I have always found it challenging to keep business communication flow. It is not easy for an entrepreneur to do everything perfectly always, and this is the reason I have always been grateful for having a good team. I have met Wendy Harris recently and quite interestingly have found out some great ideas related to business communication from her. It is interesting to know that conversationalists may carry on business communication better than we can do ourselves as they are professionally trained and know the art of making great productive conversations better than we do. Since I have been an introvert all my life and conversing with people has always been a challenge for me Wendy’s ideas attracted me a lot. She is witty and great when you converse with her. Here is a lively interview that will reflect to you a beautiful story from a great conversationalist. Do write to me to let me know your thoughts about making business conversation easier, your input, my dear readers, is always welcome.
Here is my conversation with Wendy Harris, I am sure you will enjoy reading it:
I’m a mum of two daughters, one is 25 and a talented ceramicist and the other is 10 and about to begin her high school journey. I am with my 2nd husband of 20 years and this is my 3rd business. I have two retired working Labradors that get me out of the office rain or shine and a lovely back garden where my husband built my log cabin to work from home.
My passion is starting conversations that can lead to business or personal growth. We’re all here to lead a fulfilled life and work comprises of the main amount of time we spend which means we need to be enjoying what we do and be rewarded for it. I help businesses start conversations that will ultimately help their business grow.
The motivating trigger to start WAG associates was born from a failing business. I had bought a franchise that I should have investigated in more detail but was excited to be running my own business again after a decade of employment. Things happen for a reason and I was not happy in employment and saw the franchise as a way to get out. It was by meeting someone through the franchise, who was doing what I do now, that offered me a lifeline to help them before they encouraged me to do it for myself. I’ve not looked back in 15 years.
My life has changed dramatically with running my own businesses. WAG helps businesses grow and I can work for a few hours a week or a couple of days a week for different clients. The beauty is I can work around family commitments too. The goal is to help my clients get to a stage where they can employ someone to take over my role. It’s funny because I know I’ve done a great job when I put myself out of the job!
Domino Effect was born a little over 2 years ago. I met an extraordinary lady who is now my work wife, Colette Bratton, and the work she does is the marketing strategy that I recommend to all of my clients before I begin the process of making any calls to potential clients. Over time I’ve had to learn how to put basic strategy together to begin projects or the client would not have the funds to do both. We very quickly realised that between us we take people from an idea to implementation and decided we wanted to share our knowledge with small businesses so that they could use big business tactics. We have a lot of fun and receive amazing feedback from our interactive workshops.
Recently, I have a blue chip client that wants to reach big businesses and I mean they have hundreds of staff and turnover millions on millions of pounds. This makes for a tough campaign because the receptionist who answers the phone has a clear rule book on who can and can’t speak to who she protects. On one of these calls where they are not allowed to confirm who to speak to as it’s a no name policy etc I asked her whether we could pop something across in the post to pick up when they were ready.
This lady asked what we were offering and I explained a little more adding that since we only need to be called upon every few years it would be down to the timing being right for them anyway and we wouldn’t want to be too pushy as it’s a family run business. Reputation matters in what we do. Instantly, she responded by telling me that they are not happy with who they use at the moment and that I could send the info to her on email and she would speak to the right person because she just had a good feeling about me.
This incident showed how conversation can change people’s response and bring them around to do business with you.
This is easy.
The best advice I can give to small business owners is that it’ll be tougher than you expected and more rewarding than you ever dreamed of.
Three years ago I had increased my time with one client to an extent that I struggled to find time for any other clients. I did such a good job I put myself out of the job. I was left with no clients, no work, no cashflow. I had to start again from scratch. I began by going back to all my old clients and asking them how things were going and if they had any small campaigns I could help them with; I began advertising on my social media pages that I was available for new projects and generally got out networking.
My lesson learned is to not put all your eggs in one basket and to keep your profile alive in the minds of those you want to work with one day.
I had a tough upbringing with 12 parents to date. I don’t find inspiration in how they’ve lived their lives. From a small age my inspiration started from reading books. I’d devour them. Get through whole collections. With the imagination of written word it showed me that anything is possible on many levels. I’m still a devourer of books – currently reading Unleash your Awesome by Taz Thornton.
My advice for any new business owner would be to surround yourself with the right people.
I believe someone good with numbers, that can help you look good in words and design are a good start. You don’t need to pay out for a website or different kinds of stationary until you need it. Start with a personal Linked in profile and a business card when you do face to face networking. Have a two page pdf that sums up who you are so you can use it as a flyer or an attachment to an email introduction. Focus on making money, what will lead you to money and support; what can help you continue to make money. Distractions and good advice can cost a lot when you start out and it’s about having a good business plan and building those things in when the money starts to turn.
Start again? I would have held out from having my first child until later. I would have liked to climb the promotion ladder and see where that took me. I have had lots of ideas over the years so I would have liked to have been more financially sound to explore some of those. It’s not too late!
My tips for women planning there future now is to follow other women with positive messages. I read a post only the other day about a very young CEO who was told she would only make it if she was less girly. She proved them wrong and didn’t change a thing. Always be true to yourself and follow your instincts. They are there to remind you that you need to check in with yourself. It may be that you’ve felt a certain way before which translates to react differently. The toughest judge of you will always be you so take no notice of negativity from others. That is more likely a reflection on them. Have you heard the saying ‘Dream Big, Live Bigger’?