Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
I’m Jenny Stewart and I run an IT Consultancy business called JennySys Computing Services. I’ve been in the IT sector since 1985 – back in the days when floppy disks were about!
After spending nine years at Newcastle University, I decided to give up the corporate world and set myself up as an IT consultant so that I could provide the level of service to my customers in a way that simply wasn’t possible as part of a larger organisation.
Tell us about your business
I provide IT support and training to small business owners and home users.
What are the most sparkly bits of what you do?
I enjoy working with people who are struggling with their IT: in particular when they are at their wit’s end with their equipment. Resolving people’s IT problems and seeing them less stressed is what gets me up in the morning.
I’ve also been involved with training older people who are visually impaired on how to use a computer so that they can send and receive emails, write letters and browse the net. Watching people who have effectively given up on life (sometimes) after their diagnosis, blossom and grow in confidence is extremely rewarding. My oldest client was 92 and she was fantastic.
What are the biggest challenges you face running your business?
The nature of my business is that once I have sorted out one IT problem, I then have to find another IT client to replace that work. I know I need to work on finding small businesses who would like to employ me on a retainer basis so that they can call on me when they need IT support.
What have been your biggest achievements and how have you celebrated them?
In 1988, I won The Scotsman’s Micro User of the Year award for a program I designed myself. I’ve also spoken in front of a 300+ audience talking about the benefits of ‘thin client technology’ at the Citrix iForum in Edinburgh. Celebrate? What’s that then??
What are your goals – for yourself and your business?
Myself: To do more exercise – I’m not getting any younger and need to fight old age ☺.
Business: to find more clients who would like to take me on a retainer basis.
What is your favourite place in the North East and why?
Ingram Valley – I think because it reminds me of Scotland which is where I’m from.
Who puts a Sparkle in your eye?!
My dog Marley – because he always thinks I’m Top Dog ☺.
A final Sparkly thought – what tips would you give to busy, hard-working entrepreneurs?
When starting out – find someone else doing the same thing who you could work/collaborate with. It’s bloody tough when you’re on your own!
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