Small business chat update – Annabelle Beckwith

18 May

Yara Consulting logoHere’s a very welcome addition to my chat updates from my friend Annabelle Beckwith of Yara Consulting. Anna’s first interview was published at the end of April 2012, and she said this about her plans for the next year: “A lot can happen in a year! I plan to keep growing, and to turn some of my training programmes into online products to generate another income stream”. So, has she kept growing, has a lot happened, and does she have a new income stream? Read on to find out …

Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Yes and no – I thought I’d be doing more online than I actually am. My short e-book, ‘A Quick Guide to Indian Culture‘ is available on Kindle, though, and selling well, and I still have plans to market products online.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

My approach has stayed the same: the biggest difference is the extent to which I’m collaborating with others – with Susan Grandfield at SG Development Solutions on a major project , and with training colleagues, Ian Thomson and Charlotte Cameron, with whom I’ve formed a consortium ‘Never Mind the Buzzwords’. We’ve already won our first pitch to deliver a programme for Senior Managers at a Leeds-based charity.

We all have different sets of skills, so it makes sense to combine them in approaching larger clients.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I’ve learned to leverage the skills of others more, and to focus on what I do well. My forte is in developing creative and experiential (and sometimes off the wall) approaches to learning and development, and I have a strong network of people with complementary skills whom I can draw upon.

In some respects I wish I’d started these more formal collaborations last year…on the other hand, the time seems right at the moment.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Don’t look back with regret. Look back and learn … and keep moving forward. And , as Churchill put it “never, never, never give up”.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time.

Working collaboratively with others for larger clients … and maybe I’ll get some of those online products going!

So, not so much of the online products, but lots of exciting-sounding collaboration. This has been a bit of a theme in this series recently, and I can also bear witness to the fact that as your business grows and matures, it’s most useful to treat your colleagues as just that, colleagues, rather than rivals. Even if you don’t make formal collaborative arrangements, there will still be times when you know that someone else’s skills will work for your prospective – or current – client better than yours do, or simply be swamped with work and need reliable people to recommend prospects on to.

We look forward to hearing more exciting news next year! – and here’s her 2014 update!

The Yara Consulting website can be found at  and she has a blog, too. Anna can be contacted via email or her contact page online.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my new books.


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