Case Study

IO Coaching & Consulting

Samuel Thomson, Founder of IO Coaching Cosulting.

Case Study - IO Coaching & Consulting

In conversation with Samuel Thomson

I spent almost 20 years in corporate roles across marketing, general management and business transformation, working for industry leaders such as Procter & Gamble and L’Oréal (The Body Shop).


I started off on the consultancy side for a few years, doing mostly interim marketing/strategy director roles for a number of different businesses, including Catalyx (a digital-first consumer-insight agency) and Swedish Match (living their mission of “a world without cigarettes” and building the foundation for the global expansion of smoke-free, reduced risk alternatives to help smokers kick the habit).

I’ve always been passionate about leadership coaching, so have now built this into my portfolio, and I’m currently in training with Co-Active, one of the world’s leading coaching organisations. The idea was, quite simply, about finding a way to do more of what I love and am best at (coaching, leadership, transformation) and less of the other stuff required in classic corporate roles.

I also wanted to have more control over what I do and how I spend my time. Focusing on where I can make the biggest positive contribution.

The journey

Ups and downs, including the inevitable uncertainties of navigating a global pandemic. But I’m learning loads, getting to work with extraordinary people, and generally less stressed than I was in other roles.

The growth curve

As a solopreneur, you’re only as good as your last gig, and I haven’t always been able to jump straight from one role to another. Investing time in building out my network and in business development hasn’t been easy (and is still, frankly, a work in progress), but I’m increasingly confident in the value I bring to clients through both coaching and consulting, and I have a strong pipeline for the coming months.


Definitely understanding that running your own business is much more of a rollercoaster than having a permanent role. Making sure that there’s enough contingency in place for quieter periods, and seeing that time as an opportunity for learning and growth, rather than panicking about the short-term lack of day to day income.


The simple fact is that it’s all in my hands, and therefore I have full accountability and autonomy over every decision. Including deciding when not to take on something, and perhaps focus on even more important things (for example, learning or important relationships).

The future

I’m looking to expand my coaching business significantly, with a view to this becoming my main income stream in the next few years. I’ll be announcing some significant updates in the coming weeks on LinkedIn, so make sure you connect if you’d like to find out more.


Do it! Don’t wait until everything is 100%...move forward and iterate as you go. Better done than perfect.

Using 1st Formations

I was recommended by a friend who had set up his own company. Spend your time on the stuff where you really add value, and outsource the rest. This is where 1st Formations can add huge value.

The company formation process

It couldn’t have been simpler. It saved me a significant number of hours, and therefore represented great value to the business, not having to worry about things where I simply don’t have the expert knowledge.

1st Formations today

I’m a relatively passive user, taking advantage of the services for required updates from HMRC, company addresses and mail. But I do enjoy dipping into the newsletters and blogs from time to time, which I find both interesting and reassuring as I continue my journey.


We found 1st Formations online. They had great reviews, and I was also recommended by another business owner. They provide so many services which are affordable, so it was a no brainer for us.

Rupert Avery, Dos Mac Tacos View customer story
Rupert Avery and Charlie Avery, Founders of Dos Mas Tacos.