Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No9 – Amanda Hamilton

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Name: Amanda Hamilton               Twitter name: @ dreamingspain amanda-hamilton

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?

Shifting my focus between managing/marketing and PR-ing, running solo a lovely guest house, whilst being (and loving being) a single parent, realising that I also want to paint more.  So the challenge is in embracing honestly what I really want, & balancing it with not being a lazy git (which is so easy).  Plus accepting that everyone needs time out INCLUDING me – that’s a big one!

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Taking time out.  Through quiet time, meditation, talking with real friends who know me well, I’m getting clearer about what the future needs to hold, and creating it.  Scary, but necessary

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Not consciously … but then my SM friends would probably contradict and say that my SM profile is high enough now for there to be a level of curious interest in the latest developments.  I just enjoy talking to the people I enjoy online – and if that disperses out into the wider world, then I consider myself accidentally fortunate.  I can’t do real sales, it’s just not me,

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

Phew …. To know that, deep inside yourself, you ALWAYS have what it takes to move into the next phase of your life no matter how hard you find that to believe.  And if you don’t believe that, to get your best friends around you and ask for their help.  That’s what they’re there for.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

A huge role.  My emotions are my biggest clue.  They tell me how I feel about anything and everything.  By knowing that, I can follow the next right step before making a decision.  And my intuition is usually right.

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Always – especially the scary changes – by digging deeper and deeper, the gifts I find within me are usually the most important.

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why? seaside-st-ives

My paintings – when I feel wobbly, I paint – and that shows me how I’m feeling about any given situation.  By  taking time to be with myself, I learn more about what it is to be me – and right now, that’s really important.

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No8 – Romany Thresher

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Name: Romany Thresher    Twitter name: @directassist  Romany Thresher

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?

Realigning my business to a specific niche. At present, there is an abundance of virtual assistants popping up all over offering similar services. In order to differentiate my business from competitors, I now specialise in a particular area. For existing clients I have done an excellent job at handling all their social media and online presence. Increasing online visibility is something they know is important but something they do not have the time or inclination to do day-in-day out. It’s a little bit scary but first impressions are that I am getting much more enquiries than before. My existing clients have all received massive benefits and that has given me the confidence to take this big step

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Continuous research plays a very important role for me when dealing with strategies, monitoring and keeping track of new ways and methods to do things. What has helped me a great deal in being efficient is my constant hunger for learning which has now made me a bit of a girly geek as some have suggested.

My strategy is one of changing systems, processes and marketing material to meet the new focus.

For example, revamping my site content, training existing staff, and looking at the packages that I offer clients.

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Yes I am most definitely using social media as a part of my strategy. It’s what I do for clients so I have to be great at it!. .

We have developed a social community to interact more closely with community members so we can learn to understand their needs and provide resources and tools which can help them minimise their costs whilst increasing visibility.

Attend networking events, continue to blog, participate in targeted social networking communities and make use of Twitter to communicate, share tips and relevant information to help business owners establish themselves and increase their online visibility using social media, events and workshops.

I currently manage accounts for existing clients who supply me with their content and are struggling to maintain their online visibility on a regular basis so that they can focus on more face to face networking and other areas of their business which needs their attention.

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

Change is necessary for growth both personally and professionally.

Change is something we need to do constantly in order to grow. Life has a way of putting us in a situation where we are forced to change direction. I call these times growing pains as it often comes with some form of calamity. Focused change is when you know what your ultimate life goal is and you make a decision to change and focus on bringing about change, this often comes with very pleasant gifts.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

Emotion plays a very important part in change. I still have to work on my emotions and often fear mixed with excitement will be my emotion, this can sometimes stop me from moving with change. Thankfully I am strong willed and am not held back by my emotions

If you embrace the change things will happen. If you resist change, which I have done a few times in the past, the doors close, the opportunities cease to present themselves and it seems twice as hard to get to where you should’ve been in the first place.

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Yes, often. The greatest gift change brings to me is the people who come into my life. They are often very precious and valuable.

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

Not changing symbolises death for me. Change on the other hand, symbolises life, ever growing and experiencing new things which then gives you the ability and opportunity to help others and add value to the people around me.

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No7 – Stephen Bray

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Name: Stephen Bray Twitter name: @Stephen_Bray

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?  Stephen Bray

Building a brand new business from a beach hideaway.

The ‘beach hideaway’ doesn’t really matter, but building a business is always a challenge.

One challenge that stands out is the personal development equation. Do I play to my strengths, leverage my core skills but stay essentially the same, or do I work at overcoming ‘blockages’ or ‘weak areas’, extend my neural maps in the hope of a ‘bigger’ more ‘enriched’ life?

Logic, and many gurus, would urge that I focus on what I know, and what works, but I’m a glutton for learning so although my business might be all the bigger for it, just using ‘core training’ doesn’t work for me.

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

I keep a diary to monitor what’s working today, and also jot down what I want to change, and when, as the business grows.

But that’s just one strategy. I also like to speculate on what I might do if certain components of the business were to be removed, for example if there was an earthquake, (a very real possibility in Turkey), how I would continue to operate. This frequently provides unexpected solutions.

Since I’m self-employed ‘thinking days’ are important. These really are days off spent swimming, or on other family activities, but my best ideas tend to emerge when I’m not faced with a computer. They help keep life in perspective and remind me when I’m spending too much time on my business and insufficient on my other interests.

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

I make lots of video, but tend to deliver it via AmazonS3, rather than YouTube etc. The reason is that I can then deliver different types of video to different audiences.

Social Media I think of as a means of making relationships, although delivering great content can play a part in that. Really though I should use Social Media in a co-ordinated way. At present my Social Media presence reflects the ad hoc way it evolved.

For example I built my Ecademy Profile when I was still commuting to cities to deliver face-to-face training, supervise family therapy clinics, and consult to family business owners.

My Facebook account started as a means to communicate with my wider family and friends, before the marketers moved in. I haven’t really done much to optimise it as a means to get business. YouTube and Twitter are experiments at present.

To make these work effectively I would need to devote some time to creating recognisable profiles, and also planning what would, and would not, be included when posting to each account.

This is what I recommend to others in ‘Your 52 Week Internet Marketing Program’, which is one of my Free Products. The time has come now to take my own public image in hand.

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

Use a pen and paper to record your achievements, track what’s working, see how far you’ve come, and sketch out future plans.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

Emotionally charged decisions are rarely good ones in the business world, but businesses based on a love of life, people and planet will inevitably thrive today.

Understanding the emotions of others also is pretty essential to building relationships both with colleagues, and customers. It helps to know your own emotional foibles too and then take responsibility for them.

Remember people sometimes react adversely to change so emotional outbursts and panic decisions are common, so staff need to be trained to cope with challenges.

Intuition is more complex. I think that traditional people had a feel for the weather and the land that enabled them to lead nomadic existences. Most reading this will have lost that ability but we still have developed visceral responses to situations based upon our own life experiences.

If a change matches some previous experience in some way the story that was involved may not be immediately replayed, but instead a person may experience what they perceive as an ‘intuition’. This may be helpful provided the sensation really seems intuitive, rather than the invocation of blind panic.

So I tend to trust my intuitions and go with them even when they may appear illogical. Later I may well see why the decision to follow an intuition was a good one.

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Wouldn’t life be dull if every day were the same as the one preceding it?

Change brings unexpected gifts ~ but this isn’t necessarily a reason to force changes to happen.

On the other hand when a business is slowly dying it can be a good idea to create a crisis. The managers get ‘sharper’, business plans get tighter and the ‘dead wood’ leaves.

Maybe the business finds a new direction, or identity?

My business isn’t facing that kind of challenge. The decision though to stop travelling and base my business in this beach hideaway location has some parallels.

Since I changed direction I’ve met a whole new network of contacts and colleagues and I enjoy communicating with them enormously.

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

The dawn always represents change to me. I’m often awake to witness it and no two dawns are the same.

It holds out the special promise of new people, mysteries, events and challenges, yet it is a quiet time when I feel as if I might be the only inhabitant of our world.

Of course as the dawn ends and the day begins I’m called back into the society of others with all their stories, dramas and scripts and that’s good too because, unlike the dawn when I feel a timeless connection to the moment, the day with its computers and timepieces speaks of mortality.

Will I survive the day? Might some disaster befall and remove me from this place?

Have I done all in my power to leave others without debt, or bad feelings?

What unfinished business needs attending to first?

Get on it!

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No6 – Christine Miller

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Name: Christine Miller        Twitter name: @ChristineMiller

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?  christine miller

Our main challenge at present is transitioning – engaging a wider audience for our magazine ReSource by raising awareness of our profile and value proposition as an essential source of information and guidance for intelligent living. Variously described as ‘a masterpiece’ (Tony Buzan) ‘highly important work’ (Edward de Bono) and ‘envelope-pushing’ (Tom Evans), we’ve also been describes as a ‘well kept secret’, which is perhaps charming – but not conducive to fulfilling the huge potential of our offering.

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

We are doing this by changing the way we present our content from mainly offline to fully online. This transition meets the needs of the market better – by bringing our five year archive of rich information to new markets, it serves different types & generations of readers; it enables us to deliver relevant knowledge more quickly, and gives us the ability to provide the community input and interactivity our supporters, fans and readers want. We have researched reader wishes and requirements and so we have a revamped multi-media website in progress, offering online content with differing levels of access for members and readers.

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Yes, social media is very important to our strategy; we use a number of social networking sites such as Ecademy, LinkedIn and Facebook, plus blogging, Twitter and Friendfeed to increase our presence, build relationships and showcase content. I am building targeted groups and providing relevant content for them to demonstrate value and contribution, and we will be using YouTube and our own TV channel to deliver video content.

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

Recognise that change is constant and inevitable. We change with every thought and every breath – it’s a paradox in that we appear to stay the same, but in fact we are in an ongoing state of change. There’s a difference between natural change, such as the seasons; planned change, such as the scenario described above; and unexpected change, such as a life-threatening illness or sudden loss. Whilst all change requires adjustment, it’s when change is unexpected and/or we feel we’re not in control of it that real discomfort arises, so it’s important to learn some tools for staying in control of our own responses. Remember to breathe – pause, reflect, listen, then act. Stay flexible and alert and recognise change as an opportunity to grow – often the change that appears most disconcerting and uncomfortable contains the greatest benefits. It’s a question of taking a perspective that allows you to look for that benefit, staying open to possibility and adjusting your actions to respond appropriately.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

In my experience, emotion and intuition are two different things. When I’m dealing with sudden, unexpected and apparently undesirable change, and if there is resistance, I tend to adopt a reflective approach and examine the emotions I’m experiencing around it, and ask myself if the feelings produced are based on reality and truth, or on fear of the unknown.

Intuition, or gut feelings, plays a large part for me in decisions around dealing with change. I trust my intuition, and have much experience of that first inner prompt being the right one; when I’ve ignored it, I’ve lived to regret it!

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Yes, absolutely. Blessings in disguise; I’ve even written a poem and blogged about that topic. In my experience, the gifts or blessings are sometimes hidden to begin with, and reveal themselves as events and time unfold. Once I’ve processed the immediate response around a change, I endeavour to operate from the present (recognise the ‘present’ of the present) and say to myself about the unexpected: ‘it is what it is, how can we make the best of it?’

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

This poem* (see extract below) was written at a time of great change both for me and some close friends, and it expresses how I respond to change. I also like the ‘change’ idea of metal being tempered in a forge – subjected to great heat, moulding and pressure in order to emerge as a purified, refined and much stronger element with greater longevity and higher purpose.

Previous Interviews:

* Blessings for Everyone

Whatever happens
In our lives
We can learn from it,
Accept and assimilate the experience
As a Blessing.
Often,
When I was a little girl
My mother would advise me
After some disappointment,
Some less than perfect event,
That it was
Probably
A blessing
In disguise.
It has taken me a long time
To fully appreciate
The wisdom inherent
In those words.
Now, I can see
Clearly
How So many things
That have and
Have not
Happened
Are really, truly
Blessings.
What I have gained
From my less glorious times
Has been immeasurable
Wealth,
In Emotional
Mental and
Spiritual
Realms.

© Christine Miller 2006

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No5 – Nikki Pilkington

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Name: Nikki Pilkington      Twitter name: @NikkiPilkington

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?nikki_bigger

As the business that I run and the industry that I am in is ever changing, it is difficult to pinpoint one area of change that is a challenge. In Internet Marketing change is constant, as new and more effective ways of marketing myself and my clients spring up all the time.

Whether the birth of a new way of promotion, or the decline of an old and previously trusted way, it is important for me to keep up with change, and alert my clients and potential clients to such fluctuations.

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

I constantly research and test my industry, and take advice from my peers. I’m of the mind that no matter how long you’ve been in any business, you can only grow by learning to adapt and change to the climate around you.

Those that refuse to grow, adapt and listen will find themselves left far, far behind when they might have been frontrunners.

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

The majority of my business comes from social media marketing, as it should be in my industry! Credible online networking websites such as UK Business Labs and BT Tradespace, social applications such as Facebook, blogging in places such as Business on Twitter and 299 Steps, microblogging on Twitter, as well as participating in a number of private clubs, including Last Thursday, private Facebook & LinkedIn groups, and private Ning forums are just a few of the ways I use social media for my own business and for those of clients.

With the above, and a few extras, I cover all of the important places for my company to be seen in order to develop reputation and gain credibility as well as clients.

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

If something clearly isn’t working, then standing by it and flogging a dead horse is probably not the wisest thing to do. Change is a factor of life, learn to accept it, make decisions and move on.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

A huge part, but that’s not to say that I make decisions lightly. If something needs to change, the start of knowing this is probably intuitive and emotional – the ‘how to deal with it’ and ‘what to do’ are logical thought processes and more on the practical side.

So, I may make the decision to stop using a certain method of promotion because my gut instinct tells me it is bad / not working any more. Without researching and putting facts to my emotional theory, I would be mad to change. Once logic and facts are in place, then it becomes obvious whether or not change is needed.

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Absolutely; I think it’s true that change can be a scary thing to face, but once a decision is made and the change has happened, then it’s worth looking for the good things that have come out of it, rather than hankering after days gone by. Change happens for a reason, and some of my best friends / clients and business ideas have come about because of change I wasn’t sure about in the beginning.

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

To see how change can be a good thing in your business life, read any business book by Richard Branson – the Virgin story is one of constant change and well worth researching if you’re afraid of change

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No4 – Penny Power

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Name: Penny Power Twitter name: @pennypower

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?(Multiple values) Penny Power Thomas power ecademy PR gallery glen watkins

Helping business people understand that social networking is critical when they are building their business and brining context and understanding to the way that Social Media is a tool but cannot be used in isolation to networking

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Blogging, writing my book (Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me, available 20th August 09). Training, speaking, 121’s, basically any way that I can communicate, share and learn

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Totally, by blogging, Tweeting, YouTube, Slideshare, Private Messages.

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

To learn the new world philosophies of being open, random and supportive to others and move from the old world of being closed, selective and controlling.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

I am very emotionally driven, I believe change happens in the heart and then the brain interprets it and makes it logical and provides the methods and the means to communicate it

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

I totally believe in serendipity and trust and since I have embraced an open and non-filtering attitude to global networking my life has become richer, both emotionally and financially.

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

When I witness people letting go and trusting in their instinct and in others, also when they stop thinking about the money and start to consider the contribution, then the change creates the financial results they used to target but now they achieve without the control they wanted originally.

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No3 – Ces Loftus

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Name: Ces Loftus          Twitter name:@Ces_Creatively

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?Ces Loftus

Over the last 6 months or so I have done a lot of embracing change. I run Creatively Minded Design with my husband Jay and due to the economic down turn a lot of small businesses in the genre that we had previously worked with were cutting right down on their design and marketing expenditure or cutting it out altogether. However, the current financial climate means there is actually even more benefit to standing out from competitors with a professional business image and a consistent clear message.. Our business has done just that and evolved to really focus on the angle we can deliver the strongest benefits in and now the challenge remains in opening the eyes of other business owners..

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

The approach I have to helping fellow business owners to understand the rewards that from focusing on the right product or service for the right target market. I have written articles and blogs, started groups, I also help people with a business image health check, identifying their best products and target market, and attracting the right customers., ensuring you don’t risk damaging your great business reputation by not looking professional.

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Yes, Social Media a provides a great platform for connecting with fellow business owners. Ecademy is a good network for blogging and sharing knowledge. I use Twitter to Tweet direct tips and links to really constructive articles. I have also recently started introducing many of my Twitter followers to the benefit of having a professionally branded twitter profile background in order to stand out on twitter and get more followers. Your twitter profile background can be used to display a clear message about what you do, perhaps display a short testimonial to show your credibility and raise brand awareness through the use of your logo, slogan and business colours. Having a professional image that stands out instead of a generic background will help potential followers to identify you as someone who is confident in the value of their business and is worth following.

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

Sometimes change comes as a result of something we have had our hearts set on and been planning and working towards for some time. Other times change is something that is just thrust upon us by circumstance and it may not have been part of our plans at all. My top change tip is to embrace change. Even if at the time it looks like a change for the worse, with the right attitude and drive all change can bring about something good one way or another. The way we experience and deal with change shapes us as people and defines the path we are taking to move on. The way we accept, understand and use change to our advantage in business can catapult us to realising a new and exciting business potential we did not even realise we had.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

Change undoubtedly pulls at emotional strings. Change can be scary. Change can really shake things up and mean you need to take a step back, take a deep breath and re think the direction you are going in. This is true on both personal and business levels alike. I have seen many clients who have been reluctant and resistant to change their business image at all when I first started working with them. They had a set idea about what they liked visually and that is how they had been doing business for some time. They saw change as a risk and not the opportunity for business development and influencing sales growth that it actually was. I worked with them to help them understand that their business image was not just a pretty picture and was a part of their business reputation. Then their intuition kicked in and together we tweaked their business image, keeping a consistent clear message throughout applications so their ideal high margin clients would very quickly see the value in doing business with them.

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Yes change can bring unexpected gifts. Many of the professionals I have worked with have found the changes we made to their business image have not only succeeded in immediately attracting the ideal category of clients they wanted but they have caught the attention of even bigger fish and won significant contracts because they were now being taken more seriously and were getting noticed for the right reasons.

A gift I have personally received as a result of our business embracing change and focusing on developing a business image advantages for clients is in several projects I am delighted to be working on at the moment. Due to the success we have been having and steady flow of work from people who understand the value we add to their business, I am in a position where I can afford lessen the pressure on the business accelerator pedal a little and give some time advice and design work to some worthy causes as gifts in kind.

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

In life often little changes can add up to make a big difference.

Changing the way we live, reducing water waste, saving electric, recycling, meat free days and so on. Small changes in our work life balance to make more time for family and enjoying life is very meaningful too. From a work perspective, I advise clients daily that making small changes here and there within their business image can have dramatic and wonderful results.

I embrace change now and I know in business, that in opening clients eyes to the changes that will help them develop their business image and really stand out, good things will come of it.

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No2 – Sarah Arrow

Friday, June 12th, 2009

This is the second in this series of interviews.  I can think of few people who have taken to using social media more successfully than Sarah.  Indeed it has been so natural, that i wonder if she realises how big a change it really represents?

Name: Sarah Arrow               Twitter name: @Essex_courierSarah_Arrow

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?

Sarah: Our main challenge at present is one of  change regarding the managing processes that we use. My personal challenge is deciding whether to remain in transport and continue with the courier business that I work in with my partner and husband, Kev or whether to go back and work in recruitment for the harder to help.

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Sarah: We are undertaking a historical review of the processes and working out whether they are essential to the business, this is a very time consuming process. We opted for this method of review as it’s more thorough.

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Sarah: Not for this particular change project, but we use social media extensively

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

Sarah: Resistance is futile…  :-) Change happens in all businesses and it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference. Pretending everything is going to stay the same will just get you stuck and that won’t benefit you or your business. In fact it will hold you back.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

Sarah: I get very passionate about certain aspects of the business and when that happens I have to take a step (or three) back and think about whether I am achieving what I want. Kev (husband and work partner) is far more controlled emotionally and his intuition is very good.

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Sarah: Oh yes, that’s the best thing about change :) the change in our marketing from offline to online has brought us a consistent stream of work, so that was a gift. We are looking at doing more offline networking again and that is already starting to look really good and that was totally unexpected.

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

Sarah: A snow globe, you shake it and it looks different but underneath the snowflakes everything is still there.

PS>  I want to thank Sarah for her idea of doing this series of interviews… just another example of her innovative use of social media

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneurs Interviews No1 – Andy Preston

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

This is the first in a series of interviews with some very interesting and successful people who are actively using social media, and as expected focuses on Change:-

Name: Andy Preston                                       Twitter name: @AndyPreston

clip_image001 What is your main Change challenge at present?Andy Preston

Andy: With my company and my clients, it’s adapting to the change in market conditions down to the economy, and also coping with growth of my business.

clip_image001[1] What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Andy:  Like I’m advising all my clients – time to re-look and possibly re-engineer their businesses to cope with the change in economic conditions. There may well be less demand for a previously best-selling product or service, and it might mean ‘tweaking’ that, or launching a new product or service, specifically targeting opportunities that the change in market conditions have brought.

It’s a good time for companies to look at what’s working in their business, and what’s not – and put a strategy in place for dealing with it. For us, it’s meant more of a focus on working closer with a smaller number of clients than in the past – to focus on generating substantial results for them, rather than small pieces of training with lots of clients. That way, we’ve been able to quantify ROI very quickly and each piece of training is paying for itself immediately – giving a budget to pay for further work with the same client.

It also should be a time for many people to focus on ‘new business’, and many know they ‘should’ be doing so, but lack the knowledge, skills or motivation to do so.

As far as the ‘growth’ challenge goes, we doubled in turnover in the past 12 months, and also went from mainly a 1 person business with support to a small business of 4 people. It’s meant that processes and procedures have had to be put into place that weren’t needed before. It’s been important to get everyone to buy into the vision of the company, to understand what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what we’re trying to achieve. It’s meant a lot more focus on strategic objectives and driving those through with individual staff members.

clip_image001[2] Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Andy:  Yes! When I brought my new marketing person on-board, their first task was to put together a social media strategy and implementation plan. I felt we weren’t taking enough advantage of our website, blogs, twitter, facebook, linkedin, ecademy et al.

We’re now looking a putting a mix of messages out there via these methods, some social, some business and some a mix of both, to help raise awareness of what we do and how we can help people. We’re already seeing a return on the time invested in that.

clip_image001[3] What is your top Change tip?

Andy:  In the current climate, it’s the more flexible organisations that are doing the best. Sometimes that means the smaller ones, sometimes it means larger ones that are willing to ‘pioneer’ the necessary changes, to stay ahead of their competitors.

Therefore the more nimble and flexible you can be as an organisation, the better your chances of adapting to the changing market conditions you find yourself in.

clip_image001[4] What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

Andy:  Sometimes you have to take risks. At best some decisions to change are ‘educated guesses’ which have a lot to do with intuition and emotional intelligence, plus the ability to watch closely at the direction you’re taking and make adjustments as you go along. This is far more prevalent for organisations now than in the past.

clip_image001[5] Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Andy:  Yes! The change in market conditions has brought more enquiries and more work for us than ever. By changing some of our offering, we’ve been able to maximise the opportunities presented to us, and we’re already up 20% on last year’s figures – which were double what we’d achieved previously, so I’m pleased with how things are going.

clip_image001[6] What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

Andy:  The book ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ – I recommend to a lot of my clients going through a process of change. Fantastic read and short enough to make the point but ensures it gets read.