This month we welcome NEIL FRANKLIN as a contributor to the magazine with a regular business column. Neil has a wealth of knowledge as a business owner and mentor. If you are thinking of starting a business or have any questions relating to business or careers that you would like Neil to address, then please contact him using the details at the end of this article.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to write a monthly column for Bay, a magazine I have been reading regularly since I returned to Swansea in late 2105 from Dallas, Texas, where I had been living for ten years.
My column will be talking about all things business and careers, two subjects that are very close to my heart since I began my entrepreneurial journey way back in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After thirty-six years of being “in the trenches” as an entrepreneur and businessman, I have now decided to share experiences – the good, bad and downright ugly in the hope that it will help and inspire you.
I was born in Aldershot, Hampshire – my mother was born in Plasmarl and moved there because her father was stationed in the nearby HQ of the Royal Army Medical Corps before WW2.
I grew up in a little town called Fleet, near Aldershot, where I remained until my early twenties when I moved to London, then on to Dallas in 2005 and back to Swansea when my mother was taken ill in 2015.
Swansea was always a second home to me and I have extremely fond childhood memories of being here in virtually every school holiday until I was sixteen or so and even after then, making regular trips down here with friends to show them the beautiful Gower coast, that on a hot sunny day, rivals any coastline in the world.
I also have three children who equally love it here – a daughter who was born in London but left before she was 6 months old and two boys, who were born in McKinney, Texas.
All three of them adapted easily into Swansea life, ever since jumping into the October sea at Caswell bay in 2015.
Swansea has a tremendous future and for me, it has a unique spirit of its own that will see it become a key hub in Wales.
My career advisor was looking straight at me when he said this, and it was probably the motiva-tion I needed to start my own business and enter the world of entrepreneurship.
The trouble was that I was only sixteen and firmly on course to fail all of my exams.
Three years later, emerging from Basingstoke College of Technology, with the qualifications I should have achieved at school, I started my own business.
During my last year at college I earned money canvassing for a home improvement company and to be honest, I actually didn’t mind the work despite getting a few choice words from homeowners who would rather be watching their favorite soaps or even eating their evening meals!
My first business was running a direct marketing and promotions company serving the home improvements industry. It gave me a “skin” that any rhino would be proud of.
Many years later, I would be selling into the boardrooms of some of the world’s leading companies and also learning how to survive through three recessions; I was learning all about the world of business and as I say, the good, bad and downright ugly.
This column is all about sharing those experiences and how an “unlikely entrepreneur” has managed to start several compa-nies and win market share from the big corporations across the globe.
I am totally self-made and I have had to learn everything from a “grass roots” level, discarding what doesn’t work and constantly refining what does.
I will cover many topics such as:
- Business planning
- Starting a business with little capital
- Raising finance including cyrptocurrencies
- Disruptive sales and marketing strategies
- Finance and operations
- Future technologies such as blockchain
- Risk management
And because I have spent a long time in the career world, I will be talking about how to land your dream job and surviving in a world that is becoming increasingly automated.
Everything is based on my own experiences, and the advice I regularly hand out in my role as a business coach and mentor to individuals and large corporations.
Please feel free to contact me and ask any questions – you can do this via the editor Lesley@theswanseabay.co.uk or through my site, neiljcfranklin.com.