Author Archive

The Unexpected Outcome

I know social media still has such a buzz about it in the business world and when I joined twitter it was purely for business reasons as I was looking at developing business opportunities. However as I was new to it I played with it a little before I sorted out a business twitter account.  The unexpected outcome from this is that it really has had an impact on my personal life as well.  All for the better.

I have been using twitter for quite a while now after much persuasion and encouragement   from @EssexSocial I have grown a substantial following resulting in some great friendships and business opportunities.  In fact I have found some people I actually feel closer to online than some people I know offline.

This last month has been an interesting time for me with lots of positive outcomes, some of which were totally unexpected. This has been both on a personal and professional level.

C’mon I Want to Know Now!

Business Head vs Human Heart

Business is all about figures and is widely acclaimed as the only language of business.  This is why Richard Branson can run an airline, a makeup company, a railway, a media company, Virgin Comics, a formula 1 racing team and the list goes on.  However there is always a human element. I’m not just talking the people involved but the heart of the business owner. If you are in business for yourself it’s because you are passionate about something.  Whether this is plastering, cabling, security, electrics or social media you started because you love it.  This is when the cold hard world of business and your heart start to do battle and sometimes in business this can be quiet often.  However, in life in general you can allow your heart to win more than not, but in business it has to be the head that triumphs more often.

Reality TV really reality?

It’s become a reality world on our TV and it’s proving to be addictive TV.  We have seen a big surge or reality TV in the last few years but did you know it all began back in the 1940’s with Candid Camera but really exploded in popularity in 2000 with Big Brother.  Since then we have seen programs such as X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Pop Idol, Popstars The Rivals, I’m a Celebrity, Dancing with the Stars and the list goes endlessly on.  More recently we have seen the genre develop more with main sub cultures appearing, such as programmes that focus such as professional life such as Airport, Miami Ink, Police Stop, and even a shift towards business building reality shows in recent years… such as Dragons Den and The Apprentice.

As a business owner I tend to pick and choose what I watch on the television carefully and I’ve been intrigued at this new type of television programming.

Planning your networking = more success

I am waiting for The Business Club East London launch so I have sought refuge in a coffee shop with what turns out to have lousy music and coffee to match. The wifi really is just as bad too!

 

I am sitting here thinking about what I want from the launch tonight.  Who I want to meet?  What I want to achieve whilst I watch the city employees scuttle home after their day at work and while I prepare for another few more hours work and not getting home until midnight. And probably a night on the sofa but that is a whole different story!!!

 

It has been said before that networking is perceived as just a jolly up… Joked that I’m a lady who does breakfast (not lunch or women only events!) but by the very definition networking is working.  I plan to work the room.  I plan to meet my targets.  I plan an outcome.  After all if I fail to plan then I plan to fail; as the saying goes.

 

My targets for tonight are:

  • Arrive on time or slightly early (coffee shop is less than 1 minute away)
  • Get a contact list
  • Find suitable contacts
  • Meet and talk to 5 people I don’t already know
  • Leave with 2 meetings

My target audience is:

  • Construction Industry – interior fit out companies, M & E companies, developers – Project managers, Estimators, QS’s
  • Technology industry – IT companies, Telecoms companies.
  • Education sector – colleges, primary and secondary schools, universities
  • Commercial property managers – facilities managers such as Regus, etc

Anyway I will report back on my evening as I am off to get there early!

 

Some time later….

Parenting as a Business Owner

Just to introduce myself I am a mum to two wonderful children, 6 year old Mia and 2 year old Charlie.  I also am wife to Paul Wilson and I own and run my own successful network cabling business, Precision Cabling Services, and in my spare time… hey who am I kidding?!?!

Recently it has been the Easter holidays at school followed by the Royal Wedding and then May Day which has proved to be very costly to small business in a tough economic climate you can argue the benefit of the wedding; however I am not going to talk about that.

During the school holidays my 6yo became sick and the doctors just said it was a bug and to wait it out and oh by the way the 2yo is likely to get it as well.  Gee thanks Doctor.  Well she wasn’t wrong but it has bounced around the house now since 20th April and still it lingers on. 

Now I got to thinking how difficult it is for an employer for a member of staff to be off sick with a child as there is no childcare available when one or all of your children are sick.  As an employer I would find it hard to cope for someone to be in and out like a yoyo for a long period of time, but I’m the one who has done it.  We all know that school/nursery won’t take sick children but I found grandparents run for the hills as well.  So back to mum or dad.  If you work in a large business the employee is not missed as much as they would be in a SME.  But when there are only a 3-4 people in an office for 25-33% of the workforce to be out has a significant impact.  I firmly believe that children are priority number 1; however, in my case the roof over our heads is paid for by the business which is still only young and building nicely.  With all the bank holidays recently we have seen lots of projects put on hold until May. 

A small bonus of having my own business is that I get on really well with the boss, but I have members of my team who rely on me.   The impact is not only felt in the office, but with the workload.  With 25-33% less people working the workload is still the same, everyone feels the pressure.  There are the deadlines to meet and usually that’s when the children need you most, appointments cancelled whilst I try to work remotely as and when possible and then be up during the night with children.  There is no balance or routine as it can change in seconds when they are poorly.  Then as a parent I felt that you should be caring for the children rather than working, but then I needed to get the work done.  It was so different as an employee in a financial institution rather than business owner.  When I was employee when you go home that’s it, but as a business owner you tend to be always thinking of the business, work to be done, projects and so on.  But at the end of the day it’s the balance and routine that keeps you sane.  Once you have the balance right you feel as if you are actually getting somewhere, but when the children are ill the balance goes.

Keeping it real

I recently tweeted about publishing my first blog and then what seemed very randomly got asked to become a blogger for bizblognet. I trust @robjcameron and @leesmallwood so as they pushed me towards it I agreed. Big gulp!

Now I had to come up with an idea to write about…. Long pause and whirling cogs…. Then thought I should draw on my own experiences about being in business. To coin a phrase keep it real!