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Jean Cannon

Total live articles: 2

Member since: Mar 01, 2012

In the late 1980s I was working as a research marine biologist when my then husband had an entrepreneurial spasm and decided to build and sell computers. It was the classic case of a technical guy with an ability to sell and no business understanding buying himself a job. I became increasingly involved so that we did not lose money and ended up managing the business when he worried himself into a breakdown. Like so many small business people we worked almost around the clock as we grew to a million turnover and 17 staff. So close to round the clock that I ended up with a mattress in my office so I got some sleep. It could not go on like that so I studied quality assurance and implemented an ISO 9001 quality management system. Wow! This revolutionized our lives. A lot of that growth to million turnover came after I put in the system. We stopped having errors from people who were doing their best but were run off their feet, we had a really good feedback system to sort out why things had gone wrong and we saved a heap of money by having really clear documented contracts and contract amendments And better than all, we had well trained staff who followed procedures and this gave us TIME. The system also reduced the risks so that we were not worrying about whether staff could make mistakes that landed us with legal issues that could put our house at risk. We built a wonderful beach house with a stunning view on top of a cliff and went there every weekend and even took holidays. We managed three weeks in New Zealand and yes, the business was still there and making money with no dramas while we were away. What a change!

By the time we left the computer industry, I had discovered a real passion for business and set up my own consultancy combining my environmental background with my quality management expertise. This has morphed into a management systems training business where I work with most of my clients online either in groups or as home study clients.

I am a firm believer that a sustainable business is one that makes a profit because it looks after its customers (quality), looks after the safety of its workforce and also looks after the environment.

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