I’m Kelly Simmons-Stow, the new Business Development Executive here at Partner Electronics Ltd. I’m a recent Politics and International Relations graduate from the University of Southampton. I will be running all things Marketing and Sales for the company; that includes posting most of the updates onto the company website. I could not upload a Q&A introducing myself, so I decided to write a blog documenting my first week at Partner.
Every Monday morning at Partner starts with a full team meeting. Which we’re now doing via Microsoft Teams, rather than in person. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure accountability to one another and our clients; discussing the wins of yesterday and the planning of what’s to come. This week it was Andrew Templey’s turn to bring in fruit for all the staff. For what we like to call “Munchy Mondays”. Honestly, it’s just an excuse for all of us to have a delicious treat and create a little excitement on a Monday morning.
After the meeting concluded, the introductions to the team and office life at Partner began. It’s safe to say that my first impressions of the team are that everyone is incredibly welcoming and extremely hard-working. Most of the day consisted of back to back presentations and tours from all members of the senior team. These covered the topics of health and safety, company rules and regulations, admin duties and I won’t bore you with the stories of filling out paperwork. The most important part of the day was the introduction of the company’s core values. All of our actions should be linked to one of the following:
- Proactive and determined
- Integrity, honesty and respect
- Communication, communication, communication
- Technical and process excellence
- Learn, teach and grow
- A great place to work for everyone
Tuesday’s focus was on creating a business development strategy. First thing in the morning I and the senior team did a SWOT analysis of the company; to assess our strategic position and increase opportunities and chances for growth. Conducting a SWOT analysis allows us to understand the business better and helped answer the following 4 questions. Can we use our current strengths to open up further opportunities? Can we turn some of our weaknesses into strengths? How do we deter threats? and would even more opportunities become available by eliminating some of our weaknesses? By answering these questions, we could come up with solutions for change.
The rest of the day I spent researching our industry and carrying out a synopsis of our current clients. The purpose of this task was to find out who our perfect customer is and what makes them a good fit. By asking questions of what is the scope of their organisation? what industry do they work in? and what is the stage of their business? This makes it easier to know which companies to target in the future. It also highlighted some unexplored market opportunities and I was then able to add this to our SWOT analysis. Once the bulk of the business strategy was created, with its main focus on sales, I decided to save the marketing strategy for Thursday.
Wednesday mornings at Partner are filled with back to back calls with current clients through various channels. From telephone calls to video calls via Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet. Our customers at Partner are paying for a partnership, both parties work as a collective to help design a new product or enhance an existing one. Regular calls ensure that we keep the client up to date on our progress and if there is anything we need from them and vice versa. Both ourselves and the clients are held accountable to one another, to guarantee that we are developing a product to the highest standard and using our time efficiently.
The purpose of these calls is to make the design process an enjoyable experience. By making it easier for our customers by being completely transparent and guiding them through every step of the way. From conception and into the market place. One of the great selling points about Partner is that you are hiring an Electronics department, you have regular ongoing support, making it easier to make changes throughout. However, not only on Wednesdays do we update our clients. They receive daily support. Our engineers are always available by telephone call if they have any queries and we will always pick up the phone to ensure a project gets done.
The phone calls finished around 1pm and after lunch, I decided to use the rest of the day to get to know more about our current clients. Who our key contact is, what their position is, what projects we are working on, and where we are in the design process. Using this information I was then able to add some useful points to my business development strategy. From getting to know our current clients better, I can profile our perfect customer and come up strategies on how to target them.
As I mentioned previously, I decided to leave all the marketing strategy and planning to Thursday. The information produced from earlier in the week told us who we were going to target. Marketing is one of the powerful tools alongside sales to help target potential clients. The morning began with updating our social media platforms and finding a purpose for our posts. Why are we posting this? Who does it target and what does it portray? All social media posts must have meaning.
The rest of the day I spent writing and uploading my first post on the company website and learning how to utilise Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I finished the day by researching about trade shows and conferences the company can attend when it is safe to do so. It was very interesting to find out about the number of associations and groups tailored to giving your company support. Whilst keeping you up to date with all things electronics.
The last day of the week consisted of mostly light-hearted chats with management and getting to know my other colleagues. I reflected on my first week by looking at what I had completed. If there was anything that I could improve on and what my tasks are for the upcoming weeks. I also used this time to highlight any unanswered questions that I had. A huge chunk of the conversation was just mostly for them to know if I was settling in ok. And if there was anything to they could do more to help.
During one of my conversations with my Office Manager Jan, I found out about a volunteering opportunity with the Community Fridge. The goal of the Community Fridge is to reduce food waste by giving unwanted food from different households and supermarkets, to those who will enjoy it. Otherwise, it will be sent to landfill. There is a photo of me with the Office Manager Jan volunteering at the beginning of the blog.
Once all these conversations were concluded, my first week came to an end. To sum up my time so far at Partner Electronics, I am going to refer back to the company’s core values that stood out to me most throughout the week. That Partner really is a great place to work for everyone.