The end of 2104 had seen an upturn in the fortunes of Jonathan Hazell independent arboricultural consultancy – I was busy right up until Christmas Eve (although the question has to be asked – why Christmas Eve, what was Santa going to do with my work?)
What have I learnt in this year?
The key message that I have learnt, but not acted upon, this year is the cyclical nature of work, of feast and famine, or boom and bust. What I need to get far better at is trying to flatten those peaks and troughs into a steady and manageable work flow.
This year has seen some welcome additions to my client base, developers, broad based architectural practices, local authorities, multi-site multi-service civil engineers, and loyal customers of good local tree care contractors. I’ve also added to my skill set by offering a design service, by sharing what I know with students, and writing a column for one of the trade magazines.
Most of my work involves travel, the odd instruction is within 20 miles of home: I’ve often said that I don’t enjoy work, I only do it because I have to, so I have to make sure when I go to site I capture enough data or form a solid impression of what I’ve seen because I don’t want to have to go back! If I record the wrong thing or fail to notice what is important for a client then I’ve given myself more work, and no extra fee!
I am still no further forward in using Facebook for business, I have abandoned Twitter, not even got a basic understanding of the Google+ offer (despite the absolute ubiquity of Google in every moment of our lives now), and accept that for me Tumblr or Pinterest cannot really help promote my niche business.
What are my ambitions?
Ideally UK plc will continue to develop in real terms and generate the need for the advice that a senior industry figure can sell, in whatever market place!
To learn how to reach out to those who don’t know what you do, that you even exist and yet they need your service in order to progress their own ambitions.
I will continue to offer independent arboricultural advice and so, as this time last year, I reckon I will be able to help you with most enquiries.