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The Power of Peer Support: From Bedroom Startup to £2.5M Turnover Powerhouse

Last year, Sheri Irons, the Commercial Director of Aylesbury-based SME INDSS, became a TAB North Chilterns and Oxford member. With the guidance and assistance of her facilitator, James Ross, Sheri made pivotal business choices that have significantly accelerated INDSS's growth.

This year, INDSS is on track to achieve an impressive £2.5M end-of-year turnover, thanks to critical strategic decisions and the support of The Alternative Board (TAB). Specialising in high voltage engineering and substation services, INDSS has secured contracts for high-profile projects such as Crossrail, Tideway, London Power Tunnels 2, and HS2. This success has led to remarkable growth, with the company more than doubling its turnover in just four years.

Sheri Irons, owner and commercial director of INDSS, attributes the company's upward trajectory to opening up to external scrutiny through joining TAB North Chilterns and Oxford in early 2022. TAB is a local business advisory group and coaching service that brings together business owners and leaders to discuss challenges and set individual targets in monthly private board meetings.

Sheri Irons

10-20 employees
Appliances, Electrical, and Electronics Manufacturing

"Working with TAB has had a huge impact on INDSS and has been the catalyst for three big changes within the business: investing in CRM software, employing a CRM manager and setting up quarterly strategic meetings. TAB has also helped me establish systems and structures that were needed to support the growth of the business alongside a long-term exit plan. The results within just a year have been incredible and TAB has given our team the confidence to pursue and win big contracts like HS2." 

Since joining TAB (UK)...

Sheri Irons

Sheri has made three crucial business decisions that have significantly contributed to INDSS's recent success:

  • Investing in CRM software
  • Hiring a CRM manager
  • Establishing quarterly strategic meetings

In addition to these decisions, TAB has helped Sheri develop systems and structures to support the growth of the business and create a long-term exit plan. As a result, INDSS has gained the confidence to pursue and win big contracts like HS2.

The results from working with The Alternative Board (UK)

In addition to these decisions, TAB has helped Sheri develop systems and structures to support the growth of the business and create a long-term exit plan. As a result, INDSS has gained the confidence to pursue and win big contracts like HS2.

Sheri also finds the monthly meetings with other local business owners invaluable. By gaining insights and advice from peers in different industries, Sheri has identified areas of improvement and driven INDSS to new heights.

"Spending time each month with other local business owners has also been invaluable. I had no idea how much fantastic advice I would glean from my peers even though they are working in completely different industries. It is almost impossible to step back from your own business and identify where change needs to happen so that external input has been transformational. Running an SME is not easy but the level of support I have gained through TAB has given me renewed ambition to take INDSS to new heights."

TAB's impact extends beyond INDSS, with over 2,000 UK business owners benefiting from the service. James Ross, the owner of TAB North Chilterns and Oxford, emphasises the power of entrepreneurial spirit and mutual support in helping business owners make the right decisions.

INDSS team
new office indss

"By embracing our entrepreneurial spirit and taking the time to support one another, business owners like Sheri can ensure they make the right decisions. Business advisory boards offer the perfect forum for this, enabling members to share commercial and even personal challenges with peers from an array of industries. It's a strategy that works incredibly well, and as INDSS has proven one which can be hugely profitable and rewarding."

INDSS work-1

Mark Fotherby

Sheri and her husband, Mark Fotherby, established INDSS without financial backing, leveraging their expertise in high voltage engineering, health and safety, HR, and project management. Today, the business has 13 full-time employees, including Sheri's children, Josh and Gemma, who have taken on integral roles in the company.

With TAB's guidance, Sheri has focused on her exit strategy, creating a plan that ensures a smooth transition as she and Mark gradually reduce their day-to-day presence in the business. This strategy will help INDSS continue to grow successfully in the coming years.

By investing in TAB's subscription-based business advisory, planning, and coaching services, business owners like Sheri can foster the growth of their local businesses and experience positive changes in their lives.

If you'd like to learn more about how TAB can help your business, please get in touch.


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