Tell us about your role at Excel with Business
Excel with Business offers a range of online training courses, the main one being a really great Microsoft Excel training course designed specifically for those using Excel in business (hence the name). As Commercial Director I am responsible for all sales across the company. We work closely with a number of partner companies who sell our product on our behalf, I develop these relationships as well as finding new ways to sell and market our products.
How did your career begin?
After graduating from Nottingham University my career began at Streetcar on their graduate scheme. My first job at Streetcar involved selling the car club concept to new property developments in London. It was a really interesting role and meant I was in meetings and putting together proposals and pitches for large sums of money almost straight away. It wasn’t a traditional graduate scheme with lots of training and hand holding – you were expected to get on with your job straight away. I have always thought that this was the most effective way to learn and really enjoyed the challenge that job brought.
What did you do next?
After Streetcar was bought by a competitor (Zipcar) I moved into the Business to Business sales side of the company. Shortly after I realised that I wanted to work for a smaller firm which is how I ended up in my current role at Excel with Business.
What has been the most interesting project you have worked on?
I worked on plenty of interesting projects at Streetcar outside my main job. One I really enjoyed was helping run the graduate scheme and re-writing all the tasks. However, trying to grow a small business into a huge one which is my main job here at Excel with Business is certainly the most interesting thing I have done professionally so far.
Best thing about your current job?
Being able to put ideas into action quickly and easily. Last month we came up with the idea of putting together a sales course. This month we have an author who is starting to write it for us!
In brief… describe your average working day your day (if it exists!)
I wake up and start checking emails straight away. As we are selling in over 30 different countries a lot happens overnight. I respond to the ones I can and then get into the office. From then it’s a mixture of responding to emails, talking to partners who we sell our product through and sales calls with prospective clients. At the same time as this I am constantly looking for new ways to sell the products we have and am keeping an eye on the market to see what new ideas/courses might work well in the future. There will also often be a couple of meetings with possible clients or partners thrown in there too.
What skills are essential for your role?
1. Being industrious. We are a small but rapidly growing company and there is always too much to do, being smart with time and getting through tasks is essential.
2. Tenacity. Training is often not a priority for many companies so being tenacious and not giving up is important.
3. Commerciality. Being able to spot quickly if something is worth investing time and money in.
What advice would you give for someone looking to go into a start-up?
If you find a start-up you like get in touch with them and ask for some work experience or if they have any openings.If they are growing at a rapid rate they will need all the help they can get and if you are enthusiastic and work hard it can often lead to a full time/salaried job. Failing that, ask Bright Network…
One thing you wish you’d known when starting out…
I wish I had known more about Microsoft Excel!