A week in the life…
SWCRC is a smaller organisation than lots of people realise. Two people, an extra volunteer, and a faintly frazzled marketing partner who does far more for us than she reasonably should. It’s quite an ask for that kind of team to support a thousand businesses from Penzance to Swindon, and it often requires a fair bit of travel. This week has been an exception, so we caught up with our Director Mark Moore to find out what he’d been up to while the car was having a break. What do our team do when they’re not actually presenting to small businesses?
Those of us who work from home know that this is often a bit of a euphemism: mostly, it means “working all hours”. Mark explains that this week’s been pretty much that.
It started out with finalising the monthly newsletter, which is a labour of love translating four weeks of industry cyber reports into something that’s meaningful and accessible for small businesses. Once complete, Mark sends out a snapshot of ‘top tips’ to several partners, from the local FSB to Chambers of Commerce. As he explains “This has been a great way to raise awareness of what we do and who we are, and we’re seeing a small but steady growth in membership from the publicity that it brings. Plus, it helps people, and that’s what we’re all about.”
There are several meetings with potential collaborators: from a Bristol-based cryptocurrency expert who wants to demystify this murky subject for our members, in order to keep them safe, through to an international supplier of website protection who wants to talk about making some free services available to our charity members. Any collaborations are assessed against consistent criteria: is the offer clear, is it needed, and is it genuinely helpful for our clients? If so, there might be some scope to work together, and for new partners to support us in return.
There are more than a few commitments relating to the CRC’s current focus in Gloucestershire, talking to the local Growth Hub, to a Cheltenham-based trade body, and to a couple of local clients who have connections and feedback which we can use.
And there are the inevitable bits focusing on developing the business itself. Firstly, a meeting with the chair of the Management Board, Craig Sharp of Leonardo to discuss plans for an October conference with the
south west business Council. Secondly, a meeting with a national business support organisation with several thousand clients, who want to signpost what the CRC network does across the country. Thirdly, a demo of a new UK-based emailing tool which will help us tailor our customer experience far better as we begin to scale up. And last, a couple of quick emails to the team at Glastonbury festival, because we’re looking to support their traders and protect them from cyber attacks.
In between this, Mark fits in a short trip to meet with the local police’s cyber crime team, to deliver some joint leaflets and discuss local collaboration. And there’s time to attend the virtual meeting of cyber resilience centres from across the country, which our region currently chairs. We discuss good practice, ways to grow the members, and how to support each other and our clients better. Plus, of course, Mark slips in the occasional linkedin post, because we understand the importance of keeping a visible public profile. And although it’s not really our core mission, he also finds time to chat to a local student who’s interested in a career in cyber security, just because one of the CRC clients asked, and it feels like the right thing to do.
So what did all this bring? More connections, better foundations, and a happy customer or two. In the background, the membership numbers continue to tick slowly up, because we increasingly find that our members are recommending us to their networks. Plus, an early finish. Despite being a bank holiday weekend, Mark has taken Friday off too. Because next week’s looking properly busy.