Well, I can’t quite believe that it’s a year since the official launch of The Busy Guernsey Bee. The last year has gone by so quickly and some days have been a real roller-coaster but I don’t regret starting the business for 1 minute.
The launch party at Urban Kitchen introduced the Busy Guernsey Bee to Guernsey businesses, with my 2 little bees (my daughters in bee outfits) buzzing around the room keeping everyone entertained.
This set the scene for the year, which started off with lots and lots of coffee meetings having face to face introductions with potential clients. I soon learned my “elevator pitch” and explaining how my services can help businesses thrive.
I quickly linked up with Start Up Guernsey and we formed a relationship that has continued with Speed Buzzing events for Global Entrepreneurship week as well as a networking workshop.
The Digital Greenhouse has been an invaluable space for me to use in St Peter Port, great for getting my head down and doing some work or having meetings in relative privacy rather than in a café. The greenhouse is also playing host to a couple of workshops at the end of April when I’ll be leading both a Customer Service workshop and a Networking Workshop.
On the subject of networking, Speed Buzzing continues to attract a diverse range of businesses to the Petit Bistro on the 2nd Thursday of the month. We’ve had everybody from self-employed gardeners to CEO’s of large insurance companies attending and building their networks. Part of the success of Speed Buzzing is down to the unique atmosphere of the Petit Bistro and the friendliness of the team there.
YBG also asked me to host a Speed Buzzing evening for their members, it was amazing to be in a room with 38 people buzzing at the same time, although it was interesting trying to get everybody to stick to the 2-minute rule and the volume was certainly turned up to 11!
In May, I accompanied Claire to the Mystery Shopping Provider Association conference in Malta. This was a truly international conference with attendees from all over the world in an amazing location. I had some fascinating conversations with people from all over the world and having never been to Malta before the opportunity for some exploring was too good to miss. This year we’re heading to Belgrade, once again, a city I’ve not been to before so looking forward to absorbing some Serbian culture as well as enjoying the conference!
The Customer Service consultancy side of the business has gone from strength to strength throughout the year, and with the support from Claire I’ve been able to grow the business. A really interesting Internal Customer Service project with one of Guernsey’s utility suppliers kicked off a busy summer. Engaging with their staff to improve internal customer service, breakdown the silos of a big business and aiding them with their transformation was at times challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. I certainly learnt a great deal from the experience.
It’s only in the last few years, in my previous roles, have I discovered that I really enjoy hosting training sessions, and I have been busy in this side of the business throughout the year. I love the interaction with teams and seeing the tangible benefits of the training. Having undertaken sessions with both large groups from significantly sized businesses to small groups from small businesses, the dynamics of the training have had to be adapted to each group. But sharing the knowledge, helping businesses improve their service offering or simply offering a refresher to teams on what good likes like has been fantastic.
In January, I was invited to join in the Retail Round Table sessions organised the States Of Guernsey Retail sub committee. The sessions were interesting and retailers discussed the opportunities and threats to retail in Guernsey. On the back of these meetings it was clear that retailers wanted a forum to be able to discuss amongst themselves retail in Guernsey. So I took the opportunity to set up the Guernsey Retail Network group on Facebook, retailers can join this closed group and discuss the hot topics of the day or even just promote their services. We’ll also be having a face to face forum in May we’re issues and ideas to tackle issues can be discussed in a non-political environment.
I’ve also been able to become more heavily involved in community projects, sponsoring the Liberate Guernsey Pride parade and Guernsey Mens Sheds. I’m also sponsoring the Best Business Category at the Guernsey Customer Service Awards.
So what of 2017 and the next year? Well I’m looking at increasing the size of my client base, offering workshops on various subjects including customer service and networking, expanding on Speed Buzzing with private events in different locations, having more mystery shoppers out and about and helping more businesses to deliver exceptional customer service.
The link with Claire, The Busy Queen Bee, enables me to offer extra services including Social Media Hive packages and Healthy Online Hive as well as a new service, French Relationship Hive that links local businesses with French businesses in the Normandy area.
The idea of taking on a Franchise was probably a bit scary to start with but Claire has been so supportive of me during the year, we speak regularly and she’s always on hand to offer advice or bounce ideas off and I’m incredibly grateful for her support.
Let’s get this 2017 buzzing…