While I was attending the Mum and Working Awards I had the absolute privilege to met brilliant business woman, Susannah Scofield OBE.
The speech that she gave us that day was breath taking in it's knowledge and brilliance and Susannah has the most sparkly aura I think I have ever seen. I was in utter awe of her and every one who attended that day was gripped to their seats to hear every word she had to say.
She spoke to us about business and the ever changing internet. A subject that excites me as a busines woman but worries me greatly as a parent. So, I asked her to bring some of that brilliance to you and some of the statistics she has to impart about the internet and the world will blow your mind.
What she taught me that day was that for the sake of our children and our careers, we must keep abreast of the internet and the astonishing pace at which it changes. I know so may of you now are looking at starting your own online businesses and if you are you will want to read Susannah's blog in italics below.
Like most parents, I constantly worry about the internet, the perils of Social Media and the effect it has and will continue to have on our children and their lives. It is both a brilliant opportunity making, life force and a dangerous playground for all who surf the static waves.
For our children I worry about:
The growing amount of cyber bullying, this is real and will only get worse I fear
Cat-fishing, this is when 'profiles' on the internet are not who they say they are. For example, someone who says they are a school girl but they actually a man in his 50's..... which brings me to the huge internet problem we face of predators, which I have even experience myself at my age! They are out there.
The lack of social interaction 'physical' children are experiencing because of the internet. Most would rather Snapchat or Whatsapp etc, than actually see someone face to face
the pressures they feel to get interactions on social media, such as 'likes' and 'follows' and the scary extremes some of them will go to just to get these, pointless so called accolades
That they will post inappropriate things on the internet, that could affect their future
I worry that the internet is exposing children to things when they are far too young and that it has a big part to play in the increasing levels of depression and mental illness in our young people
To name but a few of my concerns, I imagine there are a million things more that I should be concerned about.
Of course, I have had my fingers burned a few times on the internet by posting things that at the time, I thought were nothing, but turned out to be utterly deter-mental to my career.
An example of this took place some years ago now, while I working on Zingzillas.
Kirsten O'Brien had just done a documentary about doing a lads mag. Because of this, I was asked on my Facebook Page if I would ever consider doing a lads mag by a few of my followers on there. This made me curious about how people would feel about it, so I asked the question, " Hands up who would want to see me in a lads mag?"
The very next day I was hauled in to the bosses office and presented with a print out of my Facebook page and told if I didn't take it down immediately, I would be fired. I was never really forgiven for that and that one comment really was the start of my downfall in that job.
However, the internet is also a wonderful platform. It is hopeful, it is artistic and it is punk rock!
It opens the poor to a wealth of possibilities, knowledge and creativity. It makes the world smaller and 'almost' border less. We are so lucky to have it and when used correctly it is the most wonderful gift ever, given to us free from inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who by the way is not a rich man and he really should be.
Our children have an Aladdin's cave at their very finger tips and if they are led correctly they can build empires out of thin air. So many have made billions because of the internet. All you need are some key facts and figures and you can change the world with your knowledge.
Susannah, is the piped piper of such knowledge. so if you are starting a business, if you are a blogger or you are a worried parent you will want to read below what Susannah has to say.
Her business advice will last forever and her quick questions about knowing your audience are worth noting down to pass on to your kids when they are older, as this wisdom is timeless.
But first here's a bit about the lovely lady herself!
Susannah is a specialist in SME businesses and her experience to the small business world led her to being recruited to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills ‘red tape’ advisory panel.
Susannah speaks and consults on how to achieve sustainable growth through innovation, diversity or simply selling more of the same. As a successful, published business author of business strategy book – ‘Mind the gap, creating successful business strategy’, Susannah also owns the called Dice Matrix Consulting which enables businesses to write Strategic plans with great ease from factual sector specific evidence gained from the business itself.
The Dice Matrix Model has won awards for innovation and for supporting others in business. As well as the many lessons in leadership, sales and innovation learnt from her 15 years at Royal Mail at Director Board Level, Susannah’s expertise also includes building a business, motivating a team and women in business.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the gorgeous and brilliant Susannah Scofield OBE
At the top of your game in a world that is changing
"It was my absolute pleasure to give a Key Note Speech at MumandWorking awards in 2016, where I met the wonderful amazing Sarah-Jane. Who gave a heart-warming and honest presentation about life, the struggles and how hard being a working mum can be.
The event is always a good one, and is always filled with exceptionally talent people, but this year especially it had an atmosphere that can only be created by people who love what they do for a living. Next year the awards will be just as good I am sure, and I only hope I get to go back and build on the theme I talked about this year:
This year I addressed the startling and terrifying facts that we all face in business today, in a world that is fast paced and changing every day, consistently, today life is a slow as it will ever be …….. things will only get faster, the internet will get quicker, wider spread more prevalent.
Just over the horizon are the opportunities to utilise Nuclear Fusion, cars powered by Hydrogen will exist, Drones will map everything from efficiency to parcels deliveries. Our future business world will be unrecognisable.
To be in business now you must be smarter, quicker, and more reactive to change than ever before. It has never been easier to set up a company ………… yet never harder to make it deliver.
To build a customer audience, a brand and a profit in today’s world is so very difficult that ALL of you in business now should commend yourselves on doing just that.
In today’s world you must know your audience, understand your market place and your sector and industry knowledge must be up to date: My quick guide to what you should know:
• who you are selling to? • why they will buy from you? • How will you stop attrition? • how do you keep your customers returning? • How do you beat your competitors? • What is your competition offering? • Does your customer rate your service? • Do you have the right level of marketing plans in place? • Are you pricing correctly within your market segment? • Have you a good future proof marketing strategy? • Do you know what your next five-year growth plans looks like? • Do you have an expansion plan including recruitment? • Do you have a contingency plan? • Have you addressed succession planning?
• How do you stay AT THE TOP OF YOUR GAME?
Because if you don’t your business will potentially fail.
Our world is changing so in preparation here are a few crazy facts to help you embrace how different life is now to a decade ago, and how much it will have moved forward in the next one:
Did you know?* (*These stats have been uncovered by a much more intelligent selection of the human population than me – I have just read them and gathered them together – if they are slightly incorrect I take no responsibility but I believe I have done enough due-diligence to allow me to feel confident that they are factual and worth believing – if they are wrong ……… it’s still worth reading!!)
In a 2008 survey, 58% of British teens thought Sherlock Holmes was a real guy, while 20% thought Winston Churchill was not.
1 out of 8 couples married last year met online.
The top 10 in demand jobs in 2010 didn’t even exist in 2004
The US department of Labour estimates that today’s learners will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38.
The first commercial text message was sent in December of 1992, today the number of text messages sent and received everyday exceeds the total population of the planet
It is estimated that a week’s worth of The New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th Century.
But if you were ever going to think about starting a business now, or expanding your current one, there has never been a more exhilarating and rewarding time to do it, embrace your fears – roll up your sleeves and deliver the answers to all those questions in my quick guide, and if you can’t personally then find a business partner or a mentor who can. It is time to dream big – Estee Lauder said “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it”
BUT - Just think……
STOP THE CLOCK
In the time it has taken for you to read this article …. Give or take!
360 hours’ worth of videos have been uploaded onto YouTube
2,955 new websites have been created
The population has tweeted 1.3m times
Hundreds of the next generation have been born around the world and billions of emails have been sent.
I’d like to thank you for reading this, as in a world this fast paced its easy not to find the time.
I hope my Quick Business Guide has helped confirm what amazing people you are, and the great job you do to survive in business in this world.
I look forward to seeing you all at the next IBAK Awards event ……… I wonder what will have been invented, created and delivered by then, and by which one of you?!"
So there you have it! what wonderful, timeless business advice and I love those facts! But now you see why we must keep up to date with the very fast moving internet, for ourselves and for our children.
When Phoenix is 18 years old this world will be a VERY different place. You only have to look at Susannah's blog and statistics to see just how much things have changed in just over 10 years and it is only getting faster.
As she says, "today life is a slow as it will ever be …….. things will only get faster" so please keep up with this ever changing world and be part of it because your children certainly will be.
And if you are thinking of starting a business or you have a business, that's thousands of pounds worth of advice right there from the fabulous Susannah Scofield. Thank you lovely lady, you just might have made someone else a millionaire!