Since I’ve started running Shropshire Jelly co-working events, I’ve seen many new business relationship develop; many have now gone one step further and started collaborating. Here’s one success story from two Jelly attendees:
Michaela Hardwick, Business and Performance Coach and HR Consultant, Kay Heald, are to run their first joint venture in January 2011. Using their complementary skills, they will be providing Shropshire business owners with accessible workshops, coaching and teambuilding sessions, packed with practical tips and ideas to help grow their businesses through the development of their staff.
Michaela and Kay met at Shropshire’s very first Jelly event, held at Enterprise HQ in Coalport, near Telford in April 2010. Michaela was already an experienced Twitter user, but Kay had only just been ‘dipping her toe in the water’, thanks to encouragement from Jelly organiser and Business Advisor, Jan Minihane.
The Jelly event not only enabled them to put names to faces, but gave them a valuable opportunity to find out more about each other’s line of work, how they operated and how they wanted to grow their businesses – simply from chatting over their laptops whilst working! They quickly realised that they had a very similar set of work values. Both agreed that their paths were unlikely to have crossed without attendance at the Jelly events, as they lived in different parts of the county and had, up to that point, not attended networking events in the same area.
Nearly nine months later, they are preparing for their first workshop collaboration.
“I had wanted to offer group development opportunities to my clients and other local businesses for a long time, but simply had not had the confidence to put anything together on my own!” Kay admitted. “I had forgotten how important it is to seek out collaborations with other people, particularly those with different, but complementary skills – unfortunately, networking events can be rather rushed, making it difficult to really find out about people.”
Michaela added “Being a relatively new business, it has been great for me to be able to collaborate with Kay who has spent many years developing an excellent reputation and relationship with her clients. It also gives me a great feeling to know that I can help enhance the service she provides to her clients. Jelly has most certainly been instrumental in helping us to develop the strength of relationship and trust needed to work together in this way. If you haven’t tried Jelly yet – why on earth not?”