Frances Day of Bird Board
As part of our Meet the MD series we catch up with Frances Day, 'Chief Bird' at Bird Board Ltd, the Yorkshire-headquartered businesswoman network.
What does your role involve?
My role is the big vision thinker, which is 35 boards by the end of next year and 3,000 women business owners all supporting one another by the end of 2018, and to make that happen. Its time consuming but it’s not hard work because I believe that it’s what I was put on this earth to do. To encourage women to use their feminine skills to be the best that they can possibly be.
What is it the company does?
We are developing a network of women business owners who encourage each other with their business challenges in a confidential, nurturing and supportive environment. Our strap like is “as brave as you are.”
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I worked in admin and sales for most of my younger years and found that I loved marketing. I finally got my dream job working at Leeds College of Art and did that for 5 years. But realised that if I didn’t start my own business soon I would never do it. So I started Marketing Doctor in 2009. In 2014 I set up Bird Board because I needed a forum to be able to give and receive support from like-minded business women and that is what I now know was the pilot group. The website went live in March and we’re just about to launch Board number nine.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Tenacious vision, passion, and the right type of positive energy to make it happen. Being aware that you’re being watched and demonstrate that you live and breathe what your business stands for.
“I’m doing this amazing thing for women in business, want to join me on my journey?”
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Planning and executing the summer lunch in August. Last year 6 of us went to Gusto’s for lunch, and this year there were nearly 100 of us at The Woodlands Hotel. It was like planning a wedding on speed, with dietary requirements and challenging seating plans so that received the very best experience. I wanted the women who attended to have the best experience they could have, so that they would tell their friends. When you do a good job, you set the bar for the next on in December. We’ve got 200 women signed up to attend.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I love yoga and being out in the fresh air, getting into nature. …..and breathe….I grew up in South Africa so being on a beach in my bare feet, feels like coming home to me.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A journalist. I love words and how they make you feel. I remember being little and badgering my mum to tell me ‘what does that word say mum?’
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
People being late, I think its disrespectful. We all have the same amount of time every day.
People who commit to something and then don’t show up.
In business, all it boils down to is your reputation. Do your best to make sure that its spotless at all times.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
At least one Board in every city and large town in the UK.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
I know it’s tricky, because there are lots of fabulous businesses out there. Follow your heart. Find one thing that you love and put all your heart and soul into it. Because life is not a dress rehearsal and you’ve got to spend it making yourself and the people that you work with happy. If you’ve found your purpose, the money will follow.