SMP Solutions has re-branded!

Since May 2014, SMP Solutions HQ has been buzzing from the sound and mind power of collaborative planning, thinking, culminating in the creation of a new brand and website. Yes you heard it right, SMP Solutions has rebranded!

So, why did we rebrand? Cast your mind back to when you last visited the former SMP Solutions website. How engaging was the site? Did you fully understand what the business could offer you, your organisation or business? Although successful, based on feedback and comments from colleagues and clients, our previous website was ‘content heavy, tricky to navigate, outdated style wise and confusing’. Enough said, don’t you think?

Read on to find out how we successfully worked through the rebrand process with the invaluable help and support of Team SMP Solutions.

Stand Proud and Be the Best You Can Be!

We stand proud as we announce that SMP Solutions recently celebrated 12 years in business. A wonderful achievement, from which we have gained extensive insight and experience in the world of Career and People Development. It has been, and continues to be, an amazing evolution.

How did we make the rebrand happen?

Firstly, our wealth of experience and new thinking, led to a renewed focus on what SMP Solutions enjoys doing most and what we’re best at. In short, we refined our offer and key focus for businesses and individuals.

Secondly, as the ‘branches’ of the SMP Solutions tree have developed and grown, there has been a shift in company focus from the original ‘me’ aka director Steve Preston, to ‘us’ – a collaborative approach to the present and future success of our company. Our ‘tree’ now offers strong ‘branches’ made of a range of complementary skills and talents, enabling SMP Solutions to deliver the ideal solution to suit the needs of each individual client.

What makes us different?
With a renewed focus and refreshed perspective, SMP Solutions has brought together our unique 3 Pillars of Success approach to help us stand proud and be remarkable.

The 3 Pillars of Success

The 3 Pillars of Success focus on the three key areas we are most passionate about and where we’ve achieved the best outcomes:

1. Our unique 6 Steps Career and Change cycles
2. Our flexible, collaborative and responsive client-centred approach
3. Our team of expert and passionate coaches, trainers and consultants

How can you help?

When you visit our NEW website at we’d appreciate you spending a few minutes of your time to share your thoughts on these three questions:

1. What positives do you draw from the new site?
2. What is your overall impression of the new site?
3. What have you discovered that you were unaware of?
What are people saying?

Initial feedback from colleagues, clients and visitors has been very positive. A couple of clients got in touch to share that they had discovered ‘hidden talents’ (Leadership Development and Employee Engagement) on the new website, and as a result they now have clarity and a better understanding of what we can offer. As well you will discover that we have integrated the SMP Career Advice blog onto the new site.

And finally…

Sincere thanks and appreciation to the remarkable and talented ‘rebrand’ team whom without, we would not have achieved such a fantastic outcome. Together we stand proud as we continue to strive toward making SMP Solutions be the best ‘Career and People Development Consultancy‘ we can be! Huge thanks to Duncan MacGregor, Steve Bridger, Steve Engwell, Don Presland, Debbie Smith, Gary Willis, Gail Gibson, and Lin & Steve Preston.




Self-Starting Again

According to Barclays Bank 81% of entrepreneurs said they are happier now in self employment than when they were employed.  The same survey reveals that 71% were more optimistic, 63% were busier, 54% were more relaxed but that only 30% were better off than when employed.  The remaining 70% were obviously feeling the effects of losing their corporate packages or their businesses are still getting established and maybe in the process of building a business base.

When asked why they wanted to start their own businesses 44% said they wanted to build a big successful business, while 47% wanted to continue earning a living.  The final 9% wanted to either supplement their existing income or wanted to create a secondary income. The source for these figures is from the Barclays Bank website dated of 25 September 2014. 100% chose to start again.  They chose self employment to take control of their own career and life, be in the driving seat and put themselves and their families first. Look again at that impressive 81% who said they are happier now.  Could that be because they have re-modelled their work/life balance themselves?

Become a Free Agent

Maybe you are reading this because you have had enough of the corporate world, working for a large institution, working for other people’s visions and dreams or you might be facing or recently experienced redundancy? Either way, you have decided to take a long hard look at your working life and are keen to make changes. If so, you could become a free agent! With self employment you can be your own boss, take control, and have choice and the final say in what you do for a living, when you do it and how you do it.

Not everyone is an entrepreneur in the Dragons Den sense of the word. Not everyone wants to invent the next generation of vacuum cleaner or start their own airline.  However, self employment allows you to direct your talents to fulfil your life plans.  In the 21st century digital age, many skilled professionals opt for the simplest and most cost effective option of self employment i.e. to sell their expertise to individuals and / or organisations online or develop a service based business from home with a desk, computer and mobile technology. Having minimal overheads and maximum flexibility, rather than expensive office premises when you are starting out, is an attractive proposition. This means you keep the majority of the income you make, so it becomes much easier to start making a profit and a reasonable living.

Self Employment – Success Before You Start Up

Success Before You Start Up Book Cover

Despite all the positive statistics from Barclays, most businesses fail in their first two years of trading. Why is this? Because the business owner hasn’t done their homework. ‘Self employment seemed like a good idea at the time’ doesn’t wash if you haven’t thought things through properly, does it?  It is remarkable how often we come across people who haven’t done the basics such as:

  • Considered why you want to start a business i.e. what is the purpose and what are your goals?
  • Researched the market and the competition
  • Established whether there is a need or demand for your product, service or business idea
  • Developed any sort of business plan
  • Thought about how best to get your product or message across to make sales or earn income
  • Evaluated whether the business can make money

Passion is great but don’t overlook the essentials

It is great to have passion for what you do, as people buy people and your passion can become infectious. However, all too often, new business owners get carried away by the excitement of setting up their business and the passion for their products or services and overlook the reality that passion alone is not enough to create a successful business. Self employment means there is much hard graft to be done to ‘get out there’, network and sell and market yourself and your business like crazy both online and offline! There are many other considerations e.g.

  • Do you want to work alone?
  • In collaboration with others?
  • Employ a small team? If so where will you be based and how much can you afford in salaries, rent, rates and other overheads
  • Have you worked through how much you need to sell or income you need to generate to achieve your desired business and life goals?
  • Who will do the key administration and financial tasks?
  • Should you be vat registered?

Depending on what you do in your business and who you work with, you also have different options for setting up your business as a Sole Trader, Limited Company or Partnership. The first steps in any of these approaches are the same and it is very easy, once you know how to go about this but it makes sense to get good advice before you start trading.

Self Employment – Making it happen

Self-employment or starting up your own company can be hugely rewarding as the Barclays statistics highlight. It has never been easier than now to set up and start a business. If you would like practical help to set you on the right path to becoming self-employed then please contact us as wouldn’t it be great to start off on the right footing, so you really can enjoy the fruits of your labour and become one of the 81% who are happier now than when they were employed?

Photo – Everest at dawn courtesy of David Smith