Featuring Miranda Jenkins from Skills to Go Ltd
NAME: Miranda Jenkins
BUSINESS NAME: Skills to Go Ltd
1 - HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS?
I started my first training business 23 years ago – and it morphed into Skills to Go along the way – so I think I can safely say I have been in my current business for over 20 years!
2 - WHAT WAS GREAT ABOUT LAST YEAR FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
If I think about the impact Covid-19 had on my business, I can honestly say there have been some great outcomes. The last 5 years in my business have been extremely hectic, with a full diary and masses of travelling across the UK and Europe. All good for cashflow, but not necessarily good for me! I had been spending so much time on the road (or in the air!) that it had just become the norm. I was accepting it, but I’m not sure it was good for me. Covid forced me to upskill into e-learning and to embrace technology as a tool for learning and training. As a result of these new skills I have won new contracts and am delivering some amazing new pieces of work for clients. All without having to leave my home!
3 - WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE COMING YEAR? –
To expand my skill set with e-learning so that I have a number of approaches to offer alongside traditional facilitator-led sessions. I’m also working towards gaining one new major client who I would work for on a retained basis. I’ve found over the years that working for fewer clients on bigger projects is economical, efficient and produces the best outcomes for both parties. I’ve helped business clients build residual income and passive income but I’ve never spent much time working on a strategy for myself – so this is also a goal for the next 12 months.
4 - WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU HAVE DONE IN YOUR BUSINESS THAT YOU CONTINUE TO DO?
Only taking on work that I genuinely want to do, for people that I want to work with! I’ve discovered over the years that if something doesn’t ‘feel’ right about a piece of work or a business relationship, it probably isn’t right that I accept the work.
5 - WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTE FOR A BUSINESS TO HAVE? –
Being genuinely interested in being of service to others. The minute a business becomes more interested in meeting its own needs, it loses the ability to deliver great products and services. In training I talk about this as needing to have an ‘outside in’ approach – that is the ability to look at what the customer needs from the customer’s own perspective.
6 - WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVMENT TO DATE?
I’m still proud to have won a couple of business awards in the past. The Forester’s Business Person of the Year was the first award I won back in 2012, and then Mentor of the Year at the Gloucestershire Businesswomen’s awards back in 2015. Both these awards came in recognition of work I had done to support people within the Forest of Dean to start and grow their own small business. Am I allowed to mention my cycling feats too??? I always wanted to complete a big physical challenge, so 2 years ago I took part in a 100km night ride around London for charity, just to see if I could stay awake and keep cycling all night! That spurred me on to cycle from London to Paris in 5 days with two friends last year and I’ve just completed a third challenge, cycling from Anglesey to Chepstow in 4 days with the same friends. These are big achievements for someone who was never very sporty at school!
7 - WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN THAT WOULD HELP YOUR BUSINESS?
Probably how to say no! I like to be helpful and I wouldn’t want to be seen as unhelpful. However, there are times when I should say ‘no’ a little more often!
8 - WHAT MISTAKES HAVE YOU MADE, OTHERS COULD LEARN FROM?
If I go back to question number 4 regarding the ‘best thing’ I’ve done in my business, then my answer would link to that. I have made mistakes in the past working with people or on projects that haven’t felt right. There is a lot to say for ‘gut instinct’ sometimes. Being too eager to say ‘yes’ has led me to deliver projects that ended up conflicting with my values and strengths. I’ve learnt over the years to take a little longer to make decisions and to notice when something doesn’t feel right. Ignoring these signals is nearly always a mistake.
9 - WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS CONTACT WOULD HELP YOUR BUSINESS?
HR & Learning and Development Managers are always good contacts for me as they tend to be the people who commission and hold the budgets for training and development. Or senior managers with responsibilities for team performance and who might be struggling to understand how to get the best out their people in these very challenging times.
10 - CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU?
I’ve got a bookshelf crammed with business books and I would find it impossible to choose just one that has helped me more than any others. I have a terrible habit of buying a book, getting really excited about the ideas within it, and reading about a third of it before losing interest! I love concepts and ideas rather than learning specifically ‘how to’ do something. One book that struck a chord for me was ‘Key Person of Influence’ by Daniel Priestley. I have revisited this book more than any other and each time I absorb myself in it I discover something new.
11 - WHAT WOULD BE YOUR NO1 WISH IF YOU HAD A GENIE? –
To be able to travel freely again. I didn’t realise how much I love my freedom to go where I want, when I want, until I couldn’t! I love working from home and I have a lovely outlook from my office – but I miss the variety and working in different locations.
12 - WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST CAP BUSINESS CLUBS EXPERIENCE TO DATE? –
I enjoyed several years as a member of the Monday Club before work commitments prevented me from being able to attend regularly. When Paul contacted me about the virtual Wednesday group it seemed like the perfect way to rebuild some connections, to become part of a community again, and also to explore new avenues for my business. I’ve already benefited in multiple ways from re-joining CAP - there really are some exceptional people in the club.
Miranda Jenkins of Skills To Go Ltd has undertaken various pieces of work for us. As a small business it is often difficult to see the bigger picture, especially when contemplating a change of direction. On each occasion Miranda has helped us achieve that allowing us to formulate clear objectives, reasoned arguments and visualise achievable outcomes. When she worked with us as directors to scope out a new five year vision for the business she helped us to face up to the opportunities and threats we faced, including our own personal barriers in a non combative but critical and constructive manner. The result has been a coherent and well articulated plan that now forms the basis of all our decision making.If you are a small business looking for inspiration, a shot in the arm for your leadership skills or a fresh pair of eyes on a strategic goal, I can highly recommend Miranda and Skills To Go.’
Simon Bennett, Augill Castle Ltd
Miranda has the unique ability to see little nuggets of possibilities and opportunities in every business, but ones that you’d never thought about or had the confidence to follow up. She is approachable, warm and always positive but she is also very firm. She wants us and our businesses to achieve, so if we say we will do something she will challenge us if things have not happened. She wants the best for us.
I feel that Miranda believes in me and believes in my business, which as a sole-trader/self-employed person, that makes a huge impact because it gives me the confidence to achieve even more.
Rachel Shilston Inspiring Creativity Ltd.
Being a solopreneur I have found it immensely helpful over the last few years to have been a member of one of Miranda’s coaching groups. She has helped me to develop the structure of my business focus and to keep the offering fresh, whilst enabling me to grow the business successfully. Miranda’s business experience and sage advice, coupled with her skill at facilitating input from other business owners has provided a fertile environment in which I have thrived. I cannot recommend her coaching approach highly enough.
Helen Astill, Cherington HR
What makes Miranda stand out as a business mentor? Her approachability, integrity and her honest down to earth approach to helping others to succeed. Her experience is immense and the knowledge she shares is second to one. It is my understanding that Miranda cares about your success as much as she does her own.
Beverley Jones, Awaken
I have been with Miranda as my business coach for nearly 5 years now. She has supported me to take my business from the initial brand concept to six figure revenue by supporting me to craft my pitch to my audience, helping me productise so I earn whilst I sleep, build partnerships with key players so I get to my ideal clients faster, and this year I’m raising my profile and publishing my first book! I truly couldn't have had the confidence to do this without her. Her ability to say the right thing at the right time to get the right results is so powerful. Working with Miranda has been truly life changing for me, and I’m looking forward to making my first million in the near future!
Emma Carroll Choose to Grow Ltd
You need Miranda’s support, insight, passion (and compassion), experience and expertise on your team. She hasn’t just made a difference, she’s made THE difference. As part of her Mastermind Group not only have I benefited immensely from her coaching but I’ve found the combined experience and warmth of the other group members just as valuable and invigorating. I believe Miranda and her Mastermind Group have transformed the prospects of my business, by profoundly improving both my approach and my self-belief.
Matt Jupp Turtle Comms
Skills to Go Ltd. has been regularly delivering skills development for staff throughout our business for a number of years. During the past year Miranda Jenkins has been training large numbers staff at all levels using a highly effective blend of learning methodologies that have proved to embed lasting skills improvement amongst our teams, team leaders and management teams. The work Skills to Go has delivered has significantly improved the acquisition and embedding of vital management behaviours in our business – the programmes have evaluated brilliantly with notable return on investment. Our staff have enjoyed Miranda’s approach, she forms relationships quickly, is professional and skilled in developing people. She is agile and focused and as one of our preferred suppliers I fully recommend both Miranda and her approach to training to other organisations.’
Clare Saunders, Learning & Development & Resourcing Manager Accord UK-Ltd
‘As Chair of Trustees for the Dean Heritage Centre, I was looking for an experienced and effective facilitator to run a session for trustees, volunteers and staff members. Our aim was to consolidate key messages about our strategic vision, to ensure everyone connected with the key messages and that everyone knew what part they could play in the future success of this charity. I was delighted with the session that Miranda designed and delivered. The session was well received, those who attended found it uplifting and motivational, and it certainly achieved the outcomes we needed.’
Alison Breton, Chair of Trustees