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Entrepreneurs Panel

Richard O'Sullivan
Brian Hay
Laura Tenison
Tony Caldeira
Jennie Johnson
David Pollock
Jeremy Roberts
Charlie Mullins
Michael Oliver
Debbie Pierce
Julie Meyer
Steve Purdham

Beneficial Rotary?

Debbie Pierce

The former market stall worker founded the Bury Black Pudding Company on the web in May 2002 on a budget of £1,000. The firm completed its move to a major production facility in 2005 and now churns out more than 20 tonnes of black pudding a week to cater for demand over the internet, at its longstanding stall in Bury Market and from its distributors including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Iceland and Londis.

Question: 

The head of my town’s Rotary club has recently approached me about becoming a member. I’m not much of a joiner and am, frankly, busy enough without yet another commitment but as I run a print shop that does a lot of work with local companies I wonder whether it might be good for business. What do you think?

Answer: 

As your business and reputation grows, naturally your business networking circle and involvement with the local community widens, it’ll feel like everyone wants a piece of you at times! But “time” commitment to your business and personal life, keeping the balance between those two right, has to take first priority.

If you desperately need what business it may create and think you may find the time, then say “yes”. See how it goes and if it benefits you as well as them then it’s okay. But if, as you say, you’re busy enough already and don’t know where you’ll find the time, then say “no”. Any commitment you haven’t got the time for will only become a burden to you. It’s very difficult saying “no” in business sometimes but you have to draw the line somewhere.

If you choose to say no, just tell them you’re unable to commit to it at the moment because your business demands so much of your time, but it may be something you can do in the near future. You may be able to get involved with them in other ways that don’t demand such commitment – go to the occasional meeting as a member’s guest, give them leaflets to hand out at their meetings, offer discounts to their members if possible and get involved in charity events or social evenings they may hold.

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