Chené Koscielny set up PicknMix Communications because she loves writing and because she realised that every business needs ‘well-planned, well-written content’ to reach their clients.
Which part of the Chilterns do you live?
I live in Chalfont St Peter
I live with my husband, Volker and three children – Paula (12) Lukas (10) and Max (6)
My company is called PicknMix Communications
Sum up your business in a sentence:
I produce marketing strategies and plan and create content for clients to raise their profile online and in the media – which includes website copywriting, PR, feature and blog writing and social media.
What’s your career background?
After training as a lawyer, I worked for many years as a newspaper and magazine journalist and editor and in public relations – including a digital communications role for a national UK charity.
How did your career change after becoming a mum?
I became a lot better at time management and less willing to waste time doing things I don’t enjoy.
What first inspired you to start your business?
I started my business in September 2013 because I wanted to have a flexible career that works around my family and focuses on my passion for writing, as well as working to my own standards.
And how did you move from idea to actually taking your first business steps?
I saw a career coach to help me focus my thoughts – Fiona Clark from Inspired Mums and she became my first client!
What skills or experience from your career do you use in your business?
As a journalist you have to get your head around difficult, technical concepts quickly and make them readable and understandable – I use this skill, and my listening skills, every day.
Who is your target customer and how do you find and market to them?
Any small to medium-sized business needing to improve their content to help them grow their business or get more customers. They find me through networking, word-of-mouth recommendations and online marketing.
What are the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in starting your own business?
A lack of confidence in the beginning.
Your biggest success?
I have recently started working with an international publicly listed company – my biggest client to date – and am also working with two international clients – in Australia and Switzerland.
The best part of running your own business?
The best part of running my own business is getting to pick the people I work with and projects I work on and the sense of satisfaction I get from making a real difference for clients.
And the worst?
It can be isolating at times and you have to rely on yourself for motivation and drive – especially on days when things aren’t going to plan.
To grow my business and client base to include bigger brands on an international level – as I love travelling and languages. I employ freelance journalists and collaborate with a website designer and video production agency, but would love to grow my team.
What has most surprised you about yourself in starting your business?
I always rise to the challenge – even if I think I’ll never be able to do something, I always find a way in the end. I’m very determined.
How do you juggle running a business and family life?
I use a childminder twice a week to look after the boys – so I have 2 longer days and I use a cleaner twice a week – because I’d rather spend that time earning money doing what I love.
What business tip/advice would you offer new mumpreneurs?
Don’t listen to negative people. Stay away from them. Don’t give up – just keep going and don’t compare yourself with anyone else.
How do you relax?
Yoga and meditation (and wine)
What do you love most about where you live?
The proximity to London and lovely woods to go for walks
What are you listening to at the moment?
John Legend– All of me. Anything my children download from itunes.
What’s your favourite tipple?
Your simple pleasure?
Sitting in a coffee shop and prentending to write a novel
I ‘m really into foreign serial killer mysteries such as The Spiral, The Bridge and The Killing – and I love French films.
I’m currently reading The science of yoga – for a yoga teacher training course, but last year I enjoyed Goldfinch, The Help and Gone Girl.
Tell us a joke?
I’m very bad at telling jokes and have been told that I have a very silly sense of humour.