I’m really excited to be starting 2022 with a new direction and a new business model. Or to be more accurate, an old business model that I’m going back to! It’s taken a couple of years of slow changes to get here, but I’m back to doing purely consultancy work, with no outsourced marketing work for people, and I couldn’t be happier. Focussing on short-term, high-impact projects with companies is what I’m good at, and what makes me happy, and I’m really looking forward to being able to do more of it.

When I started on my own in 2007 it was as a ‘business services’ provider – basically what I think should actually have been called a VA, with a very practical remit. By 2011 when I set up as a limited company, that was already shifting to be much more of a consultancy model, which suited my knowledge and experience (and temperament) a bit better. By 2015 I decided to move more towards an agency model, combining consultancy with more practical, hands-on services like design, web development and content creation.

Partially this was driven by a desire to build a team to work with, but probably more so because I was so sick of poor quality delivery from so-called marketers that I wanted to try to do things a bit differently, and see if I could build an agency that did things properly. We got some of that really spot on, and some of it not quite so spot on, and learnt a lot doing it. One of the things that I personally discovered was that as well as being borderline unmanageable I’m also a poor manager myself!

Anyway, things change again, and now I’ve moved back to a much more hands-off role – Josh and Julietta are set up as their own independent companies who I still work closely with, but with a clearer separation of ‘what to do and why’ (me) and ‘how to actually do it!’ (other people!)

So, what am I actually doing now?

From October I’m going to be working on a PhD at the University of the West of Scotland, which I’m hugely looking forward to. It will be an opportunity to look more systematically about how small businesses and entrepreneurs are supported and advised, and identify what exactly they need to help them grow.

I’ll still be working with businesses directly, both through business support programmes and directly, in three roles:

  • Non-executive directorships
  • Outsourced marketing director / manager support
  • Short consultancy projects on strategy and planning – either business-wide, or marketing specific

So if you need some additional support with marketing and strategy you should still feel free to get in touch and see if it’s something I can help with.

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