Telling the truth about SME life today

Carmen Watson

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Name: Carmen Watson

Age: 55

Company: Pertemps Recruitment Partnership 

Turnover: £286m

First job: Secretary/sales administrator for a drop-forging company in the Midlands, which made parts for cars ie: towing ball brackets and jack from heavy metal. I was a lot lighter in weight then so every time the drop-forging hammers banged down onto the metal plates the building physically shook and I literally jumped out of my chair. 

Dream job: CEO of Mont Blanc: unbridled access to the world’s most elegant fountain pens and accessories. Perfect!

Car: Jaguar XK Convertible. I have an old Freelander for country roads in the winter.

Economy, business or first class: Economy unless I am travelling with my partner who is 6′ 4″ and needs the extra room.

Most extravagant purchase: £1,200 on a Fendi B handbag for my daughter’s 18th birthday. I love my bags so thought she would too. It’s had one airing so far!

Most played song on iPod: I don’t use my iPod it’s too fiddly for me! My favourite song though is Shirley Bassey’s “After the rain”, a catchy little number and someone else’s song that she made good!

Best business book: Piranhas in the Bidet: a snappy guide to better partnerships with your customers, your people and yourself.

Worst business moment:  The recession in 1980 when I had to ring 80 people to let them know they no longer had jobs what a humbling experience that was.

Proudest business moment: Being nominated for the first time, by one of our major clients, for a Gold Star Supplier Award. They had upwards of 15 suppliers doing what we do and we were voted the best in every category. A fantastic testimony to the hard work and dedication of my team. I was so proud of them!

Business mentor: Don’t have one. I mentor other people, maybe I should get a mentor myself!

You next big thing: Marriage. Who to” Someone that makes handbags, perhaps!

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