Posted: Mon 24th Sep 2018
Every Tuesday at 12.30pm you can watch an online business masterclass delivered by one of our Adviser members.
This week, Alison Battisby hosts: Three trends for Instagram for business
Masterclasses are available at a cost of only £10 each or free for Enterprise Nation members. To register for this week's event at 12.30pm on 25 September, go here.
If you're not yet a member, free online masterclasses are just one of many benefits. Join now from only £10 a month.
Company name: Avocado Social
Year company founded: 2014
Describe your business in a tweet.
Demystifying social media for start-ups and existing brands, through bespoke consultancy, social media strategy, and training workshops.
What is your favourite business book and why?
Other than Going for Growth by the lovely Emma Jones, it would be Richard Branson's The Virgin Way which is full of useful lessons and advice, as well as insight into one of the world's most interesting companies.
I also really enjoyed Shaun Smith's How to Be Brave in Business and Win which looks at how many different brands have taken brave decisions in marketing and customer experience to stand out.
Who is your business hero?
There are so many interesting food and drink start-ups in the UK at the moment. My favourites have to be Jimmy's Iced Coffee and Pip & Nut peanut butter.
Jimmy Cregan and Pippa Murray are both inspiring young entrepreneurs that are using some fantastic techniques (including awesome social media) to establish their products in the UK market.
What has been your biggest challenge?
As the majority of my business is project based, it's hard to know when it's right to make the step to grow the team. So far I've used freelancers, but ideally I'd like to find a dedicated team to work with; it's just knowing when to make the commitment.
What has been your greatest success?
Growing the business so quickly, through regular speaking events and workshops. It's been great to have been so busy since day one!
I've had some lovely feedback from my sessions, which is always so satisfying too as it's great to hear I'm offering a useful and valuable service for clients. A BBC producer once told me my workshop was "flawless" which was a bit of a career high!
What piece of advice do you wish you had known when starting out?
It's OK to make mistakes! Running your own business is a complete learning curve and of course you are going to make mistakes, but the key thing is to make sure you don't repeat those mistakes again and you learn from them.
I've done things like taking on too much work, or not giving myself enough time to complete projects, but it's all helped to work out the right processes for the future.
Why do you consider long-term strategic advice important to business success?
The first year of running Avocado Social was a bit mad, and haphazard. Although the business did well, I didn't have a clear plan or any goals and just made it up as I went along.
Now I have a business plan and long-term goals, it makes everything so much clearer.
It's so satisfying to make decisions that ultimately help you to get where you want to be, and helps you to focus on the important things rather than wasting time on other bits and bobs.
If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
If I had a superpower I would definitely choose something that would prevent me from having to do housework.
Like a wand that would magically clean and organise my flat. I'm terrible for leaving piles of things all over the place, so being able to zap everything away tidily would be life-changing! Folding clothes, dusting, washing up, organising receipts. Oh how wonderful it would be!
To register for Alison's online masterclass, Three trends for Instagram for business, go here.
If you're an Adviser member and you'd like to host a masterclass, log in to your member dashboard and go to the content section to apply.