Headstart: IT skills – A week in the life of Nick Robinson, director of HLB Kidsons

I’m in the office all day but am stiff all over from digging the garden over the weekend – I am definitely getting too old for it! On our website we operate a purchasing portal – the client zone – for our clients and I spend much of the day on the phone negotiating deals with four new vendors for the site. I also prepare a paper on our internet strategy for our PI insurers and prepare for meetings in London on Tuesday.

Up at 4.15am to catch the first flight to London. Visit a potential supplier of online training solutions in the morning and have its products demonstrated to me, including the beta version of some new software they think will revolutionise online training. I think it looks pretty solid and useful but revolutionary perhaps overstates the case. After lunch, I meet with proposed suppliers of online debt factoring. This does look like an idea which can help online businesses get off the ground as, in effect, it offers normal credit terms to customers, overcoming the need for upfront payment. I will have to give this concept some thought. Another plane, this time to Manchester, where I meet another vendor (and potential client) for dinner. A deal is struck and I finally retire at around 11.00pm.

As well as being director of e-business, I am a licensed insolvency practitioner and am required to keep my CPE points up to speed. Consequently, I attend an R3 course in Manchester on voluntary arrangements. This has a dual purpose as we have under development a project concerning IVAs and their Scottish equivalent, the Protected Trust Deed. Fly back to Glasgow and land at 7.30pm.

Legal agreement with one vendor is causing a problem, so some lengthy calls to deal with that. In addition I make a start (again!) on my final proposals paper re online training.

Put to bed three client zone suppliers – the fourth is still giving a problem in terms of legal agreement. Discuss what is required with our technical guru. I attend a seminar in Glasgow re internet security and have discussions there with a web developer who may be invited to tender for some redevelopment work on our website. I try for what seems like the fourth time this week, to complete my training paper, but it looks like the weekend! I review where we are with our online bookkeeping project and schedule our next actions. Finally I review this week’s ‘to do’ list and am able to tick off about two thirds – it’s been a good week!

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