KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Some business ‘rules’ are there to be broken

A mobile, laptop and notebook.

A mobile, laptop and notebook.

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Following last week’s column, it’s been great chatting to so many people about old Sunderland and the memories they have.

I’ve had people I’ve never met before call into the shop to say hello and share a little walk down memory lane.

Many of those I’ve spoken to also have fond memories of shopping in Joplings.

But it doesn’t end there, as Glenn Miller, who I featured in my column last week, and who has written and performed a song about the joys and festive fun of working in Joplings at Christmas, also contacted me to say that some of the ex-Joplings employees are planning a staff reunion in February of next year.

So if you or someone you know worked at Joplings back in the day and are interested in getting involved with the reunion, then you can drop Sheena Robson an email at sheena.robson@hotmail.com

So from old to new. Those who know me or read my column regularly know that I love all things business, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my experiences with others, especially those starting out in business (mostly because I wish someone had given me a few hints and tips when I started out when I was 16).

In the new year I’ve got a few bookings to speak at events for start-ups and graduates and students planning to start their own business, and being the geeky planner that I am, I’ve started to think and plan what I’m going to say.

I think over the last five years there has been a big change in how people run their businesses.

There has been a real shift from the traditional 9-5 working day and turning off your work phone when you leave for the day.

Now businesses can be, and in many cases are, 24 hours. Some weeks you work 20 hours a week and some weeks you work 80 hours.

No longer do you have to have an office base, a fax machine and a network of desktop computers. Now for many businesses all you need is a mobile phone, a laptop and a seat in Starbucks.

I feel strongly that those entering the world of business after leaving education are made aware that in business, anything is possible, there is no harm in breaking the mould, and just because something has always been a certain way doesn’t mean it has to always be the same.

You can change anything, and there is no right or wrong.

Of course some businesses will, by their nature, be premises based or have operating time constraints, but as more and more businesses come online and use social media heavily to generate leads and interact with customers, there simply has to be more flexibility with the working day.

This new way of working differently doesn’t just offer those leaving education and entering the world of business a unique opportunity of flexibility and extremely low start-up costs, it also means that those in employment who have always wanted a change in career/industry have a chance to dip their toe into starting their own online business.

Recently I’ve seen full or part-time workers start online craft businesses, social media management companies and online clothing sites, which with expansion could see them leave their job to follow their dream or simply provide them with an additional revenue stream.

So for me, heading into 2017, traditional business ‘rules’ are certainly there to be broken!