Welcome to “Feature Friday” – a weekly conversation with key workspace and design industry leaders. For our inaugural piece we’re thrilled to be joined by Business Operations Consultant and long-standing WOD member, Sally Rice.
Having started in the corporate interiors industry in 2008 which quickly lead to a role on the board of the renowned Sketch Studios, Sally now specialises consultancy in the corporate interiors industry employing a self-described approach that “centres around a straightforward approach of engagement followed by detailed analysis, leading to efficiency and ultimately delivering businesses both time and financial savings as well as adding to their bottom line.”
WOD: Thanks for joining us. So let’s start from the top – tell us about your background and how you become involved with the workspace sector…
SR: “I am actually half Kiwi, half English but I grew up and went to school in Hampshire. I had a gap year of travelling the world before I studied Politics with Law at Durham University. After a few more years travelling post uni, I moved to London and “fell” into the workspace sector, getting a job as an administrator at Sketch Studios, one of the UK’s largest furniture only dealers, back in 2008. It wasn’t a conscious decision to work in this industry but now I am just as big a furniture geek as the next person!”
WOD: And talk us through your current role…
SR: “In June I started S Rice Consultancy, a business built around my existing skill set of being an operations director. I offer advice on the operational areas of business with the aim of helping companies gain more time and cost efficiencies, maintain sustainable growth and ultimately improve their bottom line. Typically I work with both furniture manufacturers and dealers. In my spare time I also working on my second business – my side hustle! – called Heartspace Development which is all about offering personal development, training and empowerment for women in the business world who are looking for support to help achieve their career goals. Heartspace is still a work in progress so I am hoping to fully launch before the end of the year.”
WOD: Sounds busy! Take us through what a typical working day for you looks like…
SR: “I still wake up and try to get up early at around 6ish so I can fit in meditation, yoga and some time for journaling before I start work. As I am still predominantly working at home, I usually have a number of Zoom calls booked in throughout the day, mixed in with keeping up to date with content creation, client work and allocating time to working on my second business! Some days it is really hard to fit it all in but I am grateful I no longer spend 4 hours a day commuting and as I am a (confident) introvert I have actually really enjoyed working from home on a permanent basis and the flexibility it has afforded me. In the beginning I was quite often missing lunch as there is always a lot to do when you run your own business so I now book it in the diary to make sure it happens! Usually I try to finish around 5 but often I attend virtual events or online events in the evening. I still make time however to binge watch all series of “The Sopranos” – old school but brilliant.”
WOD: So with your experience in mind, what advice would you give to somebody wanting to succeed in a similar role to yours?
SR: “I actually recorded a short series of videos for the WOD Digital platform offering tips and advice to anyone looking to set up their own business! I think my main piece of advice is to make use of a few key systems which will make your life a lot easier and save time. My favourites are Canva for design work, “Xero” for invoicing and accounts, “Asana” for managing my projects and personal development, training and empowerment for women in the business world who are looking for support to help achieve their career goals. Heartspace is still a work in progress so I am hoping to fully launch before the end of the year!” “Workflowy” for tracking all my various and many to do lists! I have actually just started my “System Spotlight” series on Linkedin – I post a weekly video on a Monday focusing on a new system each week.”