Business Profile: Joanna Lavan Of ConnectChina
Joanna Lavan established ConnectChina in 2004, based in Huddersfield, which has grown to be one of the largest China business support consultancy’s in the North of England. In 2014, Joanna also opened an office in Shanghai. Joanna and her team help both public and private sectors in the UK and overseas develop trade and investment opportunities with China.
What's your business motto?
To work as a strategic partner, providing real understanding, delivering practical results and helping our clients to succeed in China.
How often do you visit China?
Half of our turnover is made up of exporting our services to China, so visiting China regularly and developing relationships is really important to help secure further contracts in China.
What makes your business different?
As a consultancy, we go beyond just a service offer. We bring people together, working closely with our clients and contacts to build relationships so we can give the very best service and practical solutions.
What do you always have with you?
It’s a cliché, but my phone. It keeps me connected to everything that’s important; my family, my business and our clients.
Which person has inspired you most in your business life and in what way?
Previous bosses who have supported and encouraged me. They inspired me in many ways and have been great motivators in helping me to launch my own business.
What's your proudest achievement in business?
I’m proud of a great deal of things we’ve achieved over the years, but my highlight moment would have to be joining the Prime Minister, Theresa May, on a visit to China earlier this year. We were one of only two Yorkshire businesses selected for the visit, so it was a great honour to have been invited.
What's your company's greatest asset?
For me, a successful business is based on people. The team is our backbone and having the right people who are motivated and valuing their contribution greatly improves our chances of success, for both us and our clients.
If you hadn't gone down your chosen career path, what would you be doing?
I always wanted to travel but also had an ambition to be a criminal psychologist. If I wasn’t running my own business, I’d probably be living in Spain or Portugal reading psychological thrillers!
What is your one tip for a successful business?
Having a positive “can do” attitude goes a long way, even when you’re faced with the challenges that come along and also giving credit to others, even if it’s as simple as saying “thank you”.
How do you relax away from work?
When I’m not working I try to spend as much time as I can with my family and three grandchildren (soon to be four!). It’s always lovely to travel and take time out and I also enjoy reading a good book and walking in the countryside.
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Business Profile: Joanna Lavan Of ConnectChina, 10th September 2018, 16:57 PM