Press - Building Beginnings

Archive: July 2009

  • ‘Swap skills not bills’ say two Shropshire business women

    Two Shropshire business women found a novel way to beat the credit crunch when they swapped skills rather than bills after meeting at a recent networking event in Shrewsbury.

    Jill Ming of Building Beginnings and Sam Hatton of Blackstone PR were both so interested in each other’s services that they decided to swap skills for a day.

    Sam Hatton and Jill Ming with the results of their skill swap

    Sam Hatton and Jill Ming with the results of their skill swap

    Sam said, ‘I was very intrigued by Jill’s business. I live in an Edwardian House and I’d been curious about its history and about the people who’d lived in it before me. When I realised Jill provided people with their house histories I was hooked. It was just what I’d been looking for.’

    Jill added, ‘We met for the first time in April at a Network With Style event in Shrewsbury. Then by coincidence we were both at the WiRE conference in Newport the following day. I was very interested in Sam’s work as I’d been intending to make some changes to my marketing material.’

    After discussing their various requirements, Jill and Sam decided to exchange skills and provide each other with the services they required. Jill researched the early history of Sam’s Edwardian property and Sam wrote a new leaflet for Jill to advertise her business.

    Sam said, ‘The skill swap was a great success for me. I learned all about the first person to live in my house who was called Jemima. Jill even managed to unearth a bit a scandal in that Jemima’s father married his deceased wife’s sister which was totally illegal at that time! Jill really brought the history to life and I feel as though I almost know Jemima. It was so fascinating.’

    For Jill, the project was equally successful, she said, ‘I’m delighted with Sam’s work rewriting my brochure. Her expert marketing knowledge combined with a genuine interest in the history of ordinary people’s houses meant that she was able to create an effective vision of my business with real appeal to my potential customers.’

    Both Jill and Sam say they would definitely recommend swapping skills to anyone. Sam said, ‘If you’ve got skills you can swap it makes sense. If you can both provide each other with a valued and needed service without money changing hands, then I think it’s a great way to do business.’


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