Everyday Tales of Business Folk: a business story for business people – Episode 6

Welcome to episode 6 of Everyday Business Folk.

Katherine’s in her flat. Her very tidy flat. Apart from those lazy lumps of fur, also known as cats, who insist on lying around making the place untidy and trying to trip Katherine up as she walks around.

She’s looking at her finances online, and she doesn’t like what she sees. She recalculates, and thinks that she has just enough to live on for another 3 months before she can’t pay the rent. And that’s using her credit card.

She now officially has zero assets, and is heading into the land of debt. She’s written loads of copy for her dad’s new website, but of course he hasn’t got round to uploading it yet, so she can’t get going on the campaigns she’s planning. She’s already been for a run, she can’t afford to go out for a coffee and the flat is looking cleaner than it ever has. She’s broke, and she’s bored.

Yesterday she got another “no thanks” from a content marketing agency job. Her phone rings and she seizes on it. But it’s another call about reclaiming payment protection insurance. “I wish I had taken out that stupid insurance, at least I’d be able to claim it back now”, she mutters to the black cat Zippy, who squirms away. “Even Zippy doesn’t want a cuddle. Even the bloody cats are deserting me.” The cats are sulking about the move to cheaper biscuit based cat food, and have been noticeably less friendly over the last few weeks.

Katherine’s phone rings again. It’s Julia Chanteray, her dad’s business adviser. “Hi Katherine. How are you?” “I’m alright, just wasting time online.” “I just wanted to say that I was seriously impressed with that copy you wrote. And I have a couple of favours to ask.” Katherine rolls her eyes. More unpaid work that doesn’t even get published, no doubt. “Ok, what are you thinking about?”

“Well, the first thing is that I can’t get hold of your dad. He didn’t show for a meeting yesterday, and he’s not answering his phone. I wondered if you knew where he was?” “Dad’s in Spain. Didn’t he tell you? That’s not like him. He’s looking for a property over there, has some mad idea about buying something cheap and doing it up. Didn’t Dave show up for the meeting?” “Ah. That’s probably my fault, I arranged it with your dad, so maybe he didn’t tell Dave. I should have copied Dave into the email. No worries, it’s just that we’re a bit behind with the timeline on getting that new website up and running and I’ve got the designers phoning me and asking me what to do, but it’s not really up to me. I’ll speak to Dave and get it sorted.”

“My advice would be to just get Dave to approve it all and get it up there. Dad’s not really that interested in all this online promotion stuff, and you’ll be waiting forever if you want him to approve the designs.” “Okay, that’s probably a good way to go. I have another favour to ask, actually. I have a client at the moment who needs some new copy for his website, and the person I was going to use is super busy for the next month. I don’t think she can handle it to be honest. I was wondering if you’d like to have a go. He’s got budget” Katherine’s little heart flipped and flopped at Julia’s words.

She’d assumed this would be another freebie, mates rates for flowers and cat food type job, and then her former professional self came flooding back to her at the magic phrase “he’s got budget”. It felt good. “What kind of budget are we talking about?” “Well, he’s a small company, so it wouldn’t be the sort of agency rates your previous company would have charged. And he’s got some £25 per article type copywriters churning out Mickey Mouse stuff for him at the moment, but I don’t think it’s doing him any good. Why don’t I send you the details and you can have a look at it and tell me what you think he needs.”

Katherine hears Julia tapping away on the keyboard. “Ok, I’ll have a little look. Thanks.” Katherine smiles, and starts to read what Julia has sent over. Zippy settles in to rest on her feet, as if he knows where his next meal is coming from.

Tomorrow’s instalment will see Katherine’s adventure truly starting. She’s might have got her first proper lead, but there’s still trouble ahead.