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By Fi or Becs, Jun 27 2017 02:00PM

We are proud to be a family business (obvs) and we're also proud to work with loads of family businesses, so when Becs was asked to speak at the Greater Manchester Family Business Event this July we were chuffed about it.

Alongside chattering to people all about Fi & Becs (and The Apprentice) at the event, Becs was also interviewed by Paul Andrews founder of Family Business United, a global family business community and an invaluable source of insight into the sector.

You can read the full interview here, but we've also popped some of our favourite bits below:

Rebecca Jeffery is full of life, energy and passion for what she does as she shares her insight into her life in business with her sister Fi which they set up over three years ago, aptly named Fi and Becs Design and Marketing.

Life for Becs began in the corporate world in the worlds of funerals and telecommunications. As she explains, "I loved what I did and had a real passion for the marketing side of things which was great. I worked long hours and loved what I did and for me it was like a childhood dream fulfilled as I loved writing as a child and dreamt of becoming an author so the world of marketing and copywriting is probably as close as I could get. I do feel very fortunate to have had the roles that I had!"

Much has been written over the years about siblings starting out in business together but Fi and Becs are certainly bucking any negative trends. "It took about six months of working together to set the parameters and framework for the way we work today," continues Becs, adding "After six months we really respected each other and we are wired the same way too which really helps and in meetings it is like we can read each others minds - we certainly know what the other is going to say even before they have said it!"

Fi and Becs both have young children - Becs has Olly who is now 4 and Fi has two children under the age of 9. "Family is integral to who we both are and has been right from the start," continues Becs. "Our business is built around us meeting the needs of our clients whilst being Mums too. We make no attempt to hide from our parental roles and embrace being Mums, flexibly working to get things done and our clients all know that we work later but are not around much from 3-7pm and that is OK!"

Ah, some of Becs' comments even made Fi feel all emotional - what a softie.

By Fi or Becs, Apr 3 2017 07:00AM

Ah we love it when a national business magazine uses a swear word (albeit censored) in their article headline...

We LOVE it even more when the article is about us - heh heh.

Earlier this year Becs met with Maria McGeoghan, an Editor from BQ Magazine for an interview (aka chatter) and cup of tea in Manchester city centre. Followed by a brilliantly random photo shoot which included an unexpected space hopper (!) - we have been waiting eagerly for the feature to appear in printed format.

We have not been disappointed. Complete with laptops, notepads, mugs, hysterical bouncing and loads of honesty the interview was published this week. Hooray!

Here's a quick taster of the interview in case you're interested:

"Apprentice candidates come and go – but you’ll remember Rebecca Jeffery. As she departed Lord Sugar’s HQ in a taxi after being fired in week six of the BBC reality show, her musings on why her adventure was at an end were frank and funny."

“At the end, I think I went because I’m not a tw*t,” she told the camera in the taxi. “I think that’s my downfall. Haven’t been enough of a tw*t.”

“I don’t even remember saying it,” admits Jeffery, 32, one half of Fi & Becs, a successful copywriting and design company she runs with her sister, Fiona. “It was just one of those throwaway remarks that I never, ever thought would be used.”

Warm, friendly and fizzing with energy, Jeffery applied for one of the toughest TV challenges on a whim. “I always used to shout at the telly when The Apprentice was on – I love it,” she explains. “My brother-in-law is a brain surgeon and one New Year’s Eve we were egging each other on to apply – ‘You do it’, ‘No, you do it’.

“The application was relatively easy and then I went to the first lot of auditions in Manchester with around 3,000 other people. It was fun but exhausting. You have one minute to sell yourself and I think I said nice people get on in business."

You can read the full article using the link below. We think it's excellent but we're biased... obvs.

By Fi or Becs, Jan 25 2017 03:24PM

In December last year Becs got an exciting email from a chap called Tim Scott.

Tim and his partner Gemma are super clever HR professionals who have written a series of books aimed at helping people with social media - the kind of thing that we LOVE.

Becs had met Tim at a CommsHero* event last year (where he did a brilliant presentation about social media and HR working together) so she was delighted when Tim emailed asking her to take part in a new #SocialLeaders series alongside the launch of their third book: 'Putting Social Media To Work 3.0 - For The Busy Executive'.

So... on a chilly January day armed with tea and Skype (obvs) Becs and Tim had a chatter all about social media. Becs merrily rabbited on about our social media channels of choice, things that have worked for us and some of our tips and hints for using social media successfully.

Luckily Tim has edited Becs' #SocialLeaders interview into a nice succinct video (in which she moves her hands A LOT) which you can watch here:

Becs even got a mention in Tim and Gemma's book - how exciting!

Here's what the book said about Becs:

"We have to confess that neither of us are avid watchers of the BBC's The Apprentice but we met 2016 contestant Becs IRL at a #CommsHero event and had to find out more. We were really impressed with how she has incorporated social into her business and love her fresh, honest and natural approach to running her own account. Expect lots of pictures (especially selfies), working out loud and hashtags."

---> hehehe we love it!

Here's what Tim and Gemma say about their series of books:

"We wrote the first book in the series ‘Putting Social Media to Work: A Practical Guide’ in 2015 because we felt that some of our fellow HR professionals needed help to learn how to get social and to be able to help their organisations do the same. In HR circles, there has traditionally been a lot of negativity about social media but, in our view, digital and social technology is only going to grow – and so therefore will the gap between those who have these skills and those who do not.

We found that the book was being shared with other people who were facing the same challenges - people that, for the most part, were either running small businesses or leading larger ones. They told us that they knew they ought to be on social, but they didn’t know how to, or what to say, or how to find the time, so we developed a version just for small business people and then added a third book for leaders and senior executives. All of our books are about practicality, offering suggestions, tips, a straightforward guide to the jargon and busting some of the myths. We have both benefited hugely from using social media personally and professionally and we want to encourage others to share stuff, be themselves on social media and dive in!"

Find out more on their website:

*We felt the need to point out that CommsHero is epic. That is all.

By Fi or Becs, Jan 22 2017 05:00PM

Chatter from Becs:

At the start of January Alex from Altrincham HQ asked me a question for a blog he was writing. The question was:

“What Is The Best Business Advice You Ever Received?”

When I sat down to write an answer, I started mulling over the various pieces of excellent advice I had recieved over the years. There were a few contenders.

Contender Number 1: "No one will ever complain at you for doing things."

Source: David Hendry, a previous Managing Director of The Co-operative Funeralcare - an absolutely amazing man.

Contender Number 2: "If you want to do something, just do it."

Source: Howard Bouch (aka my Dad). This was engrained into my head from an early age and I apply the sentiment to all aspects of my life.

But the winner was... a particular conversation from around 7 years ago that has always lurked around in my head. Here's what I wrote for Alex's blog:

"The best piece of business advice I have ever received was from a previous boss at The Co-operative Group. Actually… I’m not sure whether it was a piece of advice, or just a conversation that has always stuck in my head.

During a monthly 1-2-1, my boss casually mentioned the ‘ambition worm’ in my belly which drove my relentless enthusiasm, nudged me to keep striving and demanded that I succeeded. I loved this metaphor and I adopted it in my life. My boss was right – I have a worm.

My ambition worm continually eats at me. It makes me ambitious, energetic, excited and passionate. Sometimes living with an ambition worm can be tiring. They never let you rest, they are always goading you to keep trying and they require regular feeding with new ideas and new successes; but I love that worm.

My worm is responsible for many of my wonderful career moments, it insisted that I started my own business and it made me apply to The Apprentice last year. I genuinely hope that my worm never disappears."

You can read the full blog post by Alex on the Altrincham HQ website, there are some great (much more sensible) answers on there too from other business people!

Amusingly (and brilliantly) my ambition worm answer got quite a lot of comments when it was posted on social media! I have a feeling that I might be writing more about ambition worms in the future...

By Fi or Becs, Nov 3 2015 10:39AM

Becs is pretty good at writing a press release! Featuring in this weeks Halifax Courier is a great article headlining in the Business Section... All about the Mumpreneur Award that we are finalists for...

More about the Mumpreneur Awards

The Mumpreneur Awards is an annual ceremony aimed at celebrating parents throughout the UK who manage the difficult task of juggling business with family life.

Judging our entry will be a panel of top entrepreneurs but we'll have to wait until 14th November, when the winners will be announced at The Mumpreneur Conference and Awards, being held at the Heart of England Center in Warwickshire.

By Fi or Becs, Oct 2 2015 01:03PM

Wow. There's a bit of excitement in the Fi & Becs world this Friday as we've just found out that we are Finalists for the National Mumpreneur Awards!

Being two working mums (Fi has two small people aged four and seven and Becs has a little boy aged two) we are totally delighted to have been chosen from over 3,000 nominations to be part of the final line-up for the 'Boost' Award!

Here is what the Mumpreneur website says about the Boost Award:

"The Boost Award is open to businesses who can demonstrate high growth. Our judges will be looking for businesses that bucked the trend during the recession and expanded their market, product range, business size or anything else that you think demonstrates extraordinary growth."

As well as being shortlisted for the Boost category, Becs is also in with a chance of winning the title of 'The Inspirational Business Mum 2015' (hah!) which is apparently awarded to the mum "who is an inspiration to all women in business"... How exciting is that!

More about the Mumpreneur Awards

The Mumpreneur Awards is an annual ceremony aimed at celebrating parents throughout the UK who manage the difficult task of juggling business with family life.

Judging our entry will be a panel of top entrepreneurs but we'll have to wait until 14th November, when the winners will be announced at The Mumpreneur Conference and Awards, being held at the Heart of England Center in Warwickshire.

Fingers crossed!...

By Fi or Becs, Jul 10 2015 12:12PM

We are literally bouncing around the room in excitment today as we're allowed to offically announce that we are FINALISTS in the Enterprise Vision Awards for New Business of the Year!

After finding out last week it's been somewhat difficult to stop Becs from declaring it on all forms of social media - but now we can tell everyone and start getting ready for the next stage!

What happens next:

As an offical finalist (woop, still chuffed!) for New Business of the Year (which is sponsored by Chorley Council), the next round is an interview at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool in the next few weeks.

We're sending Becs along where she'll be interviewed by three judges and provide a short presentation all about Fi & Becs... if any of you know Becs you'll appreciate that she is very excited about this as she strangely really likes presenting and will talk cheerily to anyone about our business for hours if left unattended.

All of the finalists will be scored by the judging panel - BUT there is also an element of public voting to the Enterprise Vision Awards... so we might need your help by voting for us in the next couple of months!

The winners will be announced at the fabulous Awards Night held in the Empress Ballroom at the prestigious Winter Gardens in Blackpool in September - nice dresses on, fingers crossed, glass(es) of wine at the ready...

About the Enterprise Visions Awards:

The Enterprise Vision Awards celebrate women in business from across the North West. The awards were created to specifically recognise ladies in The North West of England who are inspiring others by successfully running their own businesses.

You can find out more about the Enterprise Visions Awards on their website or follow them on Twitter for all the news and info! Their Twitter account is: @EVA_Awards

Please wish us luck, and we'll let you know how we get on!

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