Nicky Marshall on Strategies for Staying Ahead
Nicky Marshall is a Director of Discover Your Bounce
Can you introduce yourself and share a little about your background?
I'm Nicky and I'm one half of the leadership team at Discover Your Bounce! We have three strands to our business: corporate wellbeing and leadership development, personal wellbeing mentoring and a membership and finally a full service publishing house. My background was finance and I was a company account. I then developed my skills in wellbeing and stress management as well as publishing many books and delivering keynotes. I live in Bristol, and I love fitness and family life, now having three grandchildren!
As a forward-thinking professional, how do you identify ways to stay ahead in your industry?
In a service based industry I think focusing on the people you are working with and the service you would like them to receive keeps you ahead. You are constantly looking at their experience and ways to keep in touch, while delivering great products and services. Also the experience of your suppliers - is every person in your sphere of influence having a positive experience?
How often do you reassess your competitive landscape and, as I know you're very busy, I'd love for you to share any tips you have on carving out the time to do this?
Sharon, my business partner and I get together every 4-6 weeks with the sole purpose of working on our business. This means we look at every area and check that operations are working well, but also looking at our competitors and market. It can be easy to get drawn into day to day activities, but being away and together we can be much more strategic and creative.
What have been the most significant challenges you've faced when striving to stay ahead in a rapidly changing world, and how have you overcome them?
When Covid hit our corporate work went from a projected best year ever to zero. We really focused on creating workshops that worked well on Zoom and Teams and won clients in the global marketplace as a result. Again, we returned to the customer experience and focused on the people we were delivering to. We also increased the free resources that would assist people, on social media and free monthly workshops. Our focus now is providing the service where people need it, online and also in person.
Can you pinpoint a defining moment or experience where your innovative strategies led to success or a competitive advantage in your business or career?
Only this week we have gained a client that had been using webinars and online resources only. They have been impressed by our in person deliveries, but also the consistency of keeping in touch and the personality that we bring to our workshops, whatever the delivery method. The people centric approach has paid off.
In your opinion, what are the key ingredients of an effective strategy for staying ahead in 2023?
I think a few things come in here, obviously your customer's experience and how they feel when working with you. Also looking at your methods of delivery and back office systems - time saving tools and AI are a big part of that and we are only scratching the surface so far. Finally your teams/suppliers need to be happy - if you stress them with constant change or tight deadlines you won't get the best out of them.
In your opinion, what role does continuous learning and personal development play in staying ahead, and how do you incorporate these practices into your own professional journey?
Learning, personal development and I would add wellbeing - will enable you to stay in business for years to come. Who I was when I started my business in 2006, would not have enabled me to stay in business. Knowledge gathering, gaining experiences and confidence have grown us from one company to three - I love learning! Wellbeing practices give you the energy and vision to stay ahead - and enjoy it!
Looking ahead, what emerging trends or technologies do you believe will have the most significant impact on businesses or ambitious professionals, and how are you preparing to leverage them for future success?
Again I'm going to mention AI, as I think we have so much to gain from at least trialling what it can do. To partner with that, I believe it will be critical to value the people in your organisation. To equip them with the skills to communicate effectively, look after themselves and lead/work as part of a team. As customers get more curious about how organisations look after people and planet, organisations that look at Economic Social Governance will stand the test of time.