31 October 2018
This is my first blog. In all honesty, I never thought I’d write a blog, it’s not really my thing, but what can I say – Pam (our PR person) is persuasive. So, after much procrastinating – I’ve been to the kitchen 3 times now, straightened everything on my desk twice and checked my empty voicemail (even though I knew I had no messages) – I’d better get on with it.
As always, in the life of a business owner, the month has been super busy, full of surprises, rewarding some days and tough others. I’ve been out and about loads – India and I exhibited at Procurex – the UK’s premier public procurement event. This was a great opportunity to meet up with existing key public-sector clients and engage with potential new clients too. India has made an engagement plan post event and has committed to delivering on all commitments by 1st November. It was brilliant to work with her on this and to see her take ownership of the ROI. I have to say, the cheese and onion pasties at the SEC were a particular highlight too.
I was also on 4 panels at the EventIt Best Practise Forum in Edinburgh – this was a fantastic event for the Scottish Events Community – great insight from a strong and diverse panel and really good fun catching up with industry colleagues – particularly in the bar afterwards – thank you Georgina Phillips and EventIt Scotland. I also attended the ITM Scotland Conference at the Principal Charlotte Square. Audrey Muir (ITM) did a fantastic job of pulling this together – the sessions and speakers were very informative and again, it was a good opportunity to network with our peers. Last but by no means least, I spoke at a the EICC Student Day, which was a fantastic initiative organised by Dean Matheson (EICC) aimed at inspiring and encouraging students across the central belt. I was keen to get involved and speak about resilience and strength of character as those character traits are often as integral to your success as your education/IQ.
Team wise, I’m really driving accountability, over being all over everything. I think this is key to bringing on your good/senior guys so as far as possible, we’ve been changing the reporting structure so that my team do most of the talking and I just challenge. I think historically in meetings, I’ve spoken too much – I’m pretty sure the team would agree. We worked on a 3-week sprint that saw the management team agree the changes they wanted to make in the business and roll them out successfully over those 3 weeks. Sprints like those are normally more common in tech companies but regardless I think they’re key to getting stuff done and keeping momentum up. We’ll embark on our next one in a couple of weeks.
I also had an epiphany after hearing a brilliant speaker at ScotSoft 2018 – yes, we’re 10 years old but we need to act like a start-up again – we need to focus on success rather than activity, and need to keep up pace, fun and an entrepreneurial culture. I had a session with the guys post this epiphany, to work out what we need to bin if we’re going to behave like a start-up again, and what else can we do to drive a positive culture. We’ve already implemented a few changes that should drive this forward.
Client wise we’ve had a positive month, in terms of feedback and face to face time with our clients. Between us, we’ve attended 23 client meetings and we joint hosted a client night with Principal – which was a lot of fun, especially the magician. Other than the above, we’ve been meeting with suppliers (reviews and lunch and learns) and have been successful in winning another couple Virtual Reality Tour pitches.
All in all, it’s been a positive, productive month with good pace. November will be busy – I’m personally meeting all key clients in the private sector and I’m looking forward to kicking off the month at the IOD Conference in Gleneagles on Friday, 2nd. My partner is keen to accompany on this one – I wonder why, ;o)