Make your own fit!

Today’s Small Business blog introduces Jess Young who is the Co-Lead of Square Peg Round Holes. I asked Jess to give an outline of her businesses, established in 2019:

With my background in HR/project management/EDI, I help managers grappling with tricky team dynamics, low morale and poor engagement.  Usually through 1:1 coaching and workshops within a positive change framework where we start with what is working and build from there.  I also Co-Lead our Comms Hub at Engage for Success, a social movement supported by the CIPD providing a range of free tools like a team engagement diagnostic and managers toolkit to help managers create environments where people thrive at work

Jess shares her lessons learned when starting up:

A year after launching I realised the things I did were not necessarily the most helpful!  Made the rookie mistake of getting a website up and running, while useful to clarify my proposition pretty quickly I realise in hindsight focusing on my Linked In profile and getting this humming, posting and engaging regularly with potential customers would have been a far more productive use of my time in the first 6 months.  I also joined a mentoring group Bloomsbury Beginnings with other mums who were looking to juggle self-employment and mothering, I’m still having monthly mentoring sessions with the group a year on and their support has been pretty important, especially over the last 6 months.

And she has some advice for anyone looking at starting up a business, that I think will resonate with so many people:

I’d say surround yourself with people who get what you are doing and can support you when you feel like chucking in the towel (in my first 6 months or so this was almost every week!)

It is so important to be agile enough to pivot and change working practices to fit in with changing climates, whether economic, social or pandemic!  She said:  The biggest change for me with 5 months of having the kids at home has been creating a product that works with minimal input from me.  Our 21 day challenge toolkit supports team members with a bit of self-reflection on what diversity and inclusion means, meeting a rising demand for equality education and designing it with both the end user and my situation in mind has meant I’ve created a product where I can balance the kids and work.

Here is how Jess used the City Business Library resources to help her on her business venture:

I found the library while studying for my MSc Occ Psych 5 years ago, before launching my business I attended a session on getting the most out of the companies database,  Fame – I was blown away that we could get right down to email addresses of our target customers!  This and access to EBSCO and various management journals have been invaluable.  In my field of positive psychology new ideas are constantly emerging that I need to stay up to date with. To find out more about Jess’s business or for networking, please contact her via the website links, or on LinkedIn


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