Being a small business owner, like you, is the most fulfilling and rewarding thing I’ve ever done!
It’s been a bit of a journey to find what I love doing best but 100% worth it…
When I first started out in the world of work a corporate career route was what really appealed to me. Over the years, I was lucky enough to work with some amazing global brands, including Kuoni, BTI Hogg Robinson, Avis Car Rental, Coca Cola, BT, Virgin Atlantic, Eurostar, to name but a few.
The corporate world was good to me in many ways – I was successful, progressing up the career ladder, I got to travel to some fantastic places and did some amazing things. But – and it was a very BIG but – it took a toll on my health, the relationship with my husband and friends. I realised that I no longer felt like ‘me’ and I began to get frustrated with how slowly corporate cogs turn, financial waste and internal politics. I was pushing “treacle uphill with a teaspoon” on a daily basis and no longer felt a sense of achievement.
Working out what was REALLY important to me…
In 2004 I did something that – to this day – I am proud I had the courage to do. I decided to take time out to travel the world. My husband had resigned from his job and it was the perfect opportunity for us to fulfil one of our lifelong dreams to travel to New Zealand and a few other magical places along the way. So I also resigned but Avis, my employer at the time, was keen for me to return (a real compliment), so they granted me a sabbatical and I had nine months out of the business. That timeout was amazing – we did numerous ‘bucket list’ things and learnt a lot about us, our relationship and what makes us both tick!
Returning in late summer 2004 I realised that some of the things I thought I wanted were no longer important to me. My ambition to become a Marketing Director was no longer there. After all, rarely do Marketing Directors actually do any marketing – my passion for marketing would be totally consumed and replaced by office politics, budgets and processes. Not what motivates me the most.
Life experiences have a tendency to make us re-evaluate what we’re doing, what we want to achieve. In 2006, having seen my wonderful mother-in-law lose her battle with cancer, I took voluntary redundancy and walked away from a pretty decent salary, smart company car, pension et al. I wasn’t quite sure what my next steps would be, but I knew that they had to get me where I really wanted to be in my professional life.
After some careful thinking, I made the decision to go it alone. In January 2007, I set up Orchard Marketing Associates so I could fully utilise my passion for marketing and apply the valuable knowledge of how the ‘bigger fish’ work to help smaller businesses become more successful.
And I’ve never looked back! Working with ambitious business owners like YOU is the most satisfying job I’ve ever had!
Years in Marketing!
For me it’s never about fancy campaign ideas and fluffy stuff, it’s about sound marketing that gets great results.
What I’m good at!
I work with many different types of smaller businesses but here is what I do most of…
- Business to Consumer 95% 95%
- Tourism, hospitality, leisure, retail, ecommerce and lifestyle 80% 80%
- Digital marketing – websites, SEO, blogging, email marketing, social media 100% 100%
- But the traditional (read old!) stuff too 50% 50%
Who said marketing can’t be fun?
Do you find marketing your business a chore? A bit daunting? Something you put off?
Well I thrive on marketing and the good news is, you can too!