How I run my business: Michelle Heywood

Virgin StartUp mentor Michelle Heywood is the founder of several businesses, including marketing consultancy Quivr and website Best of Windsor. Being involved with such a wide range of businesses and a variety of industries means she is perfectly placed to advise and guide entrepreneurs just starting out. Here she gives us an insight into how she runs her business, from her routine to the tools she can't do without.

What’s your elevator pitch?

I use a tailored, creative and effective mix of mentoring, business coaching, marketing and implementation to help businesses grow and SOAR.

Current computers:

- Lenovo laptop which goes everywhere with me (and turns into a touchscreen tablet and can be folded for presentation purpose.)

- Sony Vaio desktop computer in the office (which is also a giant touchscreen tablet.)

- iPad

Current mobile device:

iPhone 5

One word that best describes the way you do business:


What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

- OneDrive (cloud file sharing so I can access all my work wherever I am)

- Powerpoint

- Xero (online bookkeeping and accounts)

- Dropbox (for image and artwork storage and sharing)

- Google Calendar (so my team and I can access my diary at all times)

- Social Oomph (one of my favourite social media scheduling tools)

What’s your workspace like?

Being creative, it is normally messy in a structured way with work organised in piles and folders ready for action or filing. I have a large white desk big enough for everything I need for the working day…

How do you make sure you achieve your goals each day?

I write a new prioritised list every day using my master list which has every task recorded on it. I make ‘meetings’ with myself in my diary for the key tasks each day to enable me to focus on achieving what needs to be done. These ‘meetings’ include time allocated for social media updates as otherwise this can eat away at my time. If I get interruptions I can easily re-focus by going back to the next task in the diary.

What is the main personality trait that’s helped you to be successful and why?

Perseverance, positivity and self-belief are key to my success. I never give up and I believe I will succeed. If there is a set-back I look at only how to move forward from it by learning and improving.

What book/magazine/blog would you recommend people to read and why?

There are too many books to mention but what stands out for me are:

-          Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’ as this reassured me that there is a reason why I make some decisions quickly and that it is OK to do so. It is also brilliantly entertaining.

-          ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Spencer Johnson had a profound effect on me and explains how to deal with change or the necessity for change using a story of 4 mice. Everyone should read this at least once in their lives if not every year.

-          ‘What got you here won’t get you there’ by Marshall Goldsmith. This book reaffirms why you need to keep on learning and adapting every day

What’s the secret to collaborating with brands and other businesses?

Respect, patience, equal compromise and empathy. If you can understand what others want and need out of a collaboration then you can make sure you can create a plan which works for you both. Of course it is likely that there will need to be compromises made but these need to be fair to both parties as if not, the collaboration is unlikely to have longevity.

Who’s your hero and why?

Honestly, my hero is Sir Richard Branson. I asked him at a recent Virgin Start Up meeting what his proudest moment was from all that he has achieved and he said the best was still to come. To me, that says it all and is truly inspiring.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Believe in yourself and never, ever give up.

Connect with Michelle on Twitter.

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