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What I Love About My Business in Swindon!

As February dawns and Valentine’s Day approaches, February is known as the month of love – or historically a month of ‘new beginnings’ – so we’re asking business owners share what they love about their businesses.

Today it's Hadi Brooks who as two businesses:

Rays Ice Cream – making and retailing delicious ice cream

My Business Buddy – the business mentor to help you make more money in your food, hospitality or retail,uk

What do you love about running your own business? 

  • I am in charge of my own destiny. I make the decisions and live by the results.
  • I get to spend far more time with my daughter than I ever would have been able to in my corporate roles.
  • There’s flexibility in when I work. Don’t get me wrong, I work hard, but if I want next Tuesday off I can arrange that. 

What do you love about your business community? 

It’s a very friendly, helpful business community. I’m thinking specifically of the other business owners in Old Town, everyone’s always very friendly and willing to help each other out.

What do you love socially/geographically about your community? 

We’ve got two big rescue dogs and so we’re out walking at some point every day. We’re really lucky in that we can walk to a choice of open spaces from our front door – Lawn Park, The Old Railway Path, The Canal and just a short drive from home there are loads more beautiful walks – Barbury Castle, Clouts Wood and Bincknoll Castle are some of our current favourites.

While we are locked down – name any business you have ‘loved’ and bought from in your community over the last few months? 

  • Glamorose cakes
  • The Hop
  • The Tuppenny

February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day – have you carried out any  random acts of kindness (business or otherwise) over the last few months? 

In the run up to Christmas we were encouraging our Rays Ice Cream customers to ‘gift a scoop to an NHS Hero’ – customers could buy a voucher for an ice cream at a reduced rate and NHS workers could come in and claim a voucher. It worked really nicely and we’ve still got a few vouchers to be claimed when we re-open the shop.

Has anyone shown kindness to you? 

I fell over in the park the other day – slipped on the mud and went right over, landing heavily. A fellow dog walker saw me (cringe!) and shouted over to see if I was OK. I said I was, but nevertheless he walked out of his way to come and check I really was alright (I was luckily). It’s little things like that which make all the different, especially at the moment during lockdown.

Is Valentine’s Day a key moment in your business? 

Valentine’s Day has never been a huge part of our business due to the seasonality of what we do. In ordinary times we would create a special ice cream cake and sell it for the day. This year’s a bit different however as we’re closed.

We’re busy planning at the moment for what we will be able to do when we re-open and how we can operate safely as our new season does start. It looks like we’ll re-start home deliveries before we open the shop, but with so many unknowns, it’s hard to plan things exactly.

We look forward to welcoming our wholesale customers back when they are allowed to re-open too.

What would your advice be to a business owner who is feeling ‘flat’ in February? 

Keep going, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Ensure you’re claiming all the government support that you’re entitled to to enable you to come back fighting when you’re able.

Talk to others in a similar position, there are plenty out there who will understand exactly how you are feeling.

And finally: 

In my other business, My Business Buddy, I work as a business mentor. Using my own business experience and training to help others make more money from their businesses. 

I am finding it really rewarding working with other small business owners to help them get through these challenging times and helping them to make plans to come back fighting – whenever that may be.

Rays Ice Cream Swindon

Rays Ice Cream

Established in 2011, family-run Rays Ice Cream make all of their own ice cream in Swindon and sell it in their shop in Old Town.

63 Devizes Rd, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 4BD

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

Scott Media

Scott Media is run by a UK-based journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the media - print, radio and television.

6 Gold View, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8GZ

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy
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