Why you should approach a business relationship the same way you would a personal one

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

It’s an office full of creative geeks with great banter, what’s not to love!

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

An actress

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Trash reality TV

Favourite Holiday

Walking in Wales if I am feeling energetic, Crete if I need a rest!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Fun, nurturing, efficient

An interesting fact about me

My first car was a Humber Sceptre, which started my obsession with cars

Likes

Thai food, long walks with my dog, creating ideas with post it notes!

Favourite Band

I’ll listen to pretty much anything I can sing along to

Karaoke Jam

Islands in the stream, Dolly Parton

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team are heading, setting the overall business strategy and financial budgeting.

I work with the team to ensure that there is continuous organizational performance improvement that is always customer focused, ensuring they are working collaboratively and efficiently, coaching them individually and as a team to bring out their best performance in supporting our customers.

Whilst always having been involved with systems implementation throughout my career, I have an operational background and no specific IT experience. However, if anything, I believe this makes me more qualified to ensure the team deliver great service, drawing from my operations experience, and having been on the wrong side of poor IT support in the past. I can relate to how crippling this can be to a business, making it paramount that we ensure that IT issues are as invisible as possible, leaving the customers to get on with running their businesses smoothly.

Background and Achievements

The majority of my career has been in the mad world of Fashion, on the planning and operational side. In my previous role as Operations Director for a Heritage Menswear brand, I was responsible for the end to end journey of the product, from range planning, through sourcing, production, quality control, logistics, warehousing and customer service. Some of my key achievements in this role were improving on all delivery and service KPI’s, improving quality performance from 10% rejects to 1%, and delivering a significant number of process improvements across the team, whilst also delivering a saving on costs of 10% on overheads.

• As this role spanned so many disciplines, it enabled me to focus on my true passion, which is process improvement and people development, so my proudest achievement was introducing a Continuous Improvement Project Team to the wider business, bringing a positive change culture based on a combination of ideas including Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focus tools. The workshops we developed empowered people to solve problems cross functionally, and considerably improved communication, collaboration and efficiency, whilst making savings to the bottom line. These workshops have formed the basis of the tools I now incorporate into Q2Q, and offer as an additional consultancy service to Q2Q customers.

Hobbies and Interests

Walking with my dog, and eating out with family

Due to the very nature of SMEs, the outsourcing of HR, legal, finance or IT functions can often be far more viable than employing a permanent member of staff. Choosing the right partner can be something of a minefield, so ensure you ‘couple up’ with a service provider committed to providing the best service – and value for money.

 

So, how do you find ‘the one’?

What if I suggested using a similar approach to identifying a new romantic partner? Granted, it might seem a little far-fetched, but bear with me. When it comes to romance, you usually rely on physical attraction – but there must be more than meets the eye.

 

There’s the important emotional connection that you can’t quite put your finger on. Perhaps they make you laugh and enjoy similar hobbies? You might find that conversation flows easily, and you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.

 

Next – and most importantly – you begin to consider your individual values and whether they are aligned. Do you share the same views on money or morals when it comes to family for instance, and what constitutes the perfect work-life balance?

 

Once the ‘getting-to-know-you’ phase is over, you want to be reassured that your partner will stand by you, listening to and supporting you as your needs ebb and flow. When times get tough, it’s vital that both parties are on the same page in terms of what would be seen as a positive outcome – treating each other with respect and making problem-solving a priority.

 

During this period, you’ll be able to see how each other responds in different circumstances – in times of stress, with regards to unplanned events, holidays, children, and the myriad of challenges relationships inevitably bring.

 

For any enterprise to work, each person needs to be willing to accept the other as they are – without trying to change their ethos or behaviour in order to fit with their modus operandi.

 

Sound familiar? These same criteria should apply when considering a business relationship.

 

That same first impression can begin with a visit to a company website, an eye-catching stand at a conference or even a simple ‘hello’ at a networking get-together. A brand which presents a visually appealing and seemingly authentic image will naturally spark interest from their target consumer.

 

Following an initial conversation – and the arrangement of a ‘first date’ – the connection will start to develop and opinions will begin to form. During this period, ask questions which will offer an insight into how that person or business behaves daily – rather than taking the service they promise to offer at face value.

 

Listen to the language they use when talking about clients – as well as their own employees – and always speak to a handful of existing customers to see if their actions marry up with their words.

 

Is the feeling mutual? Are they genuinely interested in your success as well as their own, or are they simply looking for new customers to improve their bottom line? Do they try to persuade you that their way of working is best – the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach – or take the time to understand how you work and consider the specific needs of your organisation?

 

Are they concerned about your business goals, and will they guarantee a service which works in tandem with your short and long-term ambitions? Questions relating to your challenges, aspirations and pressure points will be a particularly good indication here.

 

If – after a handful of exploratory meetings – you know a lot about what they offer, but feel they don’t quite understand you beyond any immediate and specific requirements, they probably won’t cut the mustard when it comes to an enduring partnership.

 

Don’t get swept up in that initial physical attraction phase, and find yourself dazzled by a shiny website and slick office space. Make sure every box is ticked, both in the here and now and in line with your future vision – otherwise things could turn sour when the spark begins to fade.

 

At Q2Q we want to work in partnership with our clients. Your business goals are important to us – whether they are related to IT or not – as they will help us to understand where you’re heading, and how we can provide the best solutions to help you get there.

 

If you want to understand what your IT company should be providing in terms of a holistic approach – and are interested in working with a service provider that is equally focused on your success as well as its own – the kettle is always on a Q2Q HQ, so get in touch with us here.

 

Why you should approach a business relationship the same way you would a personal one