SMITHKIN BAKER
The do’s and don’ts of networking
Having set up my own event I should know a bit Networking is one of the most apt words in the dictionary; building a net that will work for you! For most of us though, it’s a word that has associated dread. My heart certainly used to sink at the prospect of having my ears chewed off by Bob, the photocopier salesman with bad breath, discussing the intricacies of a potato chipping factory or, running out of things to say with a real prospect. Over the years I’ve certainly learnt a bit about networking and now see it as a [...]
Public speaking – getting over the nerves
Public speaking is commonly referred to as one of the most frightening things people can do. I share that fear each and every time I stand in front of an audience but, through years of perseverance, failure and subsequent learning I now harness it and now, for the first time and most peculiarly, look forward to it! This all comes about from exposure to a chap I’d recommend to anyone. Sam Carrington is the proprietor of ‘Smirk Experience’ – taking the skills of stand-up comedy and transferring them to the world of business and presentation. I was fortunate to see [...]
Existentialism, a plump belly and marketing!
As I hurtle towards 40 years on earth I’m having something of an existential crisis. The metabolism is slowing down and the party lifestyle is taking its toll. With the summer wardrobe now in full effect and holidays on the horizon, I’m in a constant panic about over exposure of the muffin top, moobs and general adipose tissue (fat for the uneducated), that seems to have laid claim to my midriff! For the first time I can empathise with the sufferance of the fairer sex, as images from love island, fitness gurus and diet guides tend to dominate my social [...]
One year on…
Although SMITHKIN BAKER has been in existence a little bit longer, we are officially one year old this month. What a year it has been! Consistent growth, a few new clients and a third member of the team marrying the second (that’s Faye and I). It paints a very positive picture, and we’re all enjoying the ride. Perhaps even more of a positive has been our very high client retention rate, which goes someway to ensuring we are doing a top job! After 20 years solely focused on professional sport, working intimately with a wide range of clients has been [...]
Rugby Lessons (vol 2)
Being a professional player for 13 seasons in 4 different countries did mean I gained a lot of experience in the sport and took a lot of lessons. As the Smithkin business gets rolling I’m sure we’ll be a lot less autobiographical but, for the time, I’m keen to extract lessons with a positive correlation to business. So, without further ado, here’s the second tranche of rugby lessons Sharpen the blade When rugby first turned pro, there was a distinct fracture in playing sections, those that knew the world of work outside and those that didn’t. As the professional game [...]
Rugby Lessons (vol 1)
It’s no surprise that many of my peers have gone on from elite level rugby to top level business. The lessons learnt on the field (and off it), have huge crossover appeal. I wasn’t the best of my crop but I certainly occupied high branches, facilitating a career that took me all over the globe playing the game I loved. Here are a few adages that stuck with me… Control the controllables (Dave Hatfield) During my time in New Zealand I was played for the Tasman Mako. A brand-new team in the National Provincial Championship made up of a few [...]
The SMITHKIN way
“Chris what’s the USP?” I decided this was a perfect prompt to dig a bit deeper and write my first blog about what differentiates SMITHKIN BAKER from the maddening crowd so, without further ado, let’s have a more personal look at the unique selling proposition of SMITHKIN BAKER… As a family unit we are certainly a different to most. Sisters and a husband / brother-in-law could have all the makings of disaster but, once you get to know any or all of us, you’ll realise we perfectly compliment one another’s skills. The familial bond means that we move quickly in getting [...]
When did you last ask why?
Despite my less than geeky appearance, I am a true geek at heart and love nothing more than exploring the latest tech. This comes in pretty handy with technology clients in the fold and this week I’ve been getting my geek on with software; business management software to be precise. I’ve been looking at ways to tighten sales processes for two of our clients. They both want to improve how they operate, (albeit very differently) and I’ve been tasked to identify how we can achieve this with some changes to their software. When I’m doing an exercise like this it reminds [...]
“Can you top up my thumb?”
Picture the scene… We’re sat at SB HQ and Claire’s son George walks in with this request. Now I consider myself down with the kids, but admit to being somewhat removed from the day to day life of a kid at secondary school. George was in fact talking about his dinner money, (you know, the money that used to buy you sweets instead of dinner)! Anyway, it’s all done via an online account and he’s identified through fingerprint technology – SILLY ME! As I’ve already admitted, I am a massive fan of tech, but this new wave of cashless payment is [...]
Hello World!
2015 Faye and I were working independently, as 'Claire Baker Design' & 'Faye Allyn Small Consultancy' respectively. We would bring each other in on larger projects, which became an increasingly regular occurrence. Then one day it occurred to us that we should collaborate and form a business partnership together. Hey presto! SMITHKIN BAKER was born! If only it was that easy! We set about the same arduous process that we have helped so many others with over the years…Name? A tricky one indeed! Not only should the name be a true reflection of us, it should also sound professional, be timeless and oh, the domain must be [...]