Ahead of our Entrepreneurial Skills: Developing Your Business Idea training session on 17th October, we caught up with our trainer, National President Mark Smith to find out more about the session, his business and how JCI fits in with it all!
What made you start your own business?
A combination of circumstances and also wanting to push myself. I have worked in the charity sector for most of my working life then was made redundant from my last charity paid post after 8 years working there. I then went to work for a chamber of commerce for a year.
Has JCI helped you with your business?
Absolutely! Its a bit like a chain of events…my JCI experience was fundamental in helping me get me a job a few years ago at Doncaster Chamber of Commerce covering maternity leave for the Head of Membership and Business Services. Then during my year in post, I worked with hundreds of businesses to understand their needs and to help them fulfil their goals. This experience, coupled with being in JCI for several years and attending so many business talks and business skills training made me think why couldn’t I do this? As well as helping with knowledge, JCI has helped with my confidence and skills in networking and now I would say about 95% of my customers are from personal contacts and connections.
What can attendees expect to get out of the session?
This session will particularly be useful for those who may have always wanted to start their own business but don’t know where to start, or if you want to develop your commercial thinking. It will help give you confidence.
What is your favourite thing about running your own business?
Being your own boss and the flexibility! So whilst I probably work the equivalent of full time hours (or more some weeks), it doesn’t really feel like it because it is working for myself. It also means that I can be flexible like being able to work remotely or have long weekends off if I’m travelling for JCI purposes for example.
You can find out more about the training session and book a ticket here: https://www.jcisouthampton.co.uk/events/entrepreneurial-skills-developing-your-business-idea-fpyc/Tags: business, career, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial skills, Entrepreneurship, JCI Southampton, JCI UK, Mark Smith, personal development, southampton
This post was written by Zoe Toseland