SERIAL entrepreneur Spencer Gallagher told Basingstoke businesspeople that getting the mindset, culture right in business is the priority for success.

With a client base of 400 and a turnover of £40m he has set himself the goal of helping agencies grow to their first “£3m to £5m turnover” through his consultancy business Cactus.

Having sold his original multi-million pound marketing agency over a decade ago, the Hampshire businessman said he found himself needing to find a new purpose. “I was a serial entrepreneur and having business ideas every five minutes, but I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

Spencer said he tried other things, including attempting to set up a wallpaper business, but they did not quite make the mark.

Speaking at Basingstoke Business Matters, an event organised by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, he said the development of Cactus came out of chance.

The event was organised at the Basingstoke Country Hotel and in association with the Gazette, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Lamb Brooks Solicitors and Basingstoke Together.

“He said, after I sold my business a friend from another agency rang me up and said he was struggling, that they were losing money and thought they were going to go out of business”

Spencer met his friend, offered his advice and was pleased to get a call three months later reporting success. “My friend said it worked. I told him I was not surprised because he had probably been making the same kind of mistakes I had made.

“He said the business was transformed and it had only taken three months. Even to this day out of all the clients I have worked with he is the one client who literally did everything I said. This guy did it to the letter and it made me start thinking maybe I should do this full time.”

He went from “£1.2m to about £2.8m in fourteen months organically, which made the value of the business £4.2m from what was a loss-making business. And then word got around and others said you should do this, and this was where Cactus was incarnated from.”