Tash launched Tash Pennant Consultancy a company that helps people connect with brands and organisations from the inside out. The business specialises in internal communications and employee engagement. www.tashpennant.co.uk
What drove you to start your own business?
I always wanted to own my own business, it was an aspiration of mine.
What was your career path prior to starting your business?
I worked in communications in different sectors, healthcare, retail and energy. Alongside that, I was a Non-Executive Director for a housing organisation with a portfolio of 20,000+ properties and also founded a charitable initiative +1Campaign, that helped to feed people in need.
Tell us about the business planning stage.
Yes, I wrote a business plan when I was doing a business start-up course. I worked with a sub-contracted agency in partnership with Coventry University.
How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
I have a year plan that I review quarter by quarter. In addition, by the month, week and sometimes the day. It depends on what needs to be actioned or achieved.
Can you describe a typical working day?
There is no typical day for me.
If I am focusing on consultancy, then I could be working with an organisation’s leaders to understand the issues and then completing further ‘diagnostic’ work around the organisation. Then at the end of the day calibrating all the information I have and piecing together what’s next.
When I am speaking an event, a typical day will be getting to the venue in ample time. Checking in with the event management that everything I have requested on my technical information sheet is available and working. Then I tend to blend with the conference and just try to soak up a bit of the mood of the event. Sometimes, as much as I plan, there could be a hot topic of the day and I need to be aware of this and may need to highlight it when I am speaking. Then when it is my time, go up and speak and be ready to speak to people afterwards. If it is just me, I always like to be there to ‘people watch’ when delegates arrive, just to see who’s who and hear their expectations. Again, I like to know why people choose to hear from me and gather feedback to continuously improve how I deliver as a speaker.
What has been the most amazing day of your entrepreneurial life so far?
I have had a few amazing days but one of the most significant days was when I got the emailed letter to confirm that an organisation with a staff headcount of circa 70,000 people wanted to work with Tash Pennant Consultancy!
What has been your scariest moment?
It would have to be waiting at an awards ceremony before it was announced that the work I had done with a client had won a national award. It was great to be nominated but to win was amazing! It was scary as the work was up against so major household name brands.
How do you work on making your business grow?
I work on making my business grow by speaking to people I don’t know ie networking. Being visible about what I am doing, so other organisations will see and want to work with Tash Pennant Consultancy.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
The decision-making process is relatively short. Consideration may take time but making decisions is not long and drawn-out.
What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them?
One of the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur is that it can be difficult to ask for help. So I just need to keep reminding myself to reassess where I am and see what resources I may need.
Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?
There are a quite a few businesswomen that I admire Flavilla Fongang. Julia Regis, Jo Yeaman, Claudine Reid MBE. There are so many more female leaders but at the time of writing, these are the ones that come to mind.
What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business? And who was it from?
Go for it Tash! From numerous people.
What are the three books, websites or resources (professional or personal) that you would recommend to other business owners?
What got you here. won’t get you there by Marshall Goldsmith
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
What other passions do you have away from your business? How do you relax?
I like to visit a farm and do dairy-farming once a year. I also really enjoy eating out and trying different types of food.
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