Barclays, Innocent and Paddy & Scott's.......
I was at Norfolk Showground last night for a Barclays Business Seminar. The ‘shed’ that has been used for the Food Hall at the Norfolk Show for many years has undergone a makeover, and is now an all-singing-all-dancing venue [and pretty swanky it has to be said]. Last night it was tranformed in a fabulous setting to hear a great couple of speakers courtesy of Barclays.
Barclays certainly hadn’t been lacking ambition in putting on the seminar. There was a ‘hub’ in Manchester, and then four additional locations round the UK were linked up by satellite. Combine that with text votes, roving mikes in all locations, tweets etc etc then it was very high-tec! There were more people joining via webinar from their own homes too!
And whilst I really loved the face-to-face networking element of the night, the webinar ‘stuff’ was an interesting add-on. You could ‘join’ in from anywhere in the world, which gives the future of learning a whole new dimension. I often think about the future of education and whether all university lecturing will be done on line going forward……..no reason why it couldn’t be, based on the experience last night.
Anyway….enough of my musings and back to the Seminar! The Norfolk attendees heard Scott Russell of Suffolk based Paddy and Scott’s talking candidly about his journey in the world of coffee.
Sue Hayes from Barclays then delivered a ‘message from our sponsors’ – its the second time I’ve heard Sue in the past week [she was also there at the launch of GEW]. To be fair, she’s keen to put across the message that Barclays are trying to rebuild trust, and to offer help to non-customers as well as customers. She made the point that banks only make money when they lend, so its not in their interest not to lend. I like her honesty, and its only by going out and talking to people that you change opinions……
The keynote speaker was Adam Balon from Innocent – he was one of the founders along with Richard Reed and Jon Wright. It was kind-of strange watching him from Manchester via satellite, but at the same time it worked….you got the atmosphere of a live speech although he was nearly 200 miles away. The Innocent boys are good speakers, and he was good being honest and frank about their experiences in the early days.
Here were my top take-outs from the night……….my pearls of wisdom if you like[!]
- Don’t sign vanity deals……….if the bottom line doesn’t stack up then don’t do it. Learn to say no where required.
- Delegate….otherwise you’ll only be as good as your own hands
- Have fun….eat, sleep and drink your brand
- Love your business, but don’t be ‘in love’ with your business…….remain detached enough in order to make good business decisions
- The company you keep says a lot about you…..your customers/clients say a lot about what you are
- Make sure you put the right people in the right jobs….if you can’t do this you’d be better running with no one [‘I’d rather have a hole than an a**shole’: Dan Walker, Head of Talent Apple]
- Sort out your basics first, then grow
- Guard your cash with your life
If you haven’t heard of the Barclays Seminars they are worth checking out – everyone is welcome whether you are a Barclays customer or not. The Adam Balon seminar is also taking place on November 22nd and its probably not too late to register. If you fancy joining in from the Orkney Islands then the webinar will bring it into your home. Adam Balon is worth hearing.
A free seminar to pick up some tips on growth and cashflow can’t be a bad thing! [especially if it’s on offer from a bank!].