“How I got here”

How did I get to be sat here writing this blog?????  How could I have strayed from the practical world of making things to sitting at a screen?  On reflection, the answer is simple: I still make things, but just in my spare time, what changed was that I realised that making things which other people had conceived wasn’t nearly so interesting as solving the challenges for myself.

I left school at 16 to do an engineering apprenticeship then moved to working in the design and development, followed by value engineering, project management, works engineering and finally in 1999 took the leap and started Bennett Engineering.  The marketing plan back then was that the world and his dog would form an orderly queue at my door and although this proved to somewhat wide of the mark I did make a living until the meltdown of 2008.  Unlike the bankers, I did see it coming: I’d bored no end of people with “who on earth can afford to buy a house?” and “what do the banks do to make so much profit?” I took pre-emptive action and started working with a marketing Guru which in turn led to new markets and the strengthening of the business.

Generating a living out of selling ideas is an interesting and slightly unpredictable way of life: the main problem is how long will it take me to find the solution that exactly fits my client’s needs?  Fortunately I have clients who really value and appreciate my practical problem solving abilities and they have enabled and encouraged me to continue to grow the capabilities of the business.  Craig Harbron joined the company in 2012 to help keep on top of the vast amount of work required to turn a design into something that can be made.  Irene Muniz joined in 2014 and added more capacity along with experience of CAD based stress analysis.

The three of us have plans to grow the business and over the last six months have invested hundreds of hours working on the business in order to make it a truly excellent organisation that our clients and suppliers trust, value and enjoy working with.

Having young people in the organisation is the answer to my initial question. Craig and Irene come from a generation that are completely comfortable with digital technology.  Me, being a dinosaur, viewed the whole digital media thing as at best, an irrelevance, whereas they understood its enormous power and potential.  They have been responsible for developing the ideas behind every improvement that we’ve made on EVERY aspect our digital presence.

Thank you for getting this far.  If you have the time, please let me know your thoughts about what I’ve written and how it relates to your experience.

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or check the website www.beneng.co.uk for the next blog “What Makes Us a Good Team” – Part 1


Written by: John Bennett