This week I mentioned to my partner that I was doing a blog passing judgement on The Apprentice. He couldn’t wait to share his view too!Sir Alan Sugar – The Apprentice…I’m hooked. Read More
It’s Wednesday night so it can only mean one thing for me – The Apprentice; lets hope it inspires more Entrepreneur ideas out there!
This week it’s all about coming up with a useful gadget for the home. Lord Sugar stated that the most important thing was to come up with a brilliant concept as every process after that depends on the product being great. Wise words but would the candidates listen?
They were still in their girls v boys teams, the Project Managers were picked fairly quickly this week, the boys were positive in their choice and the girls did it with some eye rolling. Why oh why do they insist on behaving like this? Anyway I digress.
They came up with their concepts and off they went to carry out their market research. The focus groups all picked their favourite products and the teams then both proceeded to ignore the research and go with the product the PM favoured!
The pitches were next. The boys faired ok but the girls were a shambles, as Lord Sugar said, the product was bad and the financial side was appalling, they didn’t get their figures right at all. So guess who lost this week? ……… Yep, the girls!
So again, the team failed due to lack of basic business knowledge. I am beginning to wonder how they have all managed to start up these businesses they rave about? I wonder if they are failing because they are thinking more about the prize than they are about the tasks? At least this week it wasn’t a case of see who can shout the loudest so it was a bit easier on the ears! If you have the Entrepreneur ideas; you need to be able to follow through with suitable business plans and market research!
We’ll have to wait and see what happens next week and I’m hoping that there is a shining example of a businesswoman sitting within the remaining female contestants. And can I just say – the pro wrestler/businessman who pipes up with the tag lines here and there is becoming tv gold!
To paraphrase something Cheryl Cole tweeted recently, make sure you are nice to people on the way up, because if you’re not, they’ll kick you twice as hard on the way back down. In recent weeks, we’ve seen some people do some of the daftest stuff ever, to try and get ahead. So do you ever hear a business thank you from the people that you work with?
The Business, PR, Marketing and Social Media markets in particular has all sorts of stuff going on at the moment. We’re not just on top of it, we’re literally riding the wave. And it’s brilliant. But it doesn’t mean a thing without clients to work with, to take advantage of the opportunities around us, for them.
So this is a quick blog to say “thank you” to the people and brands that have known us, worked with us and progressed with us so far. We are very proud of your printed media coverage, your commentary on the radio, your photo shoots, your opinionated positioning in TV interviews, your social media statistics, your growth and your ability to make an impact in a busy world. We’re well chuffed to be working with you and to be continuing to work with you.
And for our part, we’re keeping it real – we’re working in our jeans and trainers. We’re open to being bribed to go the even further than the extra mile for promises of hot chocolate and cake. But should we ever get above ourselves, and make out like we’re something we’re not, please tell us to get our head out of our butt, to get back to being real, and shove some hot chocolate and cake our way.
Because that’s what has gotten us this far, so we’re not about to change it now.
It’s no secret that Baby Swap or Shop is something that I wish I’d thought of myself. It’s a cost effective way of parents to find things they really need at a fraction of the price or for free. Users can also advertise items their own children haven’t used or have grown out of. So I think it’s only right that I shamelessly promote Carrie Webster, who started Baby Swap or Shop whilst on maternity leave and has juggled, managed and been a vision of efficiency for the last 12 months whilst Baby Swap or Shop has been growing at a rate of knots around her!
Carrie commented on the success for us: ‘I am very passionate about this project and get great satisfaction that we have brought parents together to recycle, reduce waste and have created a source of extra income. I think it has also provided stay at home mums with a hobby (it can get quite addictive!) giving them more of an input in to the family resources and allowing them to justify that extra coffee and cake or glossy mag!’
The whole Weston Communications team loves working with Baby Swap or Shop and look forward to more great coverage going forwards :). And her be an inspiration to other mums in business; if you have an idea don’t be afraid to go for it!
When I was at senior school, Terry Shields, who I thought at the time, was a god, finished my last ever assembly, after I’d done my GSCE’s, with the phrase “It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice”. I’ve come back to the phrase many times in my life, sometimes when it’s suited me to say “I’m being nice, aren’t I great” and sometimes to say “They aren’t being nice, they are bad people”. I’m over simplifying this, I know, but it’s come up again in the this week.
On Monday I spoke with someone who I respect about being nice in business – being straight, ethical and making money honestly and not shafting people on your way up the greasy pole. They were saying that being nice is very important and I said I was tired of it, frankly, as I don’t want people to think I’m a soft touch. Someone wrote something on twitter about me a couple of months ago and I let it go – people have commented to me since that they were surprised at my not coming out all guns blazing. The person I was talking to reminded me that people doing business nicely also end up having good home lives – fulfilled, happy, and with family orientated lives. I couldn’t disagree with that.
So it’s with mixed feelings that I saw Tom win the apprentice tonight. People said he was too nice. I even tweeted that I think he’s a bit of a wet lettuce. But you know what? My opinion doesn’t matter because he’s got his funding and he’s got Lord Sugar as a business partner. And Lord Sugar has seen them all. I think he wanted to choose the other girl but simply couldn’t because of her weak plan, so he was a second choice in some respects. But other than that, he could have picked the “sales man” or the “entrepreneur woman that had too many zero’s in her business plan”. Instead, Lord Sugar went for a nice guy, with a business idea that needed lots of work and could succeed.
So maybe being nice isn’t such a bad thing after all? What do you think – is it more important to be nice, or important?
*Image courtesy of anicechange.com
I’ve started working with a life coach. I’ve started to notice since having my daughter that my concentration span is minimal and that I have become rather scatty.
Before having my daughter I was the organisational queen, Monica from friends wasn’t a patch on me, my OCD cleaning and my role as a Personal Assistant to a Head of Service within local government meant I was the ultra PA – I organised everything, even my knicker draw was laid out in a particular way and I’d organise husband’s draws too!
So when the offer came of working with a life coach in return for using me as a case study came along I jumped at the chance!
The first of my six fortnightly session was spent talking about where I thought I was going wrong. For me my organisational skills had disappeared. It took this person to show me what I already knew but also what I’d been missing.
My first task was to get diaries for different aspects of my life – family life/work life/business life (I have my own business as well as having a 30 hour a week job). I was to give a set time to my own business in order to focus more clearly on each client, I was to put family appointments and diaries in order, I was to write a to do list everyday.
Now not all of this has worked but I’ve come to a happy inbetween to start with.
1) a family diary that has all birthdays/flat related items/important dates in
2) a rota for cleaning so that as a family we don’t waste a day tidying up at the weekend
3) A colour coded diary – so each area of my life has a colour and with my to do list I organise each day
Now – this has started to help, I feel I have more control and am starting to relax from the panicky state I got in if I didn’t do everything all at once. If something doesn’t get done it goes as a priority on the next day. I’m hoping to get to the stage where I’m not wading against a tide but am in fact focussed and more methodical. To be honest I’m starting to find it clearer now. Not so foggy and I can see the sunshine of my business blooming within this first two weeks.
The one I now need to plan out is my set times for business. This proves hard when I work with other people like me – mums who need to chat after the kids have gone to bed. Between 8 and 9pm is always the best time.
I’d love to hear suggestions on how you time manage and what tips you have!