Alan Rae

I'm Chairman of Free Spirits Ltd, owners of Fletching Glasshouses which grows organic veg for the local market and is home to 3 horticultural online businesses, www.plants4presents.co.uk, www.ladybirdplantcare.co.uk and www.theintelligentgarden.com.

In my day job I carry out business performance research as Ai Consultants. Most of this is establishing good practice in how small companies use IT, the internet and social media to collaborate and promote themselves. However I've also done work on good business practice generally and last year carried out a project to establish good practice in horticultural workforce development for SEEDA. Other organisations I've done substantial projects for include the DTI, Business Link, HP, PCWorld, BNI and Yell as well as various collaborations with University schools of Management.

I package up what I find in forms useful to small businesses themselves and have created workshops on Social Media for Real Businesses, copywriting for electronic media and business and marketing basics.

I've written 1 Man Brand, a distance learning marketing course and 2 books - Social Media for Real Businesses and Growing Jobs - good people management practices. You can find all of this at www.howtodobusiness.com

I'm a keen musician playing for www.NewickFolk.com and www.heavenlyblues.com.

I've become very interested in how to blend scientific and organic approaches to growing things and latterly I've got quite into Permaculture. I blog on business issues at blog.howtodobusiness.com and am a guest blogger for the National Farmers Union.

You can find out the whole ghastly truth at www.alanrae.co.uk