The Business Allotment has now been running for about four years now, working with local SMEs to help grow their business. They offer training, strategy and ideas for businesses who want to grow and outperform their competitors. Their training and strategy sessions are designed to help the business owner be the best they can be, to grow the people in the business with new skills and approaches, and to grow the business through original strategic thinking and a host of practical, fast-working business tools.
But here is what Jodie has to say about herself and her business:
To start – can you give us a little background on your company.
Our watchwords at The Business Allotment are PRACTICAL and CREATIVE. All of our training and strategy modules are the result of over a decade of experience working with businesses, and they contain the most important essence of each topic, boiled down into short, sharp and above all practical sessions. Each module has a wealth of tools and techniques that can be applied straight back into business the very next day. And I pride myself on the creative approach to training and strategy that Business Allotment offers clients. A lot of the training material just can't be found elsewhere, as it has been designed specifically for Allotment clients, and everything I deliver has a creative spin on it, to make it work really well, to make it unique and to make it fun. Let's not forget fun, it's a hugely important ingredient of being creative, and giving your business a competitive edge.
How did you get started in this business?
I trained as a furniture designer! Whilst this means that I can spot a well-designed chair at fifty paces, this also gave me a unique insight into the creative process, which I then went on to apply to commercial environments. As I started working in the marketing industry, I recognised how some businesses were not using ideas to their advantage. The business I subsequently started was all about making ideas the life blood of an organisation in order to reap the financial and cultural benefits.
What you consider your biggest achievement so far?
Publishing two books - one, a practical business guide to being better at ideas, called Business Creativity, and the other on a somewhat different topic called Womb with a View about the experience of being pregnant and being a first time mum. One book has slightly more gags and rude words than the other.
And I suppose I really should mention my two sons as we are talking about achievements, shouldn't I?
What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
Getting the root of a client's business challenge. Often, business owners will come to me adamant that they need a certain module of training or strategy, but after delving deeper into their business challenges, it is sometimes the case that the most effective way to make a difference is to do something completely different that will have a longer-lasting effect and get them much closer to their desired outcome.
What do find most enjoyable?
Designing new training and strategy tools is always fun. And seeing people in the training sessions, when they have that light bulb moment, and they suddenly have an insight or an idea that they just wouldn't have thought they could have. I love to run creative thinking sessions with people who tell me that they are not very creative, as it is nice to show them that they are wrong!
Whom do you seek advice from for your business? Who has been the biggest influence in your work like?
That would have to be my husband, who runs his own business too. We co-mentor each other. Which sounds grand, but in reality it is more about discussing our business challenges over the washing up. He is brilliant at giving me new insights into things and luckily, he likes washing up too.
What can you tell us about your business that not many other people know? (this can be changed so that we can ask the member to “teach” something to the reader about their area of expertise)
Ironically, given that I run the Business Allotment, I can kill a house plant just by looking at it. Luckily, the reverse is true when it comes to businesses.
What do you do for fun?
I write for fun - I blog, I have a vague plan about publishing another book (I just need to find another day in the week) and I write a number of columns for various publications. And I love to read, usually a quick page or two before I fall asleep. And I am quite the Lego constructor, Play Mobil assembler and part time pirate when the boys are around.
To conclude – tell us about you in 140 characters or less…
I find the trouble with 140 characters is that it is immensely tricky to squeeze in all the things I want to say before I run out of space, so what often happens is that I…
To contact Jodie Newman: http://thebusinessallotment.co.uk/
Member since: 11th March 2014
My name is Victoria Hunter and I'm a true Hertford person - I went to school in Hertford and grew up here. I understand the importance of bringing trusted businesses and the community together, and believe...