often filled with equal measures of joy and fear; let’s leave the latter behind and take just a few clear steps forward toward your vision.

On the side, I love to travel, cook and hike (although I’m a fair weather walker!)

I empower you to launch with self-belief plus plans

Business is a journey

I’ve been where you are a few times now. 

It gets easier – I promise you. 

What we don’t know can seem impossible

When you were a child you probably learned to ride a bike. It seemed incredibly difficult, but today you’d be able to hop on one and just ride. 

It’s the same with starting a business. There seems so much to know and do, and you look around at all of these thriving businesses and think you’re so far from that.

I totally believe in you!

And, yes, you are a long way off getting to their stage!

But they went through it too. They were were you are now. They started from nothing too.

You both can and will do this. You’ll successfully launch your business.

And I’ll be your experienced guide and reflective partner, who will help you ask the right questions, and pick you up again when you fall down. 


If I could take anything off your plate, what would you choose, and why?

When you’re just getting going, one of the most challenging questions to answer is … what first?

The steps to your vision are clouded

You might be able to see your vision in the distance, but what step or steps will lead you there?

If you’re not sure how it all works, you might lack confidence in taking any step, which leads to fear and resistance.

Your learning journey

That’s OK! You’re learning, and that’s a good thing. Successful businesses make tons of mistakes. 

I have.

At its real foundation, business is actually quite simple:

1. Create a product or service

2. Market it

3. Sell it

4. Iterate with improvements

Let’s tick some stuff off, and feel great!

But within that there are huge amounts of questions.

Let’s work out just a few steps, and upgrade your task list with impactful decisions.

5 incredibly useful steps when launching your business

There are plenty of steps you could take today, but what should you do? Here are some options for you, or for us to work together on if you need support to improve your effectiveness.


Every business starts with an idea. Often it comes from something you’re experiencing that you’re having difficulty with. That was the case with my first business. 

Make the idea as clear as possible, but don’t overwhelm yourself with version 2, version 3 and version 4 of it!


Is this idea possible? Do you have the ability to achieve it? Do you need additional skills? Would it make sense to have a business partner?

As yourself some searching questions to determine whether this really is what you want to sell.


Market research is key in reducing waste. Fortunately, automation today means it isn’t as costly. 

However, it can also be beneficial to consider a Minimum Viable Product, where you launch something tiny to the market to test desire.


Your business will likely need marketing and sales in order to get going. Aim not to spend too much on unnecessary professionalism, but take advantage of the desire for a more homemade feel.

Focus on what the business really needs to get started.


Once you know what is needed, it’s time to take action. 

Choose the tasks that will lead to success in your plan, and understand how to use your strengths most effectively to get the advantage you need over your competitors.

Tech, online, wellness, consulting and creative industry focus

Industry experience

I have a particular large amount of knowledge in several sectors, which leads to me working very regularly with agencies, online marketing, wellness and therapy, consulting and coaching, plus any kind of online and technology based businesses.

Other industries

This doesn’t mean I don’t help others find their path too. 

One of my current customers is launching a high-end home decor business. They’ve made incredibly progress in just a few months.

Human run businesses, and they hold themselves back

At its root, business is business and what truly holds people back is how they feel toward themselves and what they can achieve.

So while I have a focus set of industries, if you’re looking to launch and aren’t believing in yourself and your ability to make something from nothing, I’ll support you.

I’ll ask you the questions that will challenge your lack of belief and empower you to take action that will lead you to success, one tiny step at a time.

Are you mostly seeing the failures in your future?

Your amazing, but over protective mind

When we look forward at all of the ways that this could go, it’s natural and very human to spot the paths that lead to what you might call failure.

This can freeze us in place, where we stop taking any action at all, being afraid to fall.

Inaction and indecision are an incredibly common when starting a business, and they cause more challenge than taking a wrong turn.

Let’s fall, and get back up

But the thing about falling is that we have the ability to get back up again.

We did this very naturally as children, but as adults the pressures can get on top of us.

If you’re feeling like this, we can go slowly and tentatively, respecting that part of you that feels this is a daunting task fraught with pitfalls.

A Growth Mindset

And when you fall – and you will – I’ll help you to get up and try again, and we’ll try again with the amazing new learning you’ve gained about yourself and the world around you.

At that point, you’ve just begun on a path toward a Growth Mindset, where we can’t fail at all – we can only win or learn.

With complete truth, how do you handle what you see as failures and mistakes?

A brief history of my own startup

Working for others isn’t for me

Over two decades ago, I decided I’d had enough of working for someone else. Seeing them make mistakes. I could this better.

The internet was relatively new in 1999, although the dot-com bubble had just burst, but I still decided to back with a new type of directory.

Business mistakes galore

I made mistake after mistake. The largest and most costly in the first few years was not really understanding the business model of my customers.

Amplifying success with a new business model

Once that was understood, we realised we were standing on a gold mine, and we shifted our own model to support and align with theirs.

It was about two years in before the business became profitable, but I learned a valuable lesson; just keep going and enjoy the journey.

I know in a few decades you’ll be able to look back and see your success too.

Planning, goals and decisions made so simple, even I can do it! 😉

Does anyone really like doing business plans? 

It typically conjures up dry looking templates that you give to your bank, along with a desperate look.

Well, not any more.

I’ve made business planning, strategies and decisions simple and .. dare I say it .. actually enjoyable?

I can’t wait to share this with! You’ll love it!

Let's focus on what you really need right now, and leave the rest for later

We could start talking about business strategy, processes, teams, management and leadership, and those may be in your future, but let’s put them all to one side. What really matters now?


Brand is how people experience your product and service, and marketing is how you connect to them. These are the cornerstone of any modern startup, but that doesn’t mean they have to be perfect or costly.


Once you’ve connected with someone, how can you gently encourage them to part with their limited cash supply? Let’s understand your customers mindset and ensure you understand their objections.


At some point, you may want to take on some part time workers to handle tasks that aren’t your strengths, or work you dislike. This can be transformative for businesses, so let’s get it right!


Modern online businesses automate as much as they can in order to make as much as possible with their founders time. We can evaluate whether these will help to grow your business.

Which of these essential skill areas is most challenging for you?

The importance of identifying your target audience and ideal customer

Let’s define “being in business”

Did you know that, once you sell a single item, you’re in business? 

Well it’s true!

You could be in business this time next week! Or maybe, but that definition, you already are?

How can customers encourage themselves to buy?

But what’s regularly missing for new businesses is a clear idea of who they’re targeting, and what will push someone to buy.

Did you know, if you can attach to someones “want” rather than their “need”, you’ll sell more?

That’s true too!

Using an ideal customer avatar

Once we identify your ideal customer avatar, we’ll be able to put ourselves in their place and ask crucial questions like “how could this person push themselves into a purchase?” or “what emotions would encourage them to push the buy button?” or “what need is this purchase serving?”.

Marketers and sales people have been being successful in driving sales like this for decades!

Today, if we’re being really clever, we could even ask ChatGPT.

Get the advantage you need in business, and let’s be clear about your customer.

In our sessions, we'll find the areas to focus on which will be most impactful, and develop plans you'll take action on.

As the founder, it all comes down to you, so let’s ensure that any plans we make suit you as a person. You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, so if our plans don’t take you into account, they’ll fail.

Book your free 1-2-1 Success Strategy call
and uncover how to achieve amazing results for yourself.

Available online throughout the UK and internationally

What date & time suit you?
Book your free 1-2-1 Success Strategy call
and uncover how to achieve amazing results for yourself.

Available online throughout the UK and internationally

What date & time suit you?