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Archive for January 2013

How to answer why have you been out of work Q&A series

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“I’ve been out of work and looking for a job for a while.

What should I say when asked ‘why’ by interviewers?
Member’s question, posted by ‘Dave’

Part of our growing Q & A series of videos.

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January 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Started a new job and no-one is talking to me. What do I do?

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Started a new job and no-one is talking to me. What do I do?

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January 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Posted in Daily posts

Should I quit my job to look for a new one?

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Should I quit my job to look for a new one?

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January 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Posted in Daily posts

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Business Insights: 6 top tips from Andrew

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Part of our growing Business Insights, where company owners share their advice and experience

Andrew Seaton

Andrew Seaton

Be strict on credit limits. As a small business owner you wear many hats. My sales hat was much bigger than my credit control hat. When a customer is up to their £10k credit limit and says ‘send me another £2k of equipment’ the excitement of extra business can take over. It’s not quite as exciting chasing 60 day overdue accounts and hearing repeated excuses as to why they cannot pay. I learnt early on that a sale is not a sale until it’s been paid in full.

If it ain’t broke fix it. Just because video ‘tape’ recorders were hot sellers for many years, it didn’t stop them from becoming old technology and being replaced overnight with digital ‘DVD’ recorders, which are now being replaced with ‘network’ storage solutions. The same can apply when one year your customers are happy to receive a catalogue and order by phone, and the next they want to order online from your – or if you don’t have one – your competitors e-commerce website. I learnt the hard way early on, the importance of continual change, being ahead of the curve, and not relying on things just because they have worked in the past.

Delegate. As a small business owner, nobody knows your business like you do, or is as committed to your business and customers as you are, and there might be a temptation to do everything yourself. It took me a few years of being a ‘one person band’, however once I started employing people and had grown to a team of five, I wished I’d had that team and support much earlier on.

Keep your ideas to yourself A while after starting my business, and achieving initial success, I was approached by a ‘friend’ who became interested in the running of my business. In good faith I shared my sales and marketing strategies. Shortly after said ‘friend’ had replicated my business model, undercutting me on price, targeting my customers and had effectively become a competitor.

The good times don’t last forever. In 1999 I started my business with a single unique product, minimal competition, high margins and most people I ‘cold called’ wanted to meet me. In 2009 I had over 1,000 products, cutthroat competition (manufacturers were emailing end users direct), low margins and my telemarketing team were reporting they were now the ‘8th, 9th or 10th distributor that had called customers that day’. I was working harder, smarter, and selling more than ever just to break even. I wish that I’d expanded much earlier in the ‘growth’ stage of the security market, which was now saturated and in ‘decline’.

After 12 enjoyable and successful years and taking into consideration the market conditions, Andrew Seaton sold his security business in 2011 to change career direction, and ‘with lessons learned’ is now Head of Business Development for Codastar, a Web Marketing Agency in London; specialising in Web Design, Social Media Design, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), helping clients maximise their online business.

http://www.codastar.com/

Our contributing writers are professionals who have valuable advice to offer. We assess and approve all our contributors to ensure their content is expert and relevant.

Written by getrealvideo

January 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

An Insider’s Story – Film and TV producers’ assistant

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Birmingham IMAX Tour - Film Reels for the Proj...

Birmingham IMAX Tour – Film Reels for the Projector (Photo credit: William Hook)

Part of our growing Insider Stories, where professionals share their advice and experience

Producers Assistant

1 – What is your job?

I am a producers’ assistant at an independent Film and TV production company called Young Films

 2 – How did you get into it?

I did an internship at another film production company where I learnt what the industry was like and then I used that bit of experience to get payed work as a runner / production assistant on a film that was shooting. I had to be very persistent in getting the runner job (including going to the offices with CV to introduce myself and calling quite often.) But once I had that job – others followed.

3 – What do you enjoy about it?

I enjoy the potential of being able to put any story you like on screen! I really like talking about narrative and films and watching and making films, and the ongoing creative discussions that happen when you’re making films.

4 – What do you wish you had known before you entered your industry?

How much administration I’d have to do for so many years – and that it will likely never stop! That the industry is extremely limited by financial restrains which inhibits innovation – but I suppose this can also be looked at very positively, and as an obstacle to overcome!

5 – Top tips for someone wanting to start out in your sector

Be persistent, confident and charming and care about films. Be open minded but hold on to the stories, themes, styles and films you care about – as down the line you might get a chance to make the films you want to!

Our contributing writers are professionals who have valuable advice to offer. We assess and approve all our contributors to ensure their content is expert and relevant.

Written by getrealvideo

January 24, 2013 at 9:00 am

An Insider’s Story – Supermarket leadership development scheme

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English: Waitrose Supermarket, Barry

English: Waitrose Supermarket, Barry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part of our growing Insider Stories, where professionals share their advice and experience

Food retail is extremely fast paced and requires strong leadership, sales and customer service skills.  The hours can be anti-social and the work can be physically hard but it does save on gym membership!  To enjoy this job you will need to get a kick out of selling: everyday, day in day out.  You will need to be able to look at your store in great detail, considering how best to present your stock and staff to your customers and how to look at your operation through the customer’s eyes.  You will need to be able to use financial analysis to establish patterns of behaviour in your sales, wastage and levels of destroyed produce and then create a strategy to capitalise on your conclusions.  You will need excellent leadership skills as you will be implementing your strategy with the help of anything between 100 and 300 staff. I am entirely responsible for my store’s P&L with sales of over £0.5m a week and I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a manager, only a leader in retail.

Our contributing writers are professionals who have valuable advice to offer. We assess and approve all our contributors to ensure their content is expert and relevant.

Written by getrealvideo

January 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

An Insider’s Story – Hair and make-up artist

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Part of our growing Insider Stories, where professionals share their advice and experience

Hair styling for make up artists

Hair styling for make up artists (Photo credit: London College of Fashion short courses)

I work as a freelance hair and make up artist for the film industry. It can seem like a daunting field to start out with but if it’s something you’re really passionate about, I really recommend plugging away at it.

There are hundreds of courses out there for budding make-up artists, but there is nothing like learning on the job, so when starting out as a trainee accept every job on offer, no matter how big or how small. You never know who you’ll meet along the way who will give you your big break.

Although the starts tend to be incredibly early and the hours incredibly long, there’s no other industry in the world quite like it.  I am constantly meeting people from every walk of life, learning new skills, and experiencing life in parts of the world that I would never have the opportunity to enjoy in any other way.

Our contributing writers are professionals who have valuable advice to offer. We assess and approve all our contributors to ensure their content is expert and relevant.

Written by getrealvideo

January 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

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