For International Women's Day 2018, we catch up with women in business to celebrate their success and hear how they are progressing with gender parity.
We talk to Roz Hutchings, Founder of Pump, as part of our International Women's Day Q&A series.
Tell us a bit about your business and your role?
Pump launched just over a year ago to help ambitious brands connect with more customers by generating stand out ideas, content and websites. We saw there was a gap in the market for a company to both build websites and create the content so the client can focus on their day job.
I was a journalist for ten years broadcasting on radio stations around Bristol, alongside which I built and managed WordPress websites as online became more and more important.
For the last 20 years my partner has run a successful commercial photography business.
It is with this unique combination of experience and expertise in writing, photography, videography and WordPress websites we set up Pump.
As Founder of Pump my role is currently split into three areas:
- Planning and strategising so we can keep on track with our ambitious growth plans, the first of which is to secure 20 new clients this year.
- Generating business by networking, speaking at events, meeting new clients or producing proposals to show how Pump can add value to their business.
- Delivering the projects which can be anything from writing an article, managing a photography shoot, creating a story board for an ‘about us’ video or designing a WordPress website.
What is a typical working day for you?
I wake up around 5.30am to practice yoga and meditate. This keeps me sane!
Currently I work from our basement office so am usually at my desk by 7.30am. I start the day checking in with our plan and goals for that day or week, looking at what we achieved so far and what we need to do to move forward.
I book meetings in the morning so if I have to complete any tasks following on, it is with the client that day. Or a lot of the networking events are in the morning so I may have been to one of those.
I stop for lunch around 12.30pm where I check my progress in achieving my outcomes for the day.
It’s then a battle to keep motivated sometimes as the afternoon lull kicks in. If that happens I’ll pop round a friend’s for coffee - you’ve got to make the most of being self-employed!
I’ll then wrap up the day dealing with any emails that need attention. For my sanity I’ve worked hard to not be a slave to the inbox. If something is urgent a client will call. And you get so much more done on a 10 minute phone call.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Knowing that we’re helping businesses grow and thrive. In today’s market it is more important than ever for a business to have a clear and engaging message which not only attracts new customers but also attracts the best people to work for them.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
The constant hustle. Fortunately, I really enjoy networking and having lived and worked in Bristol for 15 years, I’m connected with a wide range of people.
However, you still need to pay the bills and managing the delivery of projects with setting aside time to generate new ones is something I’m working on. But it would be boring if it was easy.
What are the challenges facing women in business today?
Believing you can do it.
As a child of the 80’s I’m lucky to have grown up in an era where I witnessed more and more women getting jobs and starting up their own businesses. My Mum in particular followed that path. For the first 12 years of my life she was a housewife, then got a job and finally set up a successful catering company.
But there weren’t many of those roles models for people my age without which, you may not believe you can do it. The challenge is to find those role models and believe in yourself.
What are 3 key things you think are important to succeed as a woman in business?
- Be kind to yourself: I’m learning not to put pressure on myself to be everything to everyone. Working on my mindset has helped enormously.
- Be organised: I have found that if I book work, life and family events into an online calendar in different colours I can see at a glance how balanced my week is looking. It is so important to book in time for yourself - as important as a meeting with a new client.
- Believe in yourself: Today, there are more and more positive role models out there showing women they can do whatever they want. Keep your vision close to your heart and you will achieve it.
What are the biggest challenges for the future generation of women in business?
It’s amazing to see so many women setting up their own business. I’ve been lucky to be part of a group of a younger generation of women who have hugely inspired me.
I think the greatest challenge they will face is how to sustain this growth of women setting up on their own without diluting their progress.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever been given?
Dream big and go for it.
When I was stuck in a previous job and thinking about setting up Pump I went to see a business and life coach. Having an independent person’s opinion proved invaluable. He listened to me for an hour and finally suggested that I go for it and set up my own business.
After all - what’s the worst that can happen? If it didn’t work out I would just get another job.
Is international trade important to your business? If so, how do you ensure your business has the right skills to successfully trade overseas?
It will be! Currently we have plans to expand overseas in the next couple of years but right now we’re working on building successful foundations for Pump to grow in the UK.
Do you have any tips for women looking to progress their career in leadership roles?
Big yourself up. Men will apply for a role if they have 60% of the qualifications, women will only apply when they believe they have 90%.
In my case when I have really started to look at my experience I realise that I am way more qualified for a role than I first thought. Take time to really drill down into what skills you have, how they are transferable - doing this with a friend over a glass of wine helps.
What women inspire you and why?
My Mum, Celia Hutchings because as I mentioned previously, she has shown me women can do it. What’s more her positivity and resilience are limitless, something which I always look to inspire me.
Read more interviews with inspirational business women from our International Women's Day series:
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