We chat with Sarah Townshend, Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Channel Marketing Advisor for Zebra Technologies.
Sarah Townshend tells us about the Zebra ZSB Series printers, her love of walking the stress away and the challenges small businesses face in the UK.
Tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do for a living?
I’m Sarah Townshend, Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Channel Marketing Advisor for Zebra Technologies. I’ve been at Zebra for 4 years and I’ve worked in the B2B technology industry throughout my career with roles spanning channel communications, product management, product marketing and channel enablement and events. My current responsibilities cover EMEA, leading our marketing efforts for the recently launched Zebra ZSB Series printers and our (small-medium business) SMB Office Supplies programme.
What time does your day usually start and end?
My morning usually starts at 7am with a glass of orange juice, a bowl of porridge and berries and reading a chapter of my book.
I’m generally at my desk by 8:30am and a typical day will either be spent on calls with my colleagues and partners and working through my to do list.
My working day usually ends by 5:30pm with a walk in the countryside surrounding my home for an hour or so. I find it a relaxing way to signal the end of the working day and relieve any stresses I may have felt during the day!
What is your favourite part of your job and what is your least favourite part?
I love the variety and the opportunity to get involved in lots of different projects all the time. This year I’m managing the UK launch of the ZSB Series as well as focusing more on SMB. I love to challenge myself by stepping out of my comfort zone every so often and being involved in a variety of activities enables me to do this.
My least favourite part? Spending too much time in meetings which makes it harder to get my work done.
What is the best thing about working with small businesses in the UK?
It’s an opportunity to continuously learn. Every small business is unique and has their own challenges that they’re working to overcome however they also need to print labels, whether to ship out their orders or brand their products. It’s fascinating to understand the different use cases and how the ZSB Series can help small businesses.
Can you tell me a bit more about how Zebra is supporting small businesses in the UK?
Zebra has just launched its first range of label printers designed with the Small Office and Home Office (SOHO) community in mind – essentially any business with less than 10 employees. Recognising that small businesses don’t have time to waste, these new printers are easy to install and can be up and running in as little as three minutes. Even though it’s a new sector for Zebra, the ZSB series is the market’s only end-to-end solution consisting of printer, labels and software. This is an exciting first step for Zebra into the SOHO community. As the company continues to learn more about the needs of this market, it will explore the possibility of expanding further based on customer demand.
Looking at your career, what are some of the biggest challenges you’re encountering at the moment?
Professional and personal development is important to me and right now, finding the time to spend on this and then apply my learnings is a challenge.
What do you feel are the biggest obstacles to growth for SMEs in the UK?
One of the key challenges for small businesses is not having enough time to do everything – they’ve got customers calling, orders to fill, and items to ship. Anything that can help save time is welcomed. One of the benefits of using Zebra ZSB printers is how quickly and easily they can be set up, enabling SOHO customers to focus on growing their business.
Zebra’s Wi-Fi-enabled ZSB series label printer is ideal for growing SOHO businesses that want proven, innovative and stress-free label printing. Users can print from any device (iOS, Android, Mac, PC), no matter where they are. Using the cloud, printer and label designs are available anywhere and at any time, keeping data in sync. Featuring easy to load and virtually “unjammable” recyclable label cartridges, the ZSB series provides a label printing experience that enables small business owners to focus on the needs of their business.
Have you made any mistakes along the way and how did you overcome them/learn from them?
Everyone makes mistakes, myself included. From my perspective, it’s about how you learn from them and embrace them as a positive learning experience. We all need to stop being so self-critical and seeing mistakes as negative.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to anyone looking to start their own business?
Whether you have a handful or hundreds of customers, it’s about keeping their needs front of mind. Even if you’re thinking about the here and now or how to evolve your business, your customers need to be your central focus.
What do you do to relax away from the hustle and bustle of work?
I love to go out walking in the local countryside, I try to get out most days for a walk. I’m also a keen baker and love cooking old favourites and trying out new recipes in my kitchen. If I’m not doing that then you’ll find me reading a book – I have an eclectic taste from romance to crime and thrillers.
Do you manage to achieve a good work/life balance?
I certainly try, getting out for a daily walk helps me to mentally close off the working day.