Welcome to my blog! This week I’m talking about the highs and lows of starting a social business

Well it’s been a great week for Unforgettable. The number of people visiting our site is increasing rapidly and is expected to reach 40,000 by the end of the month. That’s a pretty impressive number of customers, in fact it’s around the same as a shop on Oxford Street might have in one month.

We’ve also had some fantastic feedback, including a wonderful email from a woman who said Unforgettable was, ‘the most supportive resource I’ve found in five years of caring for my mum.’ As a result of what she’s read and learnt, she’s now decided to take her mum out of a care home and look after her at home. Of course, nobody is suggesting this would be the right choice for everyone, but it was very motivating for us to feel that we’ve helped someone to make such a life changing decision.

On a personal note however it hasn’t been such a great week. I’ve broken up with my partner of three and a half years and, I’m afraid to say, it was a break up which was due, in no small part, to me spending so much time working and being so focused on Unforgettable. I’m really sad of course – I was very happy in my relationship, but from what I’ve heard it seems that relationship breakdowns are a recurring theme amongst people starting up a business, particularly a social business which isn’t driven by finance but by personal passion to solve a social issue.

Here’s a few of the week’s highlights

It’s hard to believe that it’s already a month since our last board meeting – they seem to come around so frequently – but with the next one looming at the end of the week preparations dominated a lot of my time, though this is getting easier to manage. Fortunately, the meeting went very well, helped no doubt by the fact that the business is doing so well and customer satisfaction is good.

I was also very encouraged this week to receive more than 100 applications for the role of Marketing Manager which we’re currently recruiting for. Many candidates have high profile brand experience – I can’t wait to start meeting them.

On Wednesday evening I gave a presentation to carers from an organisation called My Home Touch. It was the first time I’ve told my story publicly and I was pretty nervous, but I did end up really enjoying it. The audience, thankfully, was very engaged and positive about Unforgettable. We all finished off by sharing experiences, tips and advice with each other which was so interesting, useful and humbling. Perhaps Unforgettable should host its own carer’s sessions where we all help each other in a similar way. What do you think? I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

James giving his presentation about his mum
James giving his presentation about his mum

And finally

I had a great meeting with NAPA Activities, a charity which helps to provide meaningful activities for older people. I’m really inspired and excited by the work they’re doing and looking forward to working more closely with them in the future.

I then shot off to a Hans Zimmer concert at Wembley, he’s one of my favourite composers and it was an incredible evening – a perfect way to end an eventful week!