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!
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.”