My 2012 Highlights & Christmas Wishes

December is hurrying past, and as the year draws to a close many people and businesses are reminiscing on their favourite moments from the past twelve months. I’ve had quite a busy personal and professional year – full of ‘first times,’ traveling, and enjoying the company of interesting people. If you’d like to take a trip down memory lane with me, here are the highlights of each month:


I still shiver every time I think of January, as I spent most of the month trying to stay warm. But, besides warding off the exceptional cold, I enjoyed visiting Glasgow where I spent a few days developing the IFIC Forensics HQ’s new website and indulging in my first-ever full Scottish breakfast. I also spent part of the month in Devon installing our first Meraki Wi-Fi network.


Perhaps it was because there were only 29 days, but February flew by in a whirlwind, as we stayed very busy redeveloping Staff Guardian while talking to China about manufacturing our Staff Guardian GPS devices.


There was no way March could go wrong when it kicked off with such an enjoyable event – my sister’s puss and boots stage show. The middle of the month was occupied with developing a new iPad based research tool for a market research company and, of course, we couldn’t move on to April before having our fill of Easter eggs.


Luckily, I survived April Fool’s Day unscathed and enjoyed partaking in BBC Somerset’s Any Other Business Saturday morning breakfast radio show. Later, the family and I spent some time in front of the lens for our family photo shoot.


Given the opportunity to participate and talk to primary school children as part of the CBBC Trade Your Way Road Show with Saira Khan (@IamSairaKhan), made this month particularly exciting. If that weren’t enough, Olympic fever really set in when the Olympic torch traveled through Taunton.


Another month with a memorable beginning, I welcomed June with nearly 2,000 other people at ‘ScoutFest,’ Somerset Scouts’ first activity camp, where we created some great videos. I worked with a brilliant team at ScoutFest including @emmab1984@petervenn & @azzychill. Later, it was back to Scotland for more work at the IFIC Forensics HQ.


It’s always nice when you can mix business with pleasure, and that is what I had the chance to do when I took some clients to see the hilarious Michael McIntyre’s Comedy show. The month had more fun in store when I went to Thorpe Park for the very first time to celebrate my friend Maddi’s (@vento17) birthday.


We had more new broadband installations in August than any other month, which made it a very busy 31 days. However, one of the most notable events was being invited to a polo match (another first!) by a client.


No September is complete without attending the annual Gilwell Reunion for adult scout members, as it’s a weekend of entertainment and meeting old and new friends. Additionally, the month brought my friend Abbey’s (@abbeyrenshaw) 21st birthday and the Southhampton Boat Show, where I spent time dreaming about all the expensive boats I would love to make my own. September was also the month where we spent time filming our first video for Staff Guardian – check it out here


October came close to becoming a straight month of parties, as birthdays popped up one after the other: my sister, brother, dog, and friend Lizzie. Also, I ventured abroad, something I haven’t done since leaving school, when I went to the lovely Lykia World in Turkey with Abbey.


November meant another 21st birthday – mine! I also spent time working with Wiltshire Citizens Advice while building their new telephone system and, later in the month, I attended the Scout Association’s National Conference.


December’s not even over yet, and we’re already loaded with telephone and computer system installations. And there’s still plenty of fun in store, as I plan on seeing The XX live in concert at Colston Hall with Lizzie (@lizzieharvey) and squeezing in a trip to London before the Christmas break.

Overall, I’d say it’s been a fabulous year, I’ve met some amazing people, made great friends and, if 2013 is anything like 2012, I can’t wait to see what’s in store. I’m hoping for new developments in Staff Guardian (, since we plan to grow that business next year. I encourage all to view our listing on the Seedrs crowdfunding platform and consider investing, as we have big plans for the future!

What’s your favourite memory from the past year?


Sales Prevention Departments

Hi, you’re through to the Sales Prevention Department – how can I NOT help? How businesses lose clients even before they win them

I recently read an article written by Diane Young, in The Drum Magazine – all about how some larger sales departments and businesses are not interested in new business, no matter how big or small the deal.

I recently filled out an online form for a legal company to see if they can help write a contract. The call was returned within 5 minutes – brilliant. Top marks.

I then returned the call – the receptionist clearly had not been trained in dealing with potential business – answering the phone with “Good Morning” – when it was 3pm in the afternoon, a mistake a number of us would make on a Friday afternoon.

I briefly explained I was returning their call and asked for their Director by name, she replied asking for my company name – Sadly, her attitude changed completely. Explaining that they were not looking to make any changes to their IT department and any quotes would need to go through their IT Director.

I tried to re-assure her, that I was simply returning a call and was their potential customer; however, she still tried to put me off. By this point, I was seriously considering hanging up and trying again later.

Eventually, something must have clicked, I was put on hold and after another minute, I was finally transferred to the correct department.

In the end, when comparing them to their competitors, I decided to go with a much smaller & friendly team


Your chance to get better connected in Devon and Somerset

Devon and Somerset County Councils together with North Somerset,Plymouth and Torbay Councils are working in partnership to bring faster broadband to the area and are among the first local authorities to have secured money from the government to do this.

The aim is to have:

  • Improved broadband (>2mbps) to every business and community across Devon and Somerset by 2015
  • Superfast broadband (>24mbps) to at least 85% of the area by 2015, with 100% by 2020

Faster broadband supports our businesses to be more competitive and helps communities’ access services, saving them money, information and learning opportunities.

This is our one big opportunity to shape the future of our digital services, so it’s vital everyone gets involved to help us get connected and up to speed.

We need you!

Our next step is to secure investment from the private sector to install the broadband and to do that we need your help.  We need to show there is strong demand for faster broadband and show what current speeds and coverage we have in the area.

To do this we need you to fill in a simple survey and tell us what your current speed is.

This helps us build a picture for our supplier of where the worst areas are and what the demand is for better broadband in those areas. If we don’t know what you want we can’t help you get the right broadband.