Our Community Manager, Celia Newlands, brings a wide variety of skills to the business.

“I’m always looking for new ways to help small businesses and sole traders in my community. As a Community Manager and now Co-operative Director, I’m able to connect people who could collaborate to resolve multiple problems. And as a result, grow both businesses. Over time, people have often joked about me being a ‘business dating service’ (I wasn’t so sure about that one!) and a small business surgery. The second nickname has kind of stuck and is now an integral part of our service offering.”

Different stages, different needs

Celia meets people at all different stages of running a business. From developing a great idea, through struggling to grow beyond a plateau. Or trying to find ways to work less hours, or more flexibly.
“In the midst of working ‘inside’ the business every day, business owners often can’t see the ‘wood for the trees’. Having worked in change management, I am always looking in from the outside. This often makes it easier to see how simple tweaks could really improve things. I don’t shy away from the hard questions. If I need you to see that your business will only grow if you stop micro-managing and give people some responsibility, I will (gently) tell you!”

Finding the right support

Some people might need to find Marketing support (where there are are so many different areas of speciality – social media, SEO, advertising and PR. Others might need a great Graphic Designer to build or create brand consistency.
Maybe the business isn’t growing because the business owner is undervaluing his or herself and not charging enough. Maybe they lost their passion in amongst the business development. Or the numbers don’t make sense, or they feel the staff are letting them down….

The list goes on, but Celia’s enthusiasm to find a solution doesn’t wane. It’s what drives her. Gets her jumping out of bed every morning, excited to go to work. Those who work with Celia will testify to this – even on Mondays!

Two people in a meeting room, talking and smiling.

How does it work?

The Small Business Surgery service is a general information offering, tailored as much as possible to you and your businesses needs, based on the information you provide. We try to find a local, trusted service provider to help if we can, as we are really passionate about growing the local economy.
We ask questions to help clarify the areas a business may be struggling with. Or determine where they need a service provider, before making suggestions of who may be able to assist. It will often consist of more than one option, so you can compare and see which provider fits your needs best.

Celia says “I try to help clients by letting them know what is available in their own community. Often people want to make a human connection with a service provider. We can all search online for answers these days. However, sitting down for a face-to-face chat with someone you may be deciding to hand your hard-earned dollars to, or entrust with your clients, is sometimes the best option to gain a real sense of trust. I am a real believer in authentic recommendation. If I’ve not used the services personally, but have worked with them and feel they could be the right match, I will say that.
I know a little bit about a lot of business subjects. Accordingly, in these situations, I am really a provider of information as opposed to a specialist – hence ‘small business surgery’! Finding the ‘specialist’ can be time-consuming. I’ve spent most of my career striving to provide excellent Customer Service. Finding the right product or service to meet the client’s needs is something I’m proudly confident about. I’ve built up a large network of local connections, and researched what is available in our business community. Allowing me to save people a lot of time if they need assistance and aren’t sure where to look.”

Contact Celia if you are interested in an appointment with the ‘small business surgery’. Or click here to find out more.

We’ve all been there (and if you’re reading this, you’re probably procrastinating right now). The clock ticks by, and with it your productive working hours. But you find yourself doing anything but the project at hand.

You chat to colleagues, flick through emails and social media, and ignore the growing project pile on the desk in front of you. You head home, determined to make a fresh start, but find yourself caught in a Netflix vortex and before you know it another day has slipped by.

But are we looking at procrastination all wrong? Could procrastination actually be serving a very real (and very valued) purpose? Could it be that you don’t have to feel guilty? Could we look at TIME in a different way?

The answer to all of the above? A resounding YES. But also NO. Here’s why.

Procrastination as a virtue, not a vice

Our culture idolises busy-ness. Go, go, go at all costs. Don’t stop. Check notifications. Respond immediately. Be across everything and don’t you dare stop for a minute. It’s no wonder that sometimes our brains put up a little STOP sign.

But why the stop sign? What is procrastination trying to tell us?

It could well be that you’re procrastinating over a particular task because your ideas and concepts aren’t fully formed yet. Imagine being a painter and forcing yourself to sit in front of an easel and DEMAND of your creative self to create a beautiful landscape between the hours of  9 and 5 that very day. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But just because we’re in business doesn’t mean that we don’t still have creative minds. Perhaps procrastination is part of the creative process as your brain mulls over different concepts. Takes its time to fully formulate ideas before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

Another potential reason for procrastination is that you may be run down. Sickness, both physical and mental, can take quite the toll on our capacity to produce our best work. Give yourself time and space to rest and recover rather than beating yourself up about not performing at your best when you’re down in the proverbial dumps. No one can be their best at all times – not even Beyonce. If you wouldn’t expect your colleagues to work at 100% all of the time, why would you place those same standards on yourself?

  • Maybe you don’t feel comfortable with what you’re doing.
  • Maybe it’s not the right ‘fit’.
  • Maybe your procrastination is really the universe telling you that something’s not right. Take the time and space you need to look at things from a fresher angle. It’s okay that you can’t get that task done today.
  • Maybe tomorrow will be better.

When Procrastination is your Worst Best Friend

Before you pat yourself on the back for all of your procrastination, consider that sometimes there are negative reasons behind all of your workplace mucking around.

  • Is the task too hard? Delegate, prioritise and move forward.
  • Do you just not want to do it? Fashion the task into something that sparks joy.
  • Missing key information? Get all the pieces in place before you start work.
  • Not gelling with your team mates? See if you can shake things up.
  • Scared of starting something big? Reframe your mindset. We have anxiety about making big moves because they ask us to jump out of our comfort zones.

Procrastinators Unite! Eventually!

What’s your procrastination really telling you? Stop reading this article and get back to work to find out.