Flexible working!

Have you had days when you had time between meetings and want to make the most of the time.

I had that scenario today. I had a breakfast meeting in Bristol and have an afternoon meeting in Clevedon. I didn’t want to go all the way home and so needed a place to set up shop for a couple of hours.

I had a couple of options. Firstly, I could find a nice little café (Bristol has lots of those) with Wi-Fi and a quiet corner. However, I also wanted to work without fear that my laptop would run out of battery and most cafes are reluctant to have people running electrical cables to power sockets – even if you can find one.

A second option would be to find a ‘Jelly’ session. These are opportunities for business people to work in a business environment with other business owners. The beauty is that you can work on your own stuff but with other working people around you. This is particularly enjoyable if you find working in your office on your own all the time a bit lonely. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a local Jelly session running today.

Thirdly, I could ask one of my Bristol based clients if they would mind me setting up at one of their spare desks. Now, I am sure none of them would have minded, but I felt it would be odd working on another client’s work on their premises.

So, I find myself in the Regus Business Lounge right in the centre of Bristol. I have my own little pod with Wi-Fi and electrical socket and can help myself to refreshments. It’s quite a home from home. And the best bit is that I haven’t had to pay a penny! As an FSB member I have signed up for a free Regus gold card which gives me a passport to unlimited business lounge use – RESULT!

I am getting loads of work done and am ensuring that I don’t ‘lose’ the time between meetings.

Fiona 🙂

You’re not alone

Last weekend I was at the CIMA MiPs conference.

Now spending a couple of days with over 200 management accountants might not be your idea of fun – in fact, quite possibly, the opposite – but for me it was great. Quite apart from the fact that the key note speaker was Gerald Ratner (what a great example of how taking your customers for-granted will ruin your business!), and the after dinner speaker was Jimmy Greaves (hilarious!), the atmosphere was supportive and enlightening.

They are all guys who do what I try to do: offer business owners the opportunity to work with someone who will help them get to grips with the financial situation of their business and plan for the future – in a supportive and empowering environment.

But we are business owners ourselves and have the same stresses and strains.

Many of us work on our own and so suffer the loneliness often experienced by business owners. We certainly have to deal with the pressures of marketing ourselves and attracting new customers. In particular, we need to focus on retaining existing clients and keeping them happy with our service.

That is where events such as conferences, networking lunches and 121s are so fabulous. We can talk to guys who are under the same pressures we are, build relationships which will help us to build our businesses and, essentially, feel that we are not alone out there.

And all that in a way which better equips us to run our businesses because the seminars and presentations are specifically aimed at us.

So no matter what your business area, if you have the opportunity to attend a conference with your peers, give it a go. You never know what you will come away with. At the very least it may be the confidence to do things differently.

Fiona 🙂