Everyday Tales of Business Folk: a business story for business people – Episode 4

This is episode 4 of Tales of Everyday Business Folk.

So far, our hero Katherine has lost her job in London, has written some beautiful words for a client of her friend Claire, and is realising that she’s probably not going to be getting another “proper” job any time soon.

We catch up with Katherine enjoying a pint of strange tasting Burning Sky beer in the Craft Beer company in Brighton, paid for by her dad.

“I just don’t understand it. You were always moaning about having to get up early and get on the train to London, and now you’re moaning about not having to. Why on earth would you want a job?” Katherine’s dad, who we’ll call Pete, almost spits out the word “job” in his disgust at the idea.

“To pay the rent, Dad.” Katherine takes a long pull at her pint, and smiles. “It’s all right for you, you’ve made your money, your mortgage is paid off, and you only have to work a couple of days a week since you got the new manager in. But I haven’t even got a mortgage yet, and those cats need to be fed. And I feel rubbish, not having a job, and not having anything to do.”

“Well, if you’re looking for something to do, you could rewrite our website for us. And there’s that social media to look after – I did what you said, and set up a twitter account for the business, but none of the guys in the office have really got a clue about how to use it. Tweeting about their favourite sandwich fillings and such like. How’s that going to to get us more customers?”

Pete runs an engineering company in Uckfield, making high end vacuum pumps for medical equipment. He’s had the company for 30 years, and is semi-retired now, but can’t resist popping into the office every week.

Katherine looks at her phone, and winces slightly when she sees the company’s twitter account. “Well, I guess it won’t matter too much when you’ve only got 13 followers, and there’s been no tweets since December.” She drinks some more of the Burning Sky and then remembers that it’s 7.8% proof, and it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. “And your website – what happened to all those changes I recommended, this looks like it was built 10 years ago and hasn’t changed since then”.

“We did build it 10 years ago, remember? You said it looked cool.”
“Yes Dad, but you can update websites you know. With photos of the new lines, maybe a product list, online ordering…that sort of thing.”

Pete’s eyes glaze over as his daughter talks more about how his website should be working for him, establishing the brand, doing different versions for their main export markets.

“Funny you should say that actually,” he interrupts. “We had a woman in the other day, and she was saying the same thing. I think it was the same, I’m not sure I caught all of it to be honest. You know me, I like to look after the finances, and talk directly to the customers about what they need.”

“Well, that’s great Dad, but I bet there are all sorts of customers out there who would love to buy from you, but they’re not going to if they see this piece of crap. There’s not even any SEO been done on the site, your title tag says ‘home'” Katherine shudders. “That’s pretty much what she said too, although she was a bit more polite about it mind.”
“Who’s this woman?” “She came to see me and Dave the other day. Talking about joined up marketing strategies and realising the full potential of the international market. Julia, she was called. She helps small businesses like ours, specialises in companies with less than 30 employees, helps them grow. Dave got her in, he’s the one with the appetite for growth now. I’m too old for that sort of thing.”

“Sounds like she was talking sense. Didn’t you like her?” “She was nice enough, and she did talk sense, but I don’t know if I’ve got the fight for it now. I think Dave wants to get her to help us, but he probably wanted me to meet her so I’d accept her ideas when he wants to get going with it all.” “Interesting.” “Anyway, she wants us to redo the website, and we’ll need it all rewritten. So, if you’re looking for something to do, you could rewrite all the copy, do some of that SEO. I’ll pay you in beer.” Pete gets up and goes to the bar. “Cat food. I want to be paid in cat food and beer.” Katherine smiles and passes her dad her glass for a refill.

Well, what’s going to happen next? Can you guess who Julia is? Will Katherine rewrite her dad’s website? Will the cats get fed? Click here to find out.

PS – if you’re already thinking that you might like to meet this mysterious Julia and get some help with your marketing strategy, helping your business to grow, you might want to join me for a chat over coffee and cake. I can’t do 7.8% beer at 3 in the afternoon though.