How Business Owners are Saving the World!
Cemanthe Harries of New Media Angels
What is the focus of your business and what is it you are trying to accomplish?
My focus is to improve communication and understanding of new media. I aim to help people learn how it can really be used effectively and empower businesses to use it successfully. There are many unscrupulous providers out there that make claims that they cannot fulfill, we are not one of them. I am trying to accomplish world domination! I’m not entirely joking, I do want to change the way the world does business, with integrity and honesty – with themselves and with others, including in the way staff are treated. In recent times people have been compelled to put a brave (false) face on it – I would like to encourage an honest, if optimistic, brave face without false assertions.
Why and how did you decide to start your business?
I started the business in February of 2010. There was such a demand for expertise in social media – people kept asking for help – that it seemed the obvious next step. I have taken some emotional “hits” with the business since I started, including a particularly difficult time when my business concept was appropriated by someone else.
What influenced you with this decision?
The tremendous benefit is the freedom it gives me to do the things that actually matter, for example to spend time with family and friends. I am able to duplicate my time by employing other experts so I don’t have to do everything myself and can offer a range of expertise.
What changes and trends have affected your business?
Everything!! Every time there is a change to a media platform e.g. Facebook or Google my business has to respond and change. I have to consider who is using my services and how they are using them. Using new media is becoming more integrated and I need to ensure my customer service is excellent and always delivering value.
What are the biggest challenges or obstacles you have overcome?
I am the main sales person for my business so a challenge in my personal life or illness results in an impact on the business. I have learned to become more commercial in my dealings with both clients and other business people. I have been let down in the past by people I trusted. I have learned to stand by my values but also my terms and conditions! I am flexible where necessary but no longer at the risk of being taken advantage of – I know when to take a firm stand.
What, if anything, is holding you back today?
A reliable business partner to suggest ideas, new things to try and run new ideas past would be a great help. It would also support my own accountability.
If you could wave a magic wand what would you change?
I would like to have an office which is a hub of activity which nurtures talent – a funky place where people can develop skills and learn something new. The hub would be able to provide help for those entrepreneurs in the middle – those that are not entitled to help (currently focused on those below or above a certain age) – the “middlers” who also need help and support. I visualize an energetic place where experienced people can develop new skills – perhaps those wanting a change of career or to try something new. It would also be a place to attract graduates and young entrepreneurs. There would be micro-businesses having round-table discussions who receive and give multi-disciplinary advice and Corporate clients being able to drop in for privates meetings. It would be a real hub of ideas and support for a full range of people and businesses. If there is anyone out there willing to make an investment in a hub of this type I would gladly run it!
What are the most stimulating and challenging aspects?
The most stimulating part of my business is finding and working with new clients who understand the value of social media – to help them and to make a difference. The most challenging part is dealing with those in the industry who lack integrity.
What skills and personal qualities are required to be successful?
You need perseverance, continued optimism, hope, durability, having a thick skin, and the ability to bounce back. It is essential to have empathy – feel what people feel but you must be careful not to get too involved. A rejection should be taken as a rejection of the offering of the business at that time, not a personal affront. A business owner should have drive and tenacity but it is also important to love meeting and being with people but knowing when to let go. I love that “light-bulb moment” when a person can use social media for their benefit. You need to be comfortable changing as needed and listening skills are essential – hearing what people are saying. The ability to read people, to get the measure of people and to be good at sales is essential (which does not mean being pushy) it means giving the facts and allowing the person to make their buying decision. Above all be yourself, be helpful and be supportive.
What motivates you in your business, right now?
The greatest motivation is the passion to achieve my mission, to help people and to change the way business is done. Everyone has a “duvet” day when they would rather be at home under the duvet – you need to just keep going.
What is your greatest success?
My greatest success is to just keep going after all I have gone through – divorce, bad debt, clients running out of money, contracts cancelled and the illness I am going through. These things are often what “normally” happen in life and business.
My real success is running my own business, my team and my clients. I have a superb team of social angels and my greatest success so far is winning a big contract for digital services.
What is your greatest contribution?
My contribution is to hire other people and to allow them to be flexible around the business – this takes the pressure off them. I have personally taught social media skills to others and supply other businesses with those skills. I focus on collaboration rather than competition – my only real competitor is Google! I aim to be the best person I can and to attract business to me, not by selling but focusing on the clients’ perspective of “how can you help me?” The only unique thing in business is you, just be amazing at what you do and you will attract people to you.
Believe in your vision – strive to achieve it – invest in you.
New Media Angels specialises in helping businesses with their digital communications, the main output being social media. We make sure that everything you do online has a purpose; ensuring that your message across all platforms is being understood and acted on by your audience. We have creative ideas, online know-how and passion for the task at hand.
We started our own journey as a social media training and implementation business, helping other business owners to raise their profile, connect to their audience in new ways and promote their products/services through the world of social media. While doing this it became obvious that social media was not just about the media, but more about the people, the relationships you build and the conversations that can, and do, happen. Cemanthe Harries – New Media Angels – http://newmediaangels.com/
I am on a mission to celebrate the achievements of business owners in these difficult economic times and provide inspiration to others. I would like to say a big thank you to all business owners. Why? Because in the UK, together, you employ 14.1 million people and have a combined turnover of £1,500 billion.* That’s huge. You really are saving the world in these tough economic times. Here are your inspiring stories
*Source – Federation of Small Business / Department of Business, Innovation and Skills http://www.fsb.org.uk/stats
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