Dawn Sillett has been a member of the IoD since 2003 and runs Zoomly, a training and coaching company working with creative and media organisations to develop skills, talent and creativity in the UK and Overseas.
What prompted you to become a member?
“I can remember the exact moment. I was in a coffee shop, trying to phone some clients and it was really, really noisy. I just thought, I can't do this anymore, get me out of here! I literally came running in and joined up. I wanted a space that was businesslike, where I could work but that wasn’t too stiff and formal. I also wanted to be able to relax somewhere that was easy to get to, and where I could meet up with people. It definitely ticks all of those boxes.”
Nine years on, do you still value the same benefits?
“I still use the meeting space in particular and I have made good use of the Business Centre, using it to run my training workshops and booking it on behalf of my clients. I also use it when recruiting and running our own smaller events. The benefit of the Business Centre is that it provides somewhere when you can close the door, have privacy but still be well looked after.”
What about IoD membership has surprised you?
"I’ve attended the Annual Convention a number of times and have been really impressed with it. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was far more useful and relevant than I thought it would be, and so inspirational! It got me thinking in all kinds of different directions."
Anything else that you've found particularly useful?
"Well, something else I’ve used many times over the years is the business advisory service, and it’s been brilliant. I’ve used advisors with HR specialities, accountancy, marketing, IP and franchising and they have all been really, really helpful."
What are the biggest issues you are facing in business right now?
"We have actually had a bumper few years. I think fortunately we have the right product for the right time. However we have noticed a big shift in lead times - they're much shorter now. Once upon a time I would have had the next six months of business sewn up or certainly lots of building blocks in place, now you can forget it. It's all last minute."
Are you looking to expand?
"Definitely. I have some really good trainers that have some really great relevant sector experience and we know from research we have done that our clients really value that, so over time I am looking to franchise out to other sector gurus in non-competing areas. I’m sure my IoD membership will be a great help to me during that time."