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Build Trust Across Different Cultures - Janina Neumann
Episode 207th May 2021 • Thriving Three Counties • Dan Barker
00:00:00 00:58:09

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I first met Janina at a networking event several years ago and I instantly remembered her and her business, due to the unique positioning and business offering.

I bang on about niching quite a lot and I always mention her as a great example of a niche business

She’s a bilingual graphic designer and intercultural management trainer. 

Her bilingual design company helps clients create a social impact in the UK and abroad. 

She’s also the host of The Bicultural Podcast.


Dan Barker (9s):

Hi and welcome to the Thriving Three Counties podcast with me, Dan Barker conversations with inspiring business people throughout the Three Counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. Now it's time for today's episode. I hope you enjoyed the show. OK hello and welcome to this episode of the Thriving Three Counties podcast. I'm Dan Barker and I'm online today with our guest. I first met her at a networking event several years ago, and I instantly remembered her and her business due to the unique positioning and business offering. I do bang on about niching quite a lot.

Dan Barker (50s):

I'm a big fan. And I always mention her as a great example of a niche business. She is a bilingual graphic designer and intercultural management trainer. A bilingual design company helps clients create a social impact in the UK and abroad. And she is also the host of the Bicultural podcasts. So you can see the theme. She is your Nene, a Neumann of your Neen in human design. Hi, how are you doing?

Janina Neumann (1m 13s):

Hi, Dan. I'm a very well thank you. Delighted to be here.

Dan Barker (1m 16s):

Yeah. Good. Well, thank you very much for coming on. I really appreciate it. Cause I know you're a busy lady, but it's, it's cool to have you on. First of all, before we get started on your website, is your need a new human, which I'll just spell it out because it's J a N I N a N E U M a N N and then And we don't want people to call you Janina. It can happen. I think I like to add the other day were on a zoom call and the you'd written in Nina.

Dan Barker (1m 59s):

And then in brackets, Janinna with a Y

Janina Neumann (2m 6s):

Yeah. I mean, I'm trying to help people because what ended up what happened when we all went online is basically half the room might call me Janina and the other half might call me Yanina and then people would get really confused that they hadn't met me before all of these two people.

Dan Barker (2m 24s):

Yeah. Excellent. Like to people on the line. Cool. Cool. Well, yeah, well, we'll obviously get to this in a bit, but of course your, your name is German because you are a German. Yeah. And cool. So, yeah, as I said in the intro, you're you, you know, you do bilingual graphic design, which is pretty cool German and English, and we'll get to that in a bit, but tell us first, did you grow up here or did you grow up in Germany?

Janina Neumann (2m 52s):

So I was born in Germany and then after a couple of years we moved to the London, moved back to Germany and then I moved when I was nine and I've lived in a local area ever since I used to live in Worcestershire and now I live in Gloucestershire.

Dan Barker (3m 7s):

Okay. Okay. And what sort of brought your family over here in the first place? Yeah,

Janina Neumann (3m 13s):

So the UK is really welcoming to start ups and my dad wanted to set up at his company. So we came here because it was a good environment to set up a new business, but I also think that they had in mind that my brother and I would be able to go to a bilingual, which is

Dan Barker (3m 34s):

Okay. Okay. And when you say the UK is sort of welcome startup businesses, presumably that sort of means that it's more difficult in Germany or, or it was.

Janina Neumann (3m 49s):

Yeah. And so for example, here in the UK, you can set up a limited company quite easily, but in Germany, for example, the last time I checked and you have to have 15,000 pounds on your bank account, when you set up a limited, which is quite a lot for a startup.

Dan Barker (4m 8s):

Yeah. Right.

Janina Neumann (4m 12s):

And also, you know, the local grant schemes. And I think there's a general sense in the UK that, you know, if you have a good idea how to start to innovate and you know, you, you then seek help and then people help you along the way to put in the measurements in place. But sometimes in Germany, there are quite a long This of things to do first. So before you even get started and sometimes that can hinder startups.

Dan Barker (4m 44s):

Right. Okay. Well, what do you think sort of leads them to do that? I mean, is that it sounds like it's quite a sort of careful approach, perhaps, you know, you have to have that money there in case it all goes wrong and something to fall back on. I don't know. Is it, is that where it comes from?

Janina Neumann (5m 2s):

Yeah. I think the approach in Germany in business is, is, you know, the long term plan, you know, if you have a project, you know, first of all, everyone goes through the contract really carefully and might do all sorts of amendments before they're completely happy with it. But then that means that the project usually runs more efficient because everything has been sorted. But obviously until you get started with the project, it might take a while. So I think they also incorporate the idea in setting up a business, you know, they want to make sure that you're ready for it. So that's the risk of failure is as minimal as possible.

Dan Barker (5m 45s):

Okay. Interesting. All right. So it's a more kind of upfront planning than perhaps We a week. We can get away with four, one of them at a time. Okay. Okay. Interesting. So obviously you've got this sort of a entrepreneurial background and what did over to set it up?

Janina Neumann (6m 7s):

Yeah, so he has a biotech company and funnily enough, when I was growing up, I was used to look at my parents and admire them, but I always used to think, gosh, I don't want that job. And then, and then when I, I left university and I started my own business, so who knew that were to happen.

Dan Barker (6m 32s):

Okay. Why did you think you didn't want my job then when you were younger?

Janina Neumann (6m 38s):

Because I think I could just see, you know, the effects of how, you know, this you're running your own business has on your personal life is like that. You're constantly thinking about your business, but what I didn't really understand as a kid is that, you know, those moments of being away from your business also, it gives you some breathing space to think about your business in a different way. So I didn't really understand that part of it. And obviously to me, it was a perfectly normal, you know, that, that I could go up and to see my parents whenever I wanted is not normal.

Janina Neumann (7m 21s):

And, but also, you know, if we wanted her to go away somewhere for the day that my parents would arrange it, so we could go away for the day, which was also not normal. They didn't ask other people how their parents work. I thought that was normal. And obviously those are the great benefits of running your own business.

Dan Barker (7m 44s):

Yeah, sure. Okay. Yeah. It's funny when you're a young, isn't it, you just, whatever your parents do is normal, isn't it? You know, like, even down to like, you know, if your mom's older than your dad, do you think everyone's moms? So they like that. Okay. Okay. So you grew up, you grew up seeing that. Was there a point when you sort of did realize it was at a literary later when you started your own business and you were like, Oh, actually I had a slightly different to a lot of other kids growing up.

Janina Neumann (8m 12s):

Yeah. I think once I started running my own business for a couple of years, because I think at the beginning, I basically, I'd never worked for someone full time. I didn't really know what having a job was. I only had part time jobs. So I was kind of creating it with a lot of naivety about what I could do, but I think that also helped me shape my business in the way that I wanted it to.

Dan Barker (8m 42s):

Sure, sure. Okay. Yeah. It's good to be a bit naive. I think at the beginning is it, it will probably as well as speaking for myself, probably a sternum, but so how, how, how was it when you first came over the UK as a, I think you said you came over permanently when you were nine, you probably coming from Germany. You already speaking pretty good English. I imagine by that age, probably better than I was speaking it when I was nine

Janina Neumann (9m 10s):

And actually Germany is evolved since then. So at that time we weren't actually learning English. So I came over with no English and basically learned it during school time. It was very fortunate that the school was very small. It was a village school might have had a 30 kids. And, you know, they really tried to help me with my English and have like separate reading times. And I never felt like I was on the back burner, even though it was so, so that was a really good learning experience, especially because I, I was in year five in year six.

Janina Neumann (9m 57s):

You previously had to do your SATs, your SATs. So that really helped me prepare really, because I had to learning this as quick as I go as quickly as I could. So I would be in the right set at a high school. So the right education level really for my classes.

Dan Barker (10m 21s):

Okay. Well, that's a great, isn't it because when you hear stories of people, you know, transferring to a different country and just, you know, really struggling with sounds like you landed in an amazing place, which village was that

Janina Neumann (10m 34s):

In? Penn doc

Dan Barker (10m 35s):

And doc. So a big at Penn doc, the village

Janina Neumann (10m 37s):


Dan Barker (10m 40s):

Excellent. That's fantastic. Okay. So you got to grips with English mixed in with the other kids, presumably pretty quickly as well as I'd imagine if there was only 30 and the whole school.

Janina Neumann (10m 52s):

Yeah. I'm at the mall on the first day.

Dan Barker (10m 57s):

Excellent. Okay. And, and what were you like as a kid and growing up? Were you a good student?

Janina Neumann (11m 4s):

I was, yeah, it was a good student. I really focused on learning as much as I could about each subject and I was quite competitive as well as with myself to be better with yourself. That's good. Yeah. Yeah. I think it's about taking feedback on and understanding, okay. Where could I have done better? You know, also learning about which learning techniques would work well for me and yeah. It just finding out about basically things that are being taught, you know, actually taking some interest in them and, and, you know, almost anticipating that you need them in later life as well.

Janina Neumann (11m 58s):

I found that really interesting.

Dan Barker (11m 60s):

Okay. Okay. Well, that's, that's quite a self-aware for someone in, in, in primary and secondary school.

Janina Neumann (12m 9s):

Yeah. I don't know.

Dan Barker (12m 12s):

Is that just normal to you? Yeah. Okay. No, I think that's amazing. Cause in a learning that thing of kind of taking your own feedback and trying to improve yourself as something that most adults probably struggle with. I think, so that sounds very impressive. Do you think that came from your parents teaching? I mean, how did they kind of learnt that and tried to pass it on onto?

Janina Neumann (12m 38s):

Yeah, I think discipline is a really important skill and to have in your life. And I think my parents definitely taught me discipline and carrying through with things, even though you didn't like doing them. And I think that's really helped me. Like I was quite an independent learner as well as now, reflecting back, I could have learned certain things in a different way, like spending like hours on end trying to learn something, you know, that's probably not the best way of learning something, but just understanding that if I sat on my desk and I learned this, then I would have the reward, which I gave it to myself, to be honest, my parents didn't dictate that I was thinking, okay, if I do this and to do this well enough, then I can go to now and see my friends.

Janina Neumann (13m 26s):

So, so that, that was my attitude. I think that's been really helpful my business as well, like putting in long hours and like, I don't expect anything else from from it, but I also think it's important for people that are starting up their business to also understand is that it shouldn't work yourself to burn out either, even though you really want the success. And that's sometimes really difficult to manage, like being successful doesn't mean, you know, working or working hard to the tee to that point.

Dan Barker (14m 7s):

and it is, is that coming from a place of having senior parents do that or having done that yourself?

Janina Neumann (14m 15s):

I think, I think we all get to a point where we thinking actually we could take a break and yeah, definitely. I went to that point as well. You know, I think not being burnt out, but just thinking, you know, actually I need a bit of space go for a walk, actually enjoy some of those benefits of working for yourself. Because I think personally for me, we get trapped into the nine to five routine. I know this, this past year has really taught me that actually I don't need to work nine to five and sometimes, you know, I'll get a lot more done in that, you know, if I think, okay, I'm going to take the afternoon off and in the morning is a lot more productive because I have a vision almost as if I was learning things for school, you know, that would be my treat to go outside and my self-imposed treat.

Dan Barker (15m 7s):

Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think I've had the same thing recently as well as just yeah, giving myself a little bit of space and just realizing that that's when the, the good thoughts come in as an, it will take you forward. Well, I have my friend John ode on a few weeks ago and he was saying, it's very difficult to sort of place a value on that period of doing nothing as an it, cause we think it should be doing something, but I'm actually like just stopping and doing nothing as it is actually valuable, but it's hard to say I'm going to get X from it.

Janina Neumann (15m 44s):

Yeah, definitely. And I also think that's one of the key problems with people who price their work power, because to be honest, those moments of creativity or things that have really been on my mind that like, I need to solve this problem, like appear like when I'm most relaxed and I think, Oh, I'll have to solve it. And then a mock it up on the computer and I think, Oh, that's it. Yeah. And I think people don't tend to value those things, you know, they don't, they obviously don't want to pay for your downtime when you do have those thoughts. But I think that's about leading your clients as well.

Janina Neumann (16m 26s):

You know, about the return on investment will with working with you.

Dan Barker (16m 31s):

Yeah. Yeah. And I suppose what they're paying for is your creativity, particularly with what you do and, and you can't say that this creativity is going to take me an hour. It could take 20 minutes. It could take three hours. Yes. Okay. Interesting. All right. Well, I'd like to loop back to that later cause I'm, I love talking about pricing, so I'm pretty sad, but I find it very interesting anyway, out of school. And then you, you went off to the university, did you?

Janina Neumann (17m 5s):

Yeah, I stayed locally. I went to the university of Gloucestershire and I did my graphic design degree there, which I really enjoyed. And the tutors were a really good because they actually had been in the industry as well. And you know, they could feed back some of the hurdles that you'd faced, you know, and sometimes they'd give such in a direct feedback that you think of you. No, no, no. The thing is ever good enough actually, you know, that it makes you really self aware when you're judging your work because, you know, especially in design, like sometimes you just don't see the things because you haven't had that, you know, change in perception.

Janina Neumann (17m 52s):

And I think it also makes you aware of that people are gonna have different opinions and that's really good because as soon as that design goes out in the world, you know, is out there. So you don't want to provoke a certain feeling or an idea that is not intended.

Dan Barker (18m 10s):

Right. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Again, lots of good self-awareness sounds like it's a As building, it was a building. He is even more on what you had previously, which is great. And yeah. How about in terms of putting work out? There is something that I've been taught previously, is that your work, it doesn't sort of reflect you as a person. She, do you feel like that? And if someone, if someone, you know, it says they don't like your work, it doesn't mean they don't like you as a person.

Janina Neumann (18m 42s):

Yeah. I think I, I definitely starting to understand the meaning of that, especially because you become so detached to that to you, you want to embrace their feedback. So your feelings to that design become almost a bit more detached because it's not like, you know, these were your ideas and you know, there's nothing wrong with having new ideas and new ways of doing things. And I think this is so valuable to also teach people how to give feedback, because I have that all the time, as well as like someone might say, you know, it, it looks a bit too busy, but there you started taking things out because you think that looks busy, but actually what they mean is they want, you know, shades of color rather than different colors within the design.

Janina Neumann (19m 42s):

And I used to, I think that's a important thing to talk with your clients through and that's definitely helped me because then it's, it feels a lot less confrontational because then it probably, they're also worried about giving you a feedback because they think you're going to take it personally. But it, to be honest, I just want to know what they mean.

Dan Barker (20m 3s):

Yeah, sure. Okay. That's really interesting. And realizing that they don't necessarily mean what they're saying, but there's something in there and you've got to sort of figure out what they mean.

Janina Neumann (20m 16s):

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I also think, you know, just through some of the cultural work that I've been doing, you know, when I first started some of the feedback that people in the UK might give like, Oh, that looks interesting. Or, you know, things like that when I didn't quite catch on what they actually meant. So I was just trying to solve the problem rather than being like, Oh, okay. So you don't like it.

Dan Barker (20m 47s):

They're not always as direct as we should be. Maybe.

Janina Neumann (20m 51s):

No. Yeah, exactly. So, but then also, so I was just coming from it as a, on a, from a problem solving point of view rather than thinking, Oh, they clearly don't like my work in a way that also helps please in my favor.

Dan Barker (21m 9s):

Okay. So I'll see you, then you have a degree, then you came out and started my own business Australia off the bat.

Janina Neumann (21m 17s):

Yeah, it was interesting really, because basically I started freelancing for This, a great design web design agency in town. And they really gave me a feel for working in a studio, which I hadn't had before. Right. And obviously it was on a freelance basis. And then at that point it was like, okay. So, you know, I'm working for myself, but I didn't really understand that that was actually running a business as in building the brand. And then after a couple of months, I realize actually I want to grow my brand. And obviously you can do that as a freelancer, but then I started to realize actually I want to work with the end client.

Janina Neumann (22m 2s):

So I started going out and networking at that stage.

Dan Barker (22m 6s):

Okay. Okay. So yeah, th th there's a, a big difference. All right. Well, not, maybe not a big difference, but there's certainly a difference between freelancing and building a brand. The people are gonna recognize and come to you for work. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Interesting. So, so you did that first contract with those guys and then basically realized, yeah, this is what I want to do and a need. And you then took steps to, to start building your brand and building a business.

Janina Neumann (22m 38s):

Yeah, it was funny because first time I went to a networking waiting, I was so nervous and I found it so different, you know, getting up at that stage and then meet new people. And then it came to like the elevator pitch around and I was thinking,

Dan Barker (22m 57s):


Janina Neumann (23m 1s):

I live because you know, like a university, you don't get taught that you go, you get to know how to pitch your idea that you've been working on, but not pitch yourself as a business owner. So, yeah. So that was definitely a learning experience because I was so nervous and I kept stuttering for the first few meetings. And then I finally felt like, like I could overcome that social awkwardness. And then I had one to ones with people and it was really important to have that a networking group actually, 'cause, it kind of helped me understand what business was like. And also it made me feel like I was part of a community, which I think was really important at that stage because I was in a row.

Janina Neumann (23m 50s):

I was quite young. Yeah. Starting a business and, you know, just being on my own and not having anyone really to talk to would of been quite lonely. And that was really good.

Dan Barker (24m 3s):

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And, and at what stage did you sort of niche to the bilingual design? Was that straightaway or was that something that came a bit later?

Janina Neumann (24m 14s):

out there. I think when I, in:

Janina Neumann (25m 1s):

So it was more of when I, when I got requests from on my website and to do, you know, to work on bilingual research reports. And I was thinking, actually, this is something I could really do. And I really enjoyed it as well.

Dan Barker (25m 19s):

Right. Okay. Okay. So it was, it was literally feedback from your clients really, and responding to what they were wanting that, that led you down that route.

Janina Neumann (25m 30s):

Yeah. And I think it was also important to, you know, obviously they, they inquired because they thought I was working in that field. So it was good to have like the, you know, those feelers out on your website 'cause that also helps you and gauge kind of what people are interested in because people in that networking group, you know, I, I worked with some of them because, you know, I saw them so often and they got to know me, but having that external approach through the website is kind of a different indicator of how people see your brand.

Dan Barker (26m 9s):

Okay. Explain what you mean a bit more.

Janina Neumann (26m 12s):

Yeah. So it's, so people, you know, people obviously want to work with I'm with you maybe through like know, like, and trust, but when you have different organizations, for example, that operate on the global scale, like some of my clients do, you know, they, they look for other things. They look to them, especially coming from, if it's like typesetting a report in German, in English, you know, they might look for, you know, qualifications that you've done and other things that they might value.

Janina Neumann (26m 52s):

So they don't really have that trust-building element because they see Trust as in, if you complete tasks, wow. I'm on time, then I trust you. So that's also an advantage of perhaps working with German companies because you can build trust in a different way. And you know, they've been a client now for a number of years, so that's really positive. And, you know, they were one or two people that I've worked with the whole throughout the whole time that I've been with them. But, you know, the project manager is always someone different. So you have to have that continue a referral. You know, they were not going to build a relationship like a natural this space of time.

Janina Neumann (27m 34s):

Like, I'm not going to know more about them personally, but the way I've built trust with them As to complete things on time and to a good standard.

Dan Barker (27m 44s):

Okay. Because that's what they hold as one of their values. And you've recognized that that's their values and that you need to, I mean, I'm sure you do that anyway, but it is great that you've recognized that, you know, that's what it means, the most of them. And they have been able to, to build a trust that way. Yeah. It's interesting. Isn't it? Cause we, you know, everyone talks about know like, and trust me all the time, but yeah. It can mean different things to different people depending on what they hold as their values, I suppose, concept. So, you know, arriving on time, for example, might mean a lot more to one client than it does to another.

Janina Neumann (28m 24s):

Yeah. That's exactly. And I think that's, I'm quite a prudent, British perspective of building trust. You know, I think that's really important to recognize also that for people who want to do business in the UK, like if you look at, for example, Erin may is cautious scales. She talks about building trust is either relationship-based or more task base. And obviously the UK is like slightly to watch the relationships based stages. Whereas Germany is a bit more towards, you know, the completed and the tasks on time.

Dan Barker (29m 5s):

Okay. All right. Interesting. So they, they put a bit more emphasis on that side of things as compared to the relationship building side.

Janina Neumann (29m 13s):

Yeah. And it's interesting really, because, you know, in Germany there's a huge focus also on family businesses and obviously the way family businesses operate is quite different and they do want to get to know you, but on the ground and the grand scheme of things, if you generalize, you know, when it comes down to choosing who you're going to work with for the first time, you might choose it in a way.

Dan Barker (29m 43s):

Right. Okay. Okay. Interesting. I'd never really sort of considered that point before it's now I see why there's so much to dive into with a, the Bicultural team and everything. It was a, is quite fascinating and it isn't, it, it is a, a member of seeing those TV adverts for like, I can't remember it was a bank or something. It wasn't it. And they said, you know, about how different things mean different things in different countries, but it was always quite an extreme example. It was like, you know, here compared to go to China or something like that, it's been a it's, it's, it's a play, but obviously between the different countries in Europe, but I suppose you could probably argue it's a, it's a play between different regions in the UK, even maybe.

Janina Neumann (30m 33s):

Yeah. I think, I think each region of the UK has their own kind of way of doing things. And I have noticed that as well. Yeah.

Dan Barker (30m 44s):

Yeah. I mean, it is different. If you go to London and work, for example, there is a different kind of working culture there, I suppose. And, and you come out here and it was a little, maybe, I don't know if I want to generalize, but maybe it feels a bit slower to people from London or whatever, but maybe we place values on different things compared to, to, to accompany and underneath. I don't know.

Janina Neumann (31m 7s):

Yeah. I, I think we do plays different values and also the way your work day might be structured might be completely different to someone in London, which also has a big role, you know, where the, after the, in the days where you could still go to the office, you know, factoring in that time to travel to the office, I'm on the tube will impact you, you know, in a different way to someone who just has to get in their car and drive 10 minutes to the office. Yeah, yeah,

Dan Barker (31m 42s):

Yeah. And sort of recognizing it's empathy, I suppose, isn't it. And recognizing what that person's been doing or what, what their life looks like, and then being able to kind of talk to them in the right way or just appreciate what, what, what they've had to do that day to get to work.

Janina Neumann (32m 1s):

Yeah. And I think the pandemic has definitely helped without being a bit more understanding of people's lives like this certain things that happen on conference calls or video calls that you would expect to happen in a meeting, but that's fine because you understand that there's actually a person behind and the work that's being done and, you know, they, they it's, what, what do you mean by being professional? You know, it's actually being, for me, it's about, you know, doing a good job, whether that's that, you know, a five o'clock in the morning when you do the work or like later at night, it doesn't really matter to me.

Dan Barker (32m 49s):

Yeah. And yeah. And it doesn't matter if your kids are in the background screaming when you're in a coma or something. It's. Yeah. I mean, do you think, do you think we've, we've sort of seen a big cultural shift than over the last 12 months in that respect?

Janina Neumann (33m 4s):

Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I, I, I, I mean, I've only had my own experiences, but I think there is a bit more of an understanding and, you know, when people say, go and going back to normal, it was thinking, okay, so we're going to take out that part of their lives. You know, we don't expect, you know, people to bring their kids to work, but you know, I've also had meetings where before the pandemic where the kid would play in the background and you know, that doesn't bother me as long as we can have a conversation, you know, about being interrupted.

Dan Barker (33m 41s):

Yeah. But that's so normal now they almost expect it back to a kid to work across the back and the behind someone and start playing on the floor. Yeah. Which, I mean, it's hard. This is kind of hard to imagine now that, that wasn't normal, you know, 12 months goes and it really, yes, definitely. Yeah. Interesting. Okay. So I think when we met then at that networking event, you'd already, you'd already, you know, taken up this niche. Cause I remember it very clearly and that's what I love about niching and everything. And I've been having this conversation with people recently that, you know, networking is fine and it does work, but unless you've got like a clear message, you're kind of like banging your head against the wall in a way to do like, you know, you can spend hours and hours and hours at networking things.

Dan Barker (34m 33s):

And no, one's really quite understanding what you're doing because you're message is too broad. But I, I very clearly remember meeting here and I was like, right. She does bilingual design in the end of science and technology failed.

Janina Neumann (34m 49s):

Yeah. And it's really good to hear that feedback as well.

Dan Barker (34m 54s):

Yeah. No, well, it's, it is very clear and yeah, I think for me, like when I started niching a bit more than I realized, I found that going to those networking things actually was working and it's not that they don't work. It's just that they have to have a clearer offering. And as soon as I sort of refined my offering a bit, it just, it had an exponential effect. Did you find the same thing?

Janina Neumann (35m 22s):

Yeah. I think you just grown to brand a bit more as well and in a knitting from, you know, the bilingual design and then for the niching. So science and technology Tecta at that was really important because I saw the science and technology sector as someone, as a sector that delivered, you know, a social change. And I still think that's fascinating. And what I realized also is that, you know, I wanted to work with other companies who also had those values because I needed in, in that sector because of those values.

Janina Neumann (36m 7s):

So this is why I'm now understand that actually my values are about social change and delivering social value. And so it was broadened out a little bit, but definitely niching down helped me to explore different projects, but also it helped me to collaborate with other people more, which I really wanted to do, because I think I'm in those different perspectives. I means a lot, all for a lot. And I think sometimes people shy away from that. There's a lot of talk about collaborating, but how many people actually collaborate when they were each running their own separate businesses.

Dan Barker (36m 55s):

Okay. Okay. So what, what does collaborating mean to you then?

Janina Neumann (36m 59s):

Yeah, so I call them like creative alliances. So if there's a specific project where I think it would be good to collaborate with someone else, I'll make it clear to the client that I'm bringing in someone else on board. And that's really also full transparency because, you know, I want people to know if there's someone else on board and otherwise I I'll deliver the work by myself. And as my business grows, I'd love to, you know, have someone else on my team, you know, employed as well.

Dan Barker (37m 38s):

Okay. Okay. So yeah, well obviously we've worked together and I remembered that the term and the creative Alliance. And then when you kind of tell me about that first and it, it seems to work really well and it, it solves all of those problems. It doesn't, it of anyone sort of thinking they need to pretend that they've got a big team or something. You actually just go in and say, look, I'm collaborating with these guys, ah, to deliver this project. This is how it's going to work. But ultimately I suppose you're responsible for it.

Janina Neumann (38m 8s):

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And you know, I, I managed as a product. I couldn't my own brand values, you know, so the client almost, you know, benefit's in two ways, like the project is run as expected, but also it has a different perspective on a different skillset as well, which I wouldn't have.

Dan Barker (38m 30s):

Yeah. Okay. So you're able to sort of expand your offering in that respect. Okay. Okay, cool. It would just want to loop back to where we started speaking about it a little bit. What was the pricing thing and then, and, and not pricing by the hour because I mean, personally, I'm a big fan of that and not, not pricing buy the car and I, but I don't do it enough. I kind of have a bit of a half and half or at least some projects as a sort of on a day-to-day basis and some, a more on a project basis. So if you moved completely to project, project based pricing or package pricing,

Janina Neumann (39m 9s):

Yeah. I would say so they might be one or two instances where, because of a tender that I'm working on, you know, it's, it's not possible to do it as a package that has to be like an hourly rate. But other than that, yeah, I have moved on to that and I think it comes down to like the, you know, the values in the value that you bring in and actually heard it on. I'm a summarized beautifully that concept I'm on another podcast called the kindness of economy. And I think that really resonates with me and what I've been thinking.

Janina Neumann (39m 49s):

So you obviously have your brand values, which people invest in and they might choose to work with you because you do other things other than delivering just work. You might also give back to like the local and community or other communities and, or you might be a very sustainable and the way that you do things, but also the value that you deliver to the clients. So the extra value. And I know that you're a big fan of that delivering extra value that people might not also expect.

Dan Barker (40m 22s):

Yeah. Yeah. It definitely is a, it's a good thing to do, isn't it? And that, that value can come in lots of different forms come to us.

Janina Neumann (40m 30s):

Yeah, it definitely is. I think is knowing and knowing your target audience. And I think to, to be able to have all of that, you know, have that brand reputation, you need to invest in your brand and, you know, people, if those are the things that people make the decision from there and why, why would you just ask them to pay for your time? Because, you know, there's so much more in why you've won the job as well. And also the security that comes with that because obviously your reputation is at stake.

Dan Barker (41m 7s):

Yeah, absolutely. I think the part where people often find it difficult with this package pricing as to how to work out the package prices, because, you know, the projects can vary so much and, and, and everything. So how do you deal with that aspect of pricing?

Janina Neumann (41m 25s):

Yeah, so I think that's because a lot of people might hide behind, you know, the results that they can actually deliver. So I actually introduced something called a delivery time guarantees and also results guaranteed. So depending on the size of the project, you know, 25% is related to everything from my side being delivered on time. Okay. And the other 25% is based on the results that we agree at the proposal stage that I'm going to deliver. And I think that also helps people to understand them equally, as motivated as getting those results for them, because obviously they are tied in with the, the amount that I'm being paid, but also kind of the reputation behind that as well.

Dan Barker (42m 24s):

Okay. So you, so you split it up, so it is, so you work it out, I guess, based on, you know, actually how long it's going to take you to do the project because you, you need to know, I suppose this is going to take me 10 days instead of five days or something, but then when you give the package pricing into the client, it splits up like that and to go into the different sections. Was that, is that what you mean?

Janina Neumann (42m 47s):

Yeah. Well, I, I actually work out on the value that I think they are going to get

Dan Barker (42m 55s):

Out. So that's the

Janina Neumann (42m 56s):

Overall cost, but I just reassure them with having these guarantees 25% in 25% that I am going to do, as I say, as I say I would do, because I also think if, I don't think I'm kind of going to get any results for them, then, then I shouldn't be taking on that project. And I do turn things down. I think, you know, you have other things to do rather than doing this right now, because I just know it's not going to help them. And at that stage. And I also think, you know, I want to be seen as someone who gives good advice as well.

Dan Barker (43m 33s):

Okay. So you're talking more like a value based price and you're sort of looking at looking at what the value is to them and then, and then pricing it accordingly. Okay. So what, what, what would be a sort of typical outcome that a client might be looking for from the work that you do,

Janina Neumann (43m 52s):

For example, about how many new leads they have, and also sometimes it's about how many people take up a certain level of support with them, or how many, how, how the brand awareness kind of changes, which obviously you have to put measurements in place to track that. But I think that a lot of people underestimate the value of a brand, even though they are in their personal lives, they're buying on brand. Yeah.

Janina Neumann (44m 34s):

But once they have that brand, you know, they don't, they can't see it in any other way of thinking, wow, I have this asset and I can just reuse it over and over again.

Dan Barker (44m 44s):

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Yeah, it was definitely, we all need to think about that a bit more don't mean building a brand and, and what that means and everything. And I think you've articulated it really well. The part that I'm not so up to speed with what you're doing these days then was the, I think the intercultural management training. Yeah. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Janina Neumann (45m 12s):

Yeah, so that was really exciting addition to my business and it really came from creating my podcast at the end of may last year. So having the Bicultural podcast really allowed me to find out about different ways of doing business across cultures and also to meet different people. And then I was thinking, you know, that it was becoming more and more aware, you know, that we all have our own perceptions because of the Cultures we've been living in, because obviously we're all socialized, you know, even our families might have different Cultures to one another and we live in the same village.

Dan Barker (45m 55s):

Very true. Yeah, absolutely.

Janina Neumann (45m 57s):

So I then decided to become qualified as a business trainer in, in the last year. And yeah, so basically the work is about in the UK and I'd love to work with more with, with, with the public sector. So actually, and also charities helping them to understand minority groups better who's first language might not be English and understanding about how they communicate and making that more inclusive.

Janina Neumann (46m 37s):

But then also through, through a building that I've actually collaborated with ever tuna near Salvador to create local to global. And that's a, that's a separate brand from my business and that's where we help new exporters or ex experienced exporters exporting to a new market. So then the, the cultural training comes in as well because we brief them on how to operate in that market, but also that they understand any cultural linguistic or branding requirements that they might have and for that new market.

Janina Neumann (47m 22s):

So that's been a really good way of developing that area of business as well. Okay. Well, so,

Dan Barker (47m 31s):

Well, so it sounds like things are kind of, I don't know, you know, growing exponentially for you in that era, it was really cool as a kid, I'd kind of seen, seen a little bit on LinkedIn, but it hadn't quite a clot exactly what you're doing. That sounds very exciting.

Janina Neumann (47m 50s):

Yeah. And, and I'm really excited that, you know, the work that I'm doing can be very relevant, you know, in the local area, on, in the UK. So I'm working with the public sector charities and social enterprises to make a social impact in the UK. And then they also have that side, the, where I help people overcome cultural barriers, either in the UK with minority groups and feeling more included in the conversation or with UK companies wanting to export into a different market. And so that's been really exciting really. And when we're talking about niching, you know, I feel like it was really the right decision to make because I've had such good feedback.

Janina Neumann (48m 40s):

And the, it also made me realize that this is no, this is something that I really enjoy. So why wouldn't I spend my working life doing it? Mm

Dan Barker (48m 50s):

Yeah, yeah, absolutely makes it a lot of sense, but it is so interesting because this has all come from niching in the first place I was in it. And that's the big thing that people struggle with is if I need, so I'm going to limit my market. They were having this discussion on the monthly meetup that I run just last night, actually, you know, people worrying that is going to limit the market and limit their potential. But it, it, it expands things, doesn't, it, it might limit it, but it, it pinpoints you to the people that need you, which is going to be enough people in it. And I show you like Coca-Cola or something, you going to have enough people in, in that niche to run your business, and then it opens up all these other doors.

Janina Neumann (49m 36s):

Yeah, definitely. And, you know, I just think about it. If you were email by a client and they gave you obviously a specific brief and what they wanted, who would you phone up? Yeah, I would, you know, I would look at it like some of the buzzwords and I think, okay, obviously I know this person really well, but they'd be a good fit. But you know, sometimes that the person that you're working with for a long time, it might not be a good fit, like for different reasons, what either experience, for example, or a personality sometimes, or the way they run their business is just a different pace. And I think that's really important.

Janina Neumann (50m 17s):

So if, if they know nothing about your business, apart from, you know, the services that you do, how did they make their decision and people, you know, don't have a lot of time to think the way the brain might give you the answer. Okay. Believe this buzz word to that buzzword. Here's your match.

Dan Barker (50m 37s):

Yeah. Yeah. Nurse is so interesting. So yeah, just for me, looking back and seeing kind of joining up the dots, you know, you start The, you started the graphic design business, IE, you see that you've had some success with helping people doing bilingual graphic design. You move into that area and the kind of tech, tech side of it, a little bit of a tech and science side, then you kind of see that as the social change part of that, that you really like, then you start the Bicultural podcast off the back of that, because you're following again, what you, I'm putting words in your mouth, tell me if I'm wrong, but you know, you, you enjoy that side of things.

Dan Barker (51m 17s):

And then that opens up these doors to this, this intercultural management training and the second business that you've started as well. Is that a kind of a, a good summary?

Janina Neumann (51m 27s):

Yeah. I really liked that. And you know, you don't, sometimes you don't reflect on that and you know, it it's been so cool to also see you develop your business, you know, from meeting you at that networking event. And you know, what I find really fantastic is that actually you reached out, you know, you said, Oh, you know, let's meet. And I think a lot of people don't do that, you know, which I also think that they're missing out on. And to be honest, I'm really thankful that you reached out because the way it's all of these are the things I've taken in a different direction, you know? Yeah,

Dan Barker (52m 6s):

Yeah. No, well, thank you. And, and, and I'm glad I did as well, but it, not everyone responds when you do that either do they? So it is two things is reaching out, but it is also, you know, you kind of responding and saying, yeah, that's, you know, being open-minded and that's less moose up and just chat and, you know, and then, you know, we did some work together, probably what, two years later or something, you know, that's the way it goes. Isn't it quite often. But again, I think for me, it comes back to having such a clear idea of what you did at that stage because of, you know, your niche and an offering and everything. It was a, it always makes it stick to that table.

Dan Barker (52m 48s):

We were sad to say, I probably can't recall really anyone else that was there a particularly, maybe one or two, but, and that's not because, you know, they are all really boring or anything. It's just because I didn't know what they did. You know, it, it was some general thing I think hopefully known from that table. Remember, as far as listening, I said it was a while ago. I don't know. I'm not a reader, not putting anyone down. I'm just saying that yeah, the, the, it sticks out when you've got to a specific offer and I think, and yes, thank you for, and, and having a followup chat and everything is cool.

Dan Barker (53m 32s):

Cool. The store's going to ask you something else. Oh, it was going to say about the podcast. Cause you run the, the Bicultural podcast, which is at the Bicultural, which again, as a cool niche podcast, you know, and yeah. You know, to listen to a few episodes and, and, and it's great, you know, you, it's very calming. I found the first thing to your podcast. So it was like a good listened to this and you fall nicely into it. It's a very calm voice. And the,

Janina Neumann (54m 8s):

Yeah, well, that's really funny that you say that because some of my guests, you know, they are quite nervous when they come on and then, and then they were at the end, they were like, Oh my goodness, this is a lot easier than I thought it was. You know, now being on the other side, I can give you the same compliment. You have a very calm voice yourself and make you feel that way.

Dan Barker (54m 31s):

Oh, good, good. Well, no, it was a really good and yeah, people should definitely go and check that out because as we've been discussing, this is so much more and more than I realized to the kind of cultural thing and empathizing with where people are and what they might be holding his values and thinking, and, and how you can sort of tune into that for, for, I want to say a better effect, but that sounds a bit like you're kind of doing it for a, for an outcome, but it's just to generally be a nicer person, isn't it?

Janina Neumann (55m 7s):

Yeah. I think, I think also, you know, with all the movements that have happened in the past year, you know, I think it's really important to just consider your own perspective, you know, for yourself, 'cause, it will help you in the long run because you make more friends because you don't have these barriers. And what I really think is an interesting point. It also is that, you know, there's something called like the unconscious bias. So, you know, when they think, when you think of a doctor, you might see male doctor. And if you think of a nurse, you'll see a female nurse and to actually research as shown that actually you need to change your environment to change your unconscious bias.

Janina Neumann (55m 51s):

And I think that's a really important message to also say, because people, once they realize that all of the bias that they have, because everyone has that, but you just need to change your environment and change the people that you're surrounding yourself with it. And then you start to understand, okay, this isn't always the way to think about certain Cultures, for example, or certain areas of the country as well, which I think is really important. You know, there are different is doing that.

Dan Barker (56m 26s):

Interesting. Very interesting. Cool. Well, people come and check you out at Yanina Neumann I'll put them in the show notes here on the LinkedIn at a Janina Neumann,

Janina Neumann (56m 43s):


Dan Barker (56m 43s):

To spell it out, although new, a new As N E U M and then Mann, M a double N I put the links in the show notes so that people will have to listen to me, try and spell things to a much longer. And I'm also at the Bicultural and yeah, of course, thank you very much for your time. And you know, it's been a really great cause we've chatted loads over the last few years, but probably not for like an hour about your, your, your whole past. So it's really, I mean, that's really the worst. One of the reasons I started this podcast was I was like, I want to talk some of these people in a bit more, so thank you.

Janina Neumann (57m 17s):

Oh, well, thank you for listening. This was very, very interesting to have such a conversation about my life.

Dan Barker (57m 28s):

Yeah. It clearly in a hurry, you reflect and all of the great things that you've done. Cheers. You need to take care of it. You've been listening to the Thriving Three Counties podcast with me, Dan Barker. You can find links to all the episodes and show notes over at Dan Barker forward slash podcast. If you've enjoyed today's show, please head over to iTunes and leave us a review, helps other people find the show and connect more people in the region. Thank you very much for your time and listening. I hope you've enjoyed it and we'll see you next time.