Desert Island Apps: Alex James
Britpop legend and cheese maker Alex James needs no introduction and the secret to his successful career has been a passion for his craft. Reflecting on his journey to starting his venture ‘Alex James Presents‘, he says, “My parents thought I was mad to join a band and my band thought I was mad to start a cheese business. If you have a passion – go for it”.
That said, Alex James acknowledges the challenges that come with running your own business. His own is made up of a small team based across the country, meaning that remote team work and constant communication are key to keeping things ticking over smoothly – necessities which James admits can be problematic: “Unfortunately, that passion can mean, like me, you’re not that good with spreadsheets or mastering remote working. My one greatest piece of advice is don’t be afraid to ask for help”.
As well as seeking advice and support, embracing technology is key, says Alex James. “Cheese making is a really traditional business, but I know that technology should have its place in all businesses nowadays, including my own. One of the problems is that new business owners are often confused about what’s available and the difference it will make, but tech shouldn’t be ignored. I would encourage any business owner to seek advice, trust in the tech and watch their business grow as a result”
In keeping with embracing tech, Alex James shares the three apps he uses in the day to day running of his business:
Working in the great outdoors is brilliant, but it also means that you always need to be prepared to face a variety of conditions, as Alex notes in the video, such as being able to work in the dark. The Flashlight app is great, as it can run even when a phone device is locked. The external camera buttons can be used to turn flash on and off – and most importantly, there isn’t a delay in waiting for the light to turn on, so you can instantly carry on if you get stuck in the dark
BBC Weather App
Working on a farm means that Alex James often gets caught in all kinds of weather conditions. It helps to be prepared if your business includes extended periods outdoors. The BBC app enables you to search for locations and add different places to your favourites. In addition you can scope ahead – whether it’s hourly updates for the next 48 hours, checking pollen levels or being able to plan for sunrises and sunsets.
A favourite of entrepreneurs all over the world, the app’s premium model allows you to add more files and documents than ever before. In addition, you can also work offline, by downloading your notes so they are with you wherever you go, no matter what your connection is like. There’s a great security feature meaning that you can keep documents and notes secure and if your ever run into difficulty, one of the features allows you to easily connect with a member of the Evernote support team.
To hear more about Alex James’ path from music to cheese, click here