December 2019 / January 2020 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.
This issue includes the event guide for the BBxpo business exhibition and networking event in Bideford on Thursday 24 October 2019.
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IN THE HOT SEAT Helen Pedlar of Pedlars, Ilfracombe 1. What was your first job? From about the age of five my Dad had me in the shop dusting and re-filling shelves! But my very first paid job – at £1.10 an hour! – was dressing up as Bubbles the Bear at Watermouth Castle theme park meeting and greeting the visitors at the entrance. 2. What is the best business advice you’ve ever received? Always keep your staff happy. They are the frontline of the business and if they are happy and content, then it shows through to the customers and the staff will always work harder for you if you show them you genuinely care. Customer service is paramount. If you go the extra mile for the customer, the rest will fall into place. Customers always remember how much you’ve helped them and return business follows. 3. What do you enjoy most about business? Every single day is different in here. Every day has its own challenges and I learn something new. I love the shop being such a big part of the community and seeing so many generations pass through. It’s a privilege. 4. What essential technology could your business never be without? Pen and paper! We are old school and still write lots of lists and do paper orders. We still hand write all our ledgers, although the accountant tells me we have to computerise Each issue we put a North Devon business personality in the hot seat and ask them 10 questions. This issue we asked Helen Pedlar of Pedlars Home Hardware in Ilfracombe very soon. We have all our handwritten ledgers since 1860. Imagine if they had been on floppy disk – we would have no way of looking back at our history. 5. Describe your business management / style Friendly and open. I like to think that staff and customers can come to me with anything. I would never ask the staff to do anything I wouldn’t do Right Way HR Services Safeguard your business • Advice on all aspects of employment law • Contracts of employment • Staff handbook • HR policies • Letters, templates and documents Call Richard on 07825 090782 e-mail: email@example.com myself. I still mop the doorways and the pavement every morning with the staff, as we all work together. 6. How do you go about personal development? I encourage learning through the workplace. I like to include the staff in meeting reps, visiting trade shows and having A deceptively small department store, this shop is a positive cornucopia of useful, interesting, beautiful and essential items. Hardware, electricals, china, gifts, gardening, camping, outdoor leisure, menswear and school uniforms are all sold here. The family business, dating back 150 years and now in its sixth generation, is part of the fabric of the history of Ilfracombe. Nowadays, the friendly and helpful staff are still happy to be of assistance and always an input on the products we sell. I like to see the staff get excited about a new product. Enthusiasm sells! 7. Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change? My time management. There never seems to be enough hours in the day. 8. Social media: yes or no? Preferred network? Yes. We use Facebook and Instagram to promote the shop. We have found that this is really helping us to put us out there and show people who haven’t shopped with us before the wide variety of goods we stock. 9. How do you wind down when not working? To be honest, I never stop. My shop is always on my mind, that and an active seven-year-old. I do like to make sure I take at least one family holiday a year abroad as I love travel and the heat. It also makes sure I can’t be called on. I love gardening with my son, Ollie. He loves the spring when we can plant the veggies and he’s in charge of making sure we have a good crop. 10. Do you have a motto or favourite quotation? I don’t get tired of my work because you can’t get tired of something you love and enjoy. You can never go wrong when you have a great team to work with. Anyone for coffee? ABOUT PEDLARS HOME HARDWARE prepared to go that extra mile to ensure satisfaction with all customers’ purchases. As a proud member of the national Home Hardware group – named Britain’s Best Wholesaler in 2017, 2018 and 2019 – prices remain competitive compared with the large national retailers. From traditional to quirky and modern, Pedlars is well worth a visit for anyone living in or visiting Ilfracombe. ■ ■ Details 01271 863509 or facebook.com/pedlarshomehardware 8 business action | December2019 / January2020 | business-action.co.uk
After 32 years of working in administration and finance, Vanessa Glover retains her enthusiasm for making businesses run smoothly, which she now achieves through her own business, Exmoorfern. VA and audio transcription Exmoorfern provides a range of virtual assistance services, from email newsletter set-up and maintenance to CRM management, creation and re-purposing of marketing material, task analysis and office manual creation. Along with these, Vanessa specialises in audio transcription. While her introduction to this was through her doing the actual dictating when working in the finance department of Portsmouth City Council, Vanessa started transcribing after moving to Devon in roles as a doctors’ receptionist and as a legal secretary. Vanessa says, “I contentedly spent every day connected to my headphones and foot pedal – pretty much as I do today when transcribing dictated formal reports for architects, conservators and other professionals, which typically run to 75 pages.” Now also transcribing for surveyors, engineers and medical consultants, Vanessa is particularly keen to work with creative and culinary artisans, caterers, photographers, florists and milliners, as she takes a keen interest in these professions. Following a career break after the birth of her son, Vanessa took on the role of PA, bookkeeper and office manager to a preeminent timber conservator doing everything he didn’t want, SMALL BUSINESS Saving you time to spend on running your business or have time, to do. This shaped her role as a VA, as she realises first-hand the benefit of her services for high-value professionals and sole traders working under pressure, who never seem to have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Productivity and profits Vanessa approaches her work with a passionate commitment to standardising processes to bring increased efficiency, productivity and profits for her clients. “My services mean clients can delegate their mundane admin and accomplish things on their ‘to do’ list rather than neglecting them or decisively and proactively implement their next project. “It thrills me that technology enables me to work remotely, which also represents a salary saving to my clients.” RNLI ambassador In addition to office administration, Vanessa is a passionate RNLI ambassador as a result of her spectacular rescue by the RNLI from the flooded River Taw in Umberleigh on 23 December 2012 – see the video on her web site. She supports the cause on behalf of her volunteer rescuers who received RNLI Bronze Medals for Gallantry and the Pride of Britain 999 Emergency Services Award for saving her life. ■■Details 01598 740210 or exmoorfern.co.uk NEW YEAR NEW DREAMS NEW ADVENTURES NEW CAREERS NEW OPPORTUNITIES NEW CHALLENGES NEW START @businessactionm | December2019 / January2020 | business action 9