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SELF FUNDED INTERNSHIP – IT’S A ‘WIN WIN’ EXPERIENCE

A new opportunity, purpose and confidence booster.

In celebration of the 5th year anniversary of Micro Biz Matters Day on Friday 11 January 2019 and in recognition of all of us who run micro businesses all over the UK I’ve made three pledges #IGave11 to support the sector. My first is to promote the day across all of my social media and contacts nationwide; the second is to offer 11 single hour sessions to anyone running a micro-business who feel they could benefit from my experience, advice, ideas on anything from branding to business marketing and family business advice. You can even just pick my brains! I’ve been in business over 35 years now – been there, done that, got the T shirt so to speak. If I can be useful in any way then do get in touch. No problem too small or too large!

Okay so let’s talk:

11 REASONS WHY I BELIEVE SELF FUNDED INTERNSHIPS WORK

•Micro businesses are small and don’t have the cash to pay for an apprentice or a uni intern

•It’s a ‘win win’ because it’s NOT about the money.

•For every graduate who gets a job straight from uni there are thousands who have the talent but just don’t have the confidence to take the first step on the career ladder. Most end up working in retail.

•Many grads have little self worth, low self esteem or have mental health issues.

• Often youngsters have no idea of their purpose in life and don’t know who to turn to or where to begin – or even know the questions to ask. You can ask ‘What do you want out of life’?

•A micro biz is thriving, working, growing ecosystem and as such needs fresh resources, bright thinkers, risk takers and next generation team players.

•A micro biz can teach, encourage, nurture, build confidence, provide new skills and drop them in the deep end! You’ll be surprised how well this tactic works. Everyone steps up to the plate given half the chance.

•Every self-funded intern will be given a personal bespoke One Year Programme according to the role that’s available, provide training and learn how to feel comfortable with people, peers and clients.

•This is a ‘get work ready’ opportunity.

•Mentoring and work experience is provided as part of the programme.

•You can guarantee the intern a job through your network of friends, family, connections and business associates.

Here is an example of a bespoke programme I put together for one of my self funded interns. (For convenience it’s a shortened headline only version). Followed by her Testimonial and then 6 months into her new job. I placed her with a wonderful family business where she is thriving. She is on her way to success. Lucy worked with us 4 days a week and worked in retail the other 3 days to fund her rent, travel, food and beer money. She provided her own computer and software.

 

Bespoke 1 year program for a Junior Graphic Designer at Family Business Place

Objectives

This is a 1 year post grad programme to enhance the practical experience gained working on live design projects as part of the FBP creative team.  The work and reflections should form part of a portfolio and should include scrapbooks of notes/the brief/reference material/design progressives etc.

Tutor time must be built into the programme of work in order for the student to feedback and discuss the themes.

For practical reasons the programme modules will be governed to a certain extent by the live working cycles of FBP ie regular events, marketing campaigns and magazine publishing dates.

Technical on-the-job training will be given while working on projects – in both formal manner and/or bite-size chunks a required. The student will also be expected to enhance their knowledge by subscribing to and following on-line learning courses (Linda.com and YouTube).

The course is delivered in a way that allows the student to develop his or her own specialist interests within the broadly structured graphic design units as they become competent, confident and independent.

FBP, based in Ditton near Maidstone, Kent has good public transport links to central London where the largest number of creative agencies in the UK have their premises. The proximity enables you the student to build meaningful industry links and enables staff to organise regular visits to exhibitions, festivals and events.

 

Programme structure

This will be an in-depth introduction to graphic design – with opportunities to develop the student’s creative thinking, build their technical knowledge and complete a number of small scale creative projects.

The program will consist of three elements:

•Live projects

•Research and reflection

•Self Initiated in-depth research and design projects

 

The Programme

 

Module 1 – Introduction to Magazine Design

Formal on-the-job tuition

To coincide with live magazine production

Research and reflection

Task 1

Research the magazine Industry

Task 2

How creativity Is maximised

Task 3

Examine and research the structure of magazines

 

Module 2 – Introduction to Illustration

Task 1   

Research illustrators and illustration style

Task 2   

Research examples of illustrations and professional illustrators from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries

Task 3

Live practical

Illustrate 6 features for use in Generation magazine

 

Module 3 – The Design Brief

Task 1

Reflect on the personal qualities needed to take a good brief

Task 2

Study different briefs from past projects

Task 3

Taking a verbal brief

 

Module 4 – Introduction to Branding

Creating a new brand

Listening to the client

Understanding the audience

Task 1

Look at super brands around the world

Task 2

Build your own brand

Task 3

Practical live work

Task 4

Creating a brand bible

 

Module 5 – Animation

Research best software for creative animation

Create an animated Christmas card for FBP

Homework: YouTube and Linda.com undertake an e-learning to aid the skills in animation

 

Module 6 – Web Design

Formal on-the-job tuition

Understand basic structures of site construction

Identify key factors: ease of use, location, traffic

Task 1

Look at websites

Task 2

Design a website from scratch

Task 3

Put together a Mail Chimp e-newsletter

Task 4

Use WordPress to build  a basic web page using images and text

Task 5

Build your personal promotional website in WordPress

 

Module 7 – Branding, Promotional design, Brochure design

Task 1

Working with the FBP brand guidelines develop a new theme for The National Family Business Place Awards

Task 2

Research great brochure design

Use of layout, typography, imagery, paper stock, info graphics

Write 500 report on findings?

Task 3

Live practical

With the creative team design the new theme for The National Family Business Awards across all media channels from concepts to pre-press and digital

 

Module 8  Infographics

Study great infographic illustration styles

Task 1

Increase your knowledge of Adobe illustrator software and use Linda.com tutorials to design info graphics for a feature in Generation magazine

Task 2

Create a scrap book showing different styles of infographics to illustrate facts and figures

Task 3

Develop an FBP house style for information graphics. Take 10 killer family business statistics and produce a set of promotional postcards using infographics

 

Additional on the job activities and assignments

Introduction to Art Direction of photography

Print production

Development of creative ideas

Weekly blog

External work experience

External mentor

PROGRAMME ENDS

 

Final End of Year Show

Confirm date and create a private view invitation for friends and family, local businesses and local press

Curate showcase of work in the studio

Prepare speech

Receive FBP Academy Certificate

 

Lucy’s testimonial

My time here as a design assistant at Family Business Place has been incredible and certainly life changing to say the least.

Being given the chance to use my creative skills in the real world from the very beginning at Family Business Place has well and truly built my confidence as a designer, illustrator and young creative who always dreamed about working in design but not quite knowing where to start, who to talk to, where to go and not even having the confidence to put myself out there.

The bespoke design internship program created by Chairman Anita Brightley-Hodges has provided me with a wealth of things; not only friends and a great support network of peers to go to for advice and support at work, but also the amount of professional design skills I’ve learnt has been amazing. I can now use all the design software that an industry level graphic designer uses.

There has been an abundance of advice on design, portfolios and new designers I had never before heard of and came to admire. I have also met some amazing people along the way, and attended some amazing events and had work experience in between.

Anita provided me with an amazing mentor who is a well-respected figure in the design and typography industry. It was a great priviledge to help put a selection of award-winning work together for a show for The Type Director’s Club. Anita believed in me even though I didn’t quite believe in myself. When I had my first meeting with Anita, my confidence was at a 2/10 and now it’s at an 8/10 not only in design but equally in my personal life.

My dreams finally came true towards the end of my internship when I was offered a job in design, something I wasn’t sure  how to do by myself, will always be eternally thankful to Anita and her generous welcoming team at Family Business Place for providing me with the skills, knowledge, professionalism and most importantly confidence to go out into the real world.

 

Lucy Parris: Graduation from 12 month self-funded Graphic Designer Internship 6 months on …

I have been working as an illustrator and graphic designer in a thriving and exciting industry for the past 6 months after completing my internship and have loved it and Family Business Place helped me get there.

I joined Anita and her team at FBP as part of a self-funded internship program in graphic design, which is something I always wanted to do on a professional level. Without the internship I wouldn’t have gained all the valuable skills I now have, such as technical and digital skills, knowledge in graphic design as a multimedia discipline along with people and social skills.

I am using all the skills I learnt with Anita in my current role and I can really put into practice my expertise and feel confident in my dream job which involves using specific design software, technical illustration, pitching ideas and producing exciting products for an international customer base.

The work I do on a day to day basis is really important to me and I am so grateful for being able to wake up every day and do what I love. I do have to pinch myself sometimes. But all it takes is one brave decision, trust in yourself and trust the people you work with. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made as it has change my life for the better.

In just 6 months in I have learnt so much. I am constantly growing every day and developing my practice and skills within design. I’m looking forward to continue working with my creative team and continue to grow as a designer.

This is just the beginning for me!

Humbitious

One of the highlights of our National Family Business Conference this year was the talk from Lord Bilimoria founder of Cobra Beer. The theme of the event was ‘GRIT’. What does it take to get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other in the face of adversity – be it through health, financial crisis, reputation meltdown and the like. Here is a man who has faced many challenges that would thwart other mere humans. He has fathomed, fixed, adapted and not just survived, but flourished to such an extend he is on a global brand trajectory.

Key to his success is his phrase ‘Humbitious’ I love it. This is where ‘a humble attitude meets ambition’. This so resonates with me and I expect with many others. I have also learned that especially when you have lost everything and there are dark days; there are those out there, friends, family, mentors, who come out of the woodwork, wanting to help in any way they can to get you back on to your feet. This experience in turn becomes part of your own DNA and fills you with the confidence and determination not just to come right, but to go further than you every thought possible. His three pillars for success are:

Simple stuff you may think, but hard to achieve and we know it may take a lifetimes work. I think it worthwhile holding a mirror and being honest with yourself when answering these questions. Without these three pillars there is no business worth having. In family business we can control these things much more than in a large corporate. We innately surround ourselves with those we trust – we know our brands are unique and often have been strengthened through the generations and finally we can make a deal on a handshake and look our customers and suppliers in the eye.

If you struggle with any of these thoughts, then do get in touch. Helping family enterprises discover their hidden gem of a brand is what I do.

Looking back and thinking forward

It’s the last week leading up to Christmas and we call it a day for a couple of weeks for all to enjoy a well-earned break. I’ve been doing a bit of looking back at our achievements, not so good choices, family challenges, as well as business.

For me some great events and projects include:

  • Northern Conference at Bowcliffe Hall with our fab host Jonathan Turner. Seeing family business chums who value this very special community and sector of the UK and Irish economy
  • Helping new clients with their family business challenges. Christmas can sometimes be a difficult time and can magnify hurt – whilst we put on a brave face
  • Being a guest speaker at PwC, Credit Suisse, Herts Chambers of Commerce on all things family business
  • Trekking 165km of the Camino de Santiago and raising just about 10K over the year for Alzheimer’s Research
  • Launching our Family Business place Membership – whoa!
  • Interviewing Lord Karan Bilimoria of Cobra Beer and the unstoppable Dame Stephanie Shirley
  • Having Wednesdays off with my Grandson Hendrix – pure joy!
  • Welcoming newbies on board, Rhian in Art, Caz in Membership, Danielle in bookkeeping
  • An exciting reshuffle of the Family Business Place focus and strategy
  • Attaining my Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising and taking part in the annual FFI Global Conference
  • Hosting a record-breaking year at the National Family Business Awards and welcoming the most uber amazing fabulous family firms from around the UK and Ireland.
  • Amalia winning the IoD Family Business Director of the Year – soooo proud! Firmly putting the family business sector on the map.
  • Launching the Kent Family Business Unsung Heroes Award – humbling and enriching – celebrating all those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make our family businesses shine

The list goes on, and too many fantastic events in 2018 to mention them all. Some sadness this year – in holding my mum’s hand as she took her last breath – dementia is cruel – and watching my dad’s health deteriorate with COPD. Sobering times to reflect on how lucky I am. So blessed, so thankful. Our parents make us the people we are today. What gems and gifts do you take from yours?

I’m sure like many you, it has been an up and down year, but that’s why we are here – to support each other over the coming months of uncertainty, family issues, business challenges. Mostly though I urge you to make the most of family at Christmas and to approach the New Year with optimism, energy. Let’s look to each other for support, advice, trade, and influence to help us to flourish in 2019.

Wishing you all a time of peace, harmony and love. From our family business to yours.

Never Stop Giving

As a child my father instilled a passion in me for sport and travel, indeed I grew up wanting to be aboard Jacques Cousteau’s vessel Calypso, bravely battling the harsh and open seas. However it was not to be. Instead my career has been an exciting roller coaster of ideas and experiences, running small, boutique, businesses employing no more than 12 people at any one time. In 1990 I began a successful award-winning international branding and design agency which, with much hard-work, fun and devotion, I nurtured for over 25 years.

Whilst waiting to take a brief from the communications team at Great Ormond Street Hospital for their annual report, I noticed a leaflet asking for fundraisers to Trek the Namibian Desert. I didn’t know a soul but I was compelled to sign up for the exploration of a lifetime. It was there that I learnt self-reliance and developed a passion for adventure. The rest, as they say, is history. Next came Machu Picchu. There I was, out of breath, trudging through the pouring rain, my boots squelching the muddy ground that I thought: here am I having the time of my life, raising funds for equipment for Great Ormond Street, just by taking 10 days out of my busy working life. If I can do this, in my small business, then why not others?

As soon as I returned to the studio,  I asked my team if anyone would like to take 10 extra days as paid leave in order to make an impact on someone else’s life; my web developer took up my offer and, hey presto, raised enough funds to go to Rwanda and help build a school in one of the poorest rural communities. I remember the pride in his voice when he told me ‘I’ve made a link for life’.

Since then I’ve set up the scheme My Ten Days, an organisation that works with businesses and charities to progress their corporate social responsibility by offering their staff just ten days to do something amazing, either here at home in the UK or overseas. We have had some amazing success stories over the years with family business owners and their employees who have embarked upon a journey that not only changed their lives but the lives of those most in need. I am proud and delighted by each and every one of them.

For our part we now use these 10 days to raise funds to build fresh borehole wells in deepest, rural Uganda. Our campaign WellGood is in partnership with Fields of Life and helps bring water, healthcare and education to those who most desperately require it.. To date we, with many other family businesses have built over 30 borehole wells.

Each well saves the lives of between 200 and 2000 people in a village. Considering that 115 people in Africa die every hour from illnesses due to poor sanitation, hygiene and contaminated water*, I say that we are making an impact for the better and what’s more there is further work we can do. There is no reason why anyone in 2018 should live in poverty,  yet thousands suffer daily. Despite losing my first business in 2010, I have continued to contribute to and develop initiatives that help those that are less fortunate than myself. I count my blessings that no matter how bad things get, there are others out there who are facing a much harsher reality. A reality that, if we can, is our duty to alter. Roll on the next 30 wells and while I may never have embarked upon the Calypso, I encourage anyone to cross the seas in the search for altruism.
* http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/africa.shtml

For more information on how you can give back go to http://www.mytendays.org/  

Illustration by Rhian Stone

 

IN TEN YEARS WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?

This year marks 10 years since Family Business Place was founded.  At the time, like many others of us working at international and global level, the mere mention of family business conjured up phrases such as: mom and pop, arguing relatives, small minded, regional, local business. butcher, baker ….. In fact, you would never aspire to work for a family business. Success as a smart, bright, young thing equated with getting a job with the large corporates, and for my part becoming Art Director at a national magazine in the heart of Soho.

They say things happen for a reason. And it all began with an invitation to a family business conference in Bristol. There I was enchanted, moved and excited about the stories of creativity, innovation, adversity, challenges, family relationships, business dynamics, world class, all the while being community centred. I was hooked. The day also produced its fair share of tears and high emotions.

With my marketing hat on and notwithstanding that my daughter Amalia worked alongside me, I got to thinking – something is needed to galvanise the sheer power, influence, capacity for employment, networking, sharing, giving,  back, community standing and so much more.

Ten years on, I am proud that we seem to have made it ‘cool’ to be a family business. How can this not be with fantastic enterprises such as VivoBarefoot, Izzy Wheels, Seven Brothers and 4 Sisters Brewers, Bremont, Baby Salon, Pentland, Pimlico Plumbers, BooHoo, Deliciously Ella and and more. With three National Conferences always a sell out; The National Family Business Awards being the jewel in the crown in the Family Business Calendar, we’ve attracted family run business owners who are proud to be called family owned, they are ambitious and attractive to work for; overflowing with expertise and craftsmanship. Importantly they provide regional jobs where family and work can be juggled and enjoyed for a better, flexible work life balance.

What have I learned is I have a heart that is bursting with pride in knowing these heroes personally. When I’ve needed a speaker, a connection, a mentor, an ambassador for family business I have only ever had to ask. Now working with two of my daughters Amalia and Olympia alongside my husband Steve and son in-law Nick as well as our adopted family Sue, we have a dream to be change makers for the family business community. To raise their profile as the true backbone of the UK and Irish economy. To help them be known as giants of industry. Our membership launched this year allows us to ask what is needed from us, how to trade with each other, access advice around business succession and of course when family dynamics can harm both the family and the business beyond repair. One is not without the other and conflict is part and parcel of being a family run enterprise. I want to thank our supporters and ambassadors who have been there when we sometimes questioned ourselves. We have a long way to go, but I am assured we are making a difference. Get in touch, find out more and join the movement.

Who’s Really Pulling the Strings – Part II

In a family business, who is the puppet, and who holds the strings? My work with a particular Family business  led to scenarios  and witnessing  a war between mother and daughter-in-law, daughter and parents- I helped the family with their family legacy hanging in the balance to navigate from turmoil toward a peaceful resolution; seemingly against all the odds.

Learning Outcomes

– Toxic relationships have an impact on succession
– Guide the next generation if they aren’t up to scratch
– Understand the importance/influence of all players (especially spouses on the periphery)
  make sure the family commits to doing it ‘your way’, to stop matters being made worse
– Manage communication between the family so it doesn’t disrupt/ destroy the plan of action all have signed up to
– Get to the truth, even if it means difficult questions. These will bite you on the bum later – guaranteed. Better out than in.

Who’s Really Pulling the Strings? Part I

In an autocratic family business, who holds the power? Your first answer may be the father, who built the company from scratch, or the son, set to inherit- but oftentimes, the men of the family are reduced to puppets; with the women behind the scenes, controlling the marionette strings.

Imagine: your independent business is flourishing, you and your spouse are happy. You’d like to retire, but not to worry, because all your hard work won’t be wasted- your son and daughter seem ready to take over. With a good succession plan, life will be good.

But what happens when your son falls in love with a woman of a different nationality, who has no interest in the business, who you suspect of being a gold digger? What happens when relationships between you and your new daughter-in-law become toxic? What happens when even your other child distances herself from you? If you don’t bridge these ever-widening chasms between family members, what will become of your legacy, hanging in the balance?

I was facilitator, mediator and strategist to a family business in jeopardy. Elemental themes of betrayal, favouritism, and destructive relationships were all a play.

Working with the family for 5 years. I was concerned about the tiny toxic interactions that grew over the years – that, when influenced by precisely the wrong person,  spelt  disaster for the family and its succession plans. But thankfully and more importantly,  the owner had the wisdom and presence of mind to recognise and resolve these interactions, so that his family business might thrive.