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  • Writer's pictureKaren Edwards

As you may have seen from my LinkedIn and Social posts, I am live on site in Peterborough at Plantworx 2023.

If you have never heard of Plantworx, you are missing out on a treat!

Plantworx 2023 will be the show where emerging and disruptive technologies will feature alongside construction equipment, innovation, technology products and services. The show remains the UK’s biennial showcase for the construction sector – and will lead visitors into the future of construction.

With a combination of live demonstrations and the latest in machine technology and support products, Plantworx offers a valuable experince for construction sector professionals. (taken from Plantworx website 2023)

My role for Plantworx is Administration, this is a catch all title! I am responsible for the Exhibitors, making sure they sending documents in on time, answering their questions of the show, the site and anything else. I look after elements of the sponsorship and branding, I look after the office, and staff we have in the office. Oh and a bit of technology thrown in… the website, the webapp and our project management tools!

Busy, busy, busy!!

Plantworx 2023 is live 13th, 14th, 15th June, so you may be wondering why I am on site now.

Well, when you are part of a team organising a big working demo outdoor show, there is plenty do to before the gates open.

This is a short list of all the things that need to be done before anyone comes on site:

  • the ground needs to be prepared

  • mark out

  • CAT scan all the ground to check for underground services

  • office set up

  • signage out

  • team familiarisation

  • supplier briefings and familiarisation

  • Heras fencing and crowd barriers to be put out

  • grass to be mowed

  • H&S check of exhibitor forms

  • managing exhibitor questions and queries

  • registration and badges

  • monitoring the weather

  • live changes to documents and website/ webapp

It is always interesting being on site before any of the exhibitors arrive, you get to spend time with the team building rapport, you get time to wander around the site, you get time to enjoy the site and event before the busy time starts!

It is so important to be on site prior to the exhibitors arriving for set up…

You are better prepared and more settled in.

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So, how do you grow your business, when you are the only employee?

This is a question I have been mulling over for a while now, and is often a discussion topic with other freelancers. Are you happy with where you are, or do you want to expand?

Here are my ideas on how to grow your company of one.

Focus on Your Niche

One of the advantages of being a company of one is that you can specialize in a particular niche or area of expertise. By focusing on your strengths and honing your skills, you can become the go-to expert in your field. This can help you attract more clients and charge higher rates for your services.

Leverage Technology

As a company of one, you can use technology to streamline your operations and reach a wider audience. For example, you can use tools like social media, email marketing, and online advertising to promote your business and connect with potential clients. You can also use project management software and other tools to automate routine tasks and free up more time for client work.

Build Your Brand

Building a strong brand is essential for any business, and it's especially important for a company of one. By developing a consistent brand identity and message, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and build trust with your clients. You can also use your brand to attract higher-quality clients and charge premium rates for your services.

Outsource Non-Core Tasks

As your business grows, you may find that you're spending too much time on administrative tasks or other non-core activities. To free up more time for client work and business development, consider outsourcing these tasks to freelancers or contractors. This can also help you scale your business without having to hire full-time employees.

Network and Collaborate

Finally, don't underestimate the power of networking and collaboration. As a company of one, you can benefit from building relationships with other professionals in your industry. This can help you generate referrals, learn new skills, and gain exposure to new ideas and perspectives. Consider joining professional organizations, attending industry events, or collaborating with other freelancers or small businesses on projects.

Growing a company of one is going to be challenging, but it will be rewarding. By focusing on your strengths, leveraging technology, building your brand, outsourcing non-core tasks, and networking and collaborating with others, you can scale your business while maintaining your independence and flexibility. With persistence and dedication, you can achieve your goals and build a successful business on your own terms.

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  • Writer's pictureKaren Edwards

How do you entertain your children over the Easter Holidays, and successfully work; or is this a futile exercise?

As a freelancer and a parent, the dream of the Easter Holidays (or any other holidays) is to not be at work, but to have time off entertaining and enjoying the small ones. This rarely happens.

I am lucky enough to be working on two fantastic projects now, which makes having any time off tricky. But I am a planner, so arranging two weeks of entertainment for my nearly 6-year-old shouldn’t be a problem….

I have a Margot (one) and an Arthur (almost six), they have very different entertainment needs. Margot is mainly at Nursery, apart from a Tuesday when she is super glued to my side! And Arthur, just wants to play football, play with his friends, or go on a train.

First, there was a surprise inset day at Arthurs school on Friday… who knew?? Well, I kind of knew, but secretly I was hoping I was wrong, and that the school would open! Never mind, a day out in Birmingham – train ride, Lego store, hot choc & cake! The boy was happy! Me not so much as it was raining, bouncing off the ground raining!

Now the fun begins, week one – four days of Football Camp. This is genius idea from the team at Whittington Soccer School. The only problems for me are:

  • It is 10am – 3pm – that is not many hours to get any work done!

  • I have a tired, hungry boy at pick up who needs cleaning, feeding and entertaining (again)

  • Post football playdates, this involves me picking, entertaining, feeding two children now!

  • Clients call no matter what! (I had several conversations whilst walking to the football, in the car after football, oh, and sat in the car waiting for football – thank goodness for 4G!)

  • Lots of evening work, as I have time in the day, but not as much as I need.

We have survived week one with lots of adaptive working and late nights, caffeine, and chocolate… now bring on week two. This is going to be slightly easier, as I have a husband as a co-entertainer. Wrong, he doesn’t really want to spend all his holiday entertaining small people, he has house tasks to achieve, and wants some downtime to himself. Fine!!

Enter week two: we are eating Easter chocolate, playing games, going to the Zoo, having a playdate with a friend, going to cinema and having a playdate with cousins, and I am trying to fit in my two projects! New week, same problems:

  • Time, I don’t have any to work (trying to answer calls and emails on the move, and give attention to your family is tricky)

  • Lots of evening work

  • Reliant on 4G to work on the move.

  • Giving your clients an insight into this world of holiday entertainment and hope they see the fun side! (I had several emails asking how the football had gone, and whether I had survived the Zoo)!

So, on reflection, do I think it is possible to entertain children over the Easter holidays (or any holidays) and work… the answer would be yes! You need to plan activities and playdates for the small ones, call on other people to help you entertain, and then You need to lower your expectation for productivity levels, expect to work in the evenings, and make sure that your clients and colleagues are aware that you are entertaining/ out and about.

No one said that freelancing was easy.

Freelancing is a daily challenge to see how good you are at juggling multiple balls!

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