Profile Richard Gourlay

Richard Gourlay business mentor and strategic business advisor
Richard Gourlay management consultant and strategic planning consultant.


Richard Gourlay strategic business consultant and advisor

Profile: Richard Gourlay

Richard Gourlay is an experienced management consultant who has worked for a wide-range of companies over the last 30 years.  He provides advice and support to leaders enabling them to grow and develop their business.  Read more about Richard below. 


Richard Gourlay started is career working at Berghaus, the world class mountaineering company,  in its sales and marketing department. This iconic mountaineering brand was a world-class privately owned premium brand in its market. We simply developed and took to market the best technical products in the world that drove the growth of the outdoor market. That passion and focus on being work-class in every market by the whole company created an iconic brand within the sector.

The brand’s success pulled in non-outdoor high value users which expanded the outdoor market beyond its core market. Like to learn more about what the company does today, then click this link: Berghaus



In 1995 Richard went to join the Regatta Group to set-up a new brand Craghoppers. Richard’s role involved identifying the strategic opportunity for the brand. By identifying the brand’s competitive advantage coupled with changing market demands, the brand became the leading outdoor travel brand.

Craghoppers success was due to its response to changing social, economic and environmental changes within the outdoor market. Craghoppers benefited by identifying the opportunities which these changes created.  The demand by outdoor customers to travel and explore was supported by emerging growth of low-cost travel.

This customer demand was matched by new technology in fabrics and permanent performance treatments, enabling improved lightweight products. Retail business demand for new products resulted in a clear market opportunity for the brand. A position which Craghoppers could exploit and own with the outdoor market.

Craghoppers developed its unique service offering of rapid supply and resupply which provided a compelling channel partner relationship. This strategic positioning of the Craghoppers brand enabled it to become the fastest growing brand within the sector. Click here to read more about the development of Craghoppers

Go Outdoors

Richard was asked to join this stand-alone Sheffield store as its operations and marketing director. Created a vision for the brand identifying the opportunity for a one-stop-shop for the outdoors. Richard set an aggressive programme in place of change, moving the once family owned CCC into a flagship model of modern retailing. He developed a complete internal programme of operations to deliver a modern cutting edge outdoor retailer.

Through strategically planning we created a unique business model for Go-Outdoors.  Customer relationship was at the heart of the business through the loyalty card, the brand was an early adopter of personalised direct marketing. This innovative approach provided the brand with its sustainable competitive advantage in customer management. By using the Go Outdoors buying power coupled with its retail space the brand provided a genuine one-stop-shop for all outdoor products.

The unique discount card created a sustainable competitive advantage to Go Outdoors. By linking all promotions to a simple but effective customer relationship management system Go Outdoors created a direct relationship to its customers. This captured and converted loyalty to a focused strategic direct marketing of customers. We created the business model for the business to expand, creating a profitable model which was able to ride out the foot-and-mouth outbreak. Learn more about how we develop strategy by clicking: Cowden Consulting our approach

Richard also developed the rapid expansion of the Go-Outdoors brand developing the strategic business model which turned this stand-alone shop into the UK’s largest and fastest growing retailer. Through strategic planning we developed a clear business plan which succeeded in gaining venture capital backing.

The model is the template for the business today demonstrating the robustness of this strategy, Go Outdoors is the largest outdoor retailer in the country, with stores throughout the UK.

Equip Outdoor Technology:

Richard assisted Equip Outdoor Technology strategically develop itself into a market leading brand within the outdoor performance brand. The brand was an specialist product and OEM supplier of accessories. By buying the iconic Rab clothing brand, Equip Outdoor Designs was able to bring its expertise to revitalise this historic British brand.

Richard led the relocation of the the company from old WW2 huts to a cutting edge Derbyshire HQ, Richard enabled the leadership team to grow the business. Bringing in new people with diverse skills created a leadership team capable of supporting the brand’s growth and supporting the re-development and positioning of the Rab brand. The development of the leaderships mindset of moving the brand into the premium outdoor clothing market was critical in ensuring this plan succeeded.


With the successful acquisition and development of the Rab brand and redeveloping Equip Outdoor Technology to support and expand its retail brand names into 28 export markets.


Cowden is Richard Gourlay’s business working in partnership with Alison Gourlay a Chartered Accountant. Since 2003 we have provide companies with the support and expertise allowing companies to grow and develop with their plan to succeed.

Cowden has worked with a wide range of companies developing clear strategic direction for owners and leaders of companies, enabling them to accelerate their growth. Over the last 20 years Richard has worked with companies from PLC’s including global names like TUI, Office Depot, and Caterpillar amongst a host of others on long term strategic shifts in their business models. He has also worked with a wide range of SME businesses from renewable technology sectors, in IT, SaaS software, Finteach, consumer goods and B2C and B2B specialist product sectors. Richard’s consulting services provides resources, research insight and accelerator skills to businesses across sectors.   

Our expertise enables leaders to move their businesses into new emerging or growing markets, making them stronger, more successful and more successful within the markets which they operate.

Richard provides support to high growth companies and aspirational directors in creating, developing and driving growth. He works with senior leaders and business owners creating the direction and focus which creates and sustains successful businesses.

Developing leadership skills, competence and confidence is at the heart of what Richard Gourlay delivers to clients. Richard focuses on how to create and sustain a clear achievable vision, through to creating and sustaining change towards  delivering precise goals, Richard works with owners of high growth companies to grow and deliver their personal objectives.

Richard Gourlay strategic business consultant and advisor

Strategy The LEader's Role By Richard Gourlay author on leadership and strategy in businessStrategy: The Leader’s Role by Richard Gourlay

Richard Gourlay’s book Strategy: The leader’s Role provides a complete step-by-step guide to developing your leadership skills in creating and delivering a successful business strategy. With 164 pages broken into chapters covering every aspect of leadership skills needed to create your business strategy, Strategy: The Leader’ Role is your step-by-step guide into how to create your bespoke strategic plan for your business.

To order this book now by clicking the image or click here.

To learn more contact Richard Gourlay at Contact Richard Gourlay here no


Richard Gourlay Interim Director and Non Executive Director (NED)

Richard acts as a non-executive director (NED) and interim director, supporting businesses through interim or long-term management consultancy programmes tailored around customer needs. His work is focused around high growth businesses, in market sectors where challenges require innovative strategic thinking.

As an interim director Richard provides leaders teams with a highly experienced strategic leader, often operating as an interim commercial director. His ability to focus on strategic leadership, creating a market focus for growth and change within an organisation enables them to grow and develop intone with growth opportunities with existing and emerging new markets.

As a Non Executive Director Richard’s external independent advice focus’s high growth companies on their strategic goals and supports them keeping them on track to their goals. His external advice and a different perspective provides business leaders with an experienced NED who can add real value to the executive directors.

Like to learn how we help people then drop us a line click ‘Connect to Richard Gourlay now to learn more or contact us at here at Richard Gourlay



Richard Gourlay works with senior leadership people and teams to grow and develop businesses able to succeed within today’s competitive and fast changing business environments. 

Working with business directors to develop their business Richard Gourlay supports high growth business success working with directors to develop their skills

Developing leaders to succeed, by developing their skills and talent to successfully lead their business, with programmes of support.  

Supporting business owners and directors to fulfil their full potential through tailored mentoring programmes to enable them to succeed.

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