How old is a tech entrepreneur?

Adam Clark

Connect TVT’s Adam Clark making a case for the Thames Valley

As most of the clients I work with are either small businesses, owner managed businesses or start ups – and my own PR business is a small business – entrepreneurship is close to my heart. I’ve been working in this field for longer than I care to remember, and freelancing for 15 years now. It suits me and the buzz doesn’t go away.  Recently I’ve had cause to think a lot more about entrepreneurship.

“Around one in five people aged over 50 is self-employed, a higher proportion than for any other age group. Indeed, most entrepreneurs are in their 50s, not their 20s. They are more successful, too: more than 70% of businesses started by people in their 50s survive for at least five years, whereas only 28% of those started by younger people last that long.”

Thus noted the Guardian on Jan 1, 2014.

I have long been ‘banging on’ about old fashioned marketing targeting age groups rather than interest groups. (How long since we were all talking ‘Tribes’ in  digital circles, but it’s made little difference!) Beyond products such as nappies or age defying skin creams, there’s no real need to talk old fashioned demographics any more.

The digital field should, by rights, as a newer industry, be more liberal, more egalitarian. We are, after all in the 21st Century. But we’re hardly ringing the changes.

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What’s your freelance PR consultant worth?

I’ve seen a lot of suggestions of late that freelance PR consultants costs a lot. And in many ways, we do.  But whether we’re more expensive that having someone in-house, where the costs are roughly three times salary (office space, equipment, holidays, sickness, pensions…. the list goes on) is a moot issue.

But when you’re appointing a freelance consultant, what should you expect to pay them?

This is a complete ‘back of a fag packet’ calculation, and as holey as a Swiss cheese, but it will offer a rough idea of what you get for your money. I undertook the exercise for my own benefit, in truth, to work out why I wasn’t feeling über-rich – I didn’t give myself any answers, but thought I’d share my findings anyway – someone may find them useful.

Why does it matter?

Too often people expect to benefit financially or otherwise, from the work a freelance is doing, which is exactly as it should be, but then fail to acknowledge that freelancers are also running a business and need to keep their own mortgages paid, children fed and clothed etc. By putting these costs down from the start, I hope we can start thinking about expectations.

Freelance operating costs Read more »

A little Friday fun

So along with a long overdue overhaul of this site (which should happen next week, all being well), I changed my business cards. Quite apart from the fact that my little Moo mini-cards were beginning to look a little dated (they were nearly four years old) and I love Moo’s new square ones, my old ones had a problem. Sometimes, there are things that even your best friend won’t tell you….

So here you have the old card. The image is part of a story that I used to tell about how old fashioned PR was a teapot, the new PR needs to view organisations as  a colander. And the picture of the teapot lid DID start conversations.

Sometimes the lid came off

 

Sadly, I hadn’t realised what those conversations might be, until a salesman at a conference asked me exactly what it is I do for a living!

IMG_3464

 

So thank you Moo for keeping me abreast of the times (see what I did there?)

business cards

The new cards! (Playing it straight)

Future Shock: Part 2 – Education

Part two of a blog on last week’s NESTA  event, Future Shock.

A New Movement in Education

Panelists for this session included Oliver Quinlan, the programme manager for Digital Education at the innovation Lab at NESTA, Simon Collins, the Deputy Principle at The Brit School, and Debbie Forster, the Managing Director of DDI Apps for Good.

So again, to lay out my stall, my view has been coloured as follows:

  • I have two teenage boys who are incredibly bright, yet whose primary education didn’t help them achieve their full education potential
  • My (unfinished) PhD was around education and identity (a little more obscure and refined than that, but PhDs are!)
  • I believe that education is not schooling or indoctrination – or curriculum, although these things are part of education.
  • I believe that we have forgotten, as a society, to ask what education is for, and that we swallow that education is always a good thing.
  • Schooling should be free at the point of delivery, there is no such thing as a stupid child, and no-one should leave full time formal education without basic maths, reasoning and literacy skills, able to engage with society and with government/authority (ie access to power)
  • Our UK curriculum is completely and utterly misguided, and people mistake the trappings of private education as the things that make it successful rather than examining the real difference: contacts , environment and opportunity
  • Teachers need more room to inspire, and the profession should be valued more highly
  • Your closest school should be the best one for you because they should all be brilliant
  • I’m a huge fan of Freire’s work on conscientization and the principles of educational relevance as key to engagement and learning

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