It has been an interesting year, 2010. I started working part-time, so that I could concentrate on setting up Red Kite Services, but had to put it on the back burner as my mother’s health went into a decline and she passed away in May. After holidays etc I discovered twitter!!

Many people say that they don’t see the point, don’t have the time etc, but for the doubters out there, here is (in no particular order) my Top Ten of “what twitter has given me”.

    Meeting local business people: I have met up with several people I first met on twitter, including Sarah Wells and Kathryn Mason and I am sure we will be able to work together in the future.

    Free advice: Twitter is a really good way to find information for free – and some of the most generous people in sharing business advice with me have been Ian Creek, Nikki Pilkington and Helen Stothard.

    Marketplace: Twitter is a great place to find suppliers for your business or your personal life. I have discovered some fabulous local food producers and can network with people throughout the country. It is such a good way to drive people to your website that it should be included in any marketing plan.

    Information. I wanted to find out about school fairs in my local area, I needed an outside caterer in York and I needed help in writing a Christmas Quiz. Of course I asked my twitter followers and thanks to them and their re-tweets I found all of these things.

    Specific requests. I had a glut of apples and very little time to do anything with them. After replying to my tweet for an apple press I met up with Andrew Walker of White Kite Accountancy who kindly lent me his apple press and now has some of my photo canvas prints on his office wall.

    Finding out what’s on. Twitter is a great way for news to travel fast and also to find out about more unusual activities. Thanks to twitter I am signed up to a Burlesque class to start in January and I’m thinking of joining Jason Feevers at a  Nordic Walking class.It is also a great place to find out about networking and other business events in your area.

    Work place chatter: when you work from home you do miss the chance of a good natter, but twitter can fill this gap. Sit down with a cup of tea and you can chat about anything – for me it’s usually birds, food, running and cycling.

    Inspiration: whether you want inspiration for unusual presents or inspiration for your business just look at the people you twitter with. There are great ideas, inspirational stories and lovely supporting people all out there at your finger tips.

    Tweet-Ups: Networking events where you meet up face to face with all those twitter friends. I’m hoping to be involved in organising one in January together with Claire Streeton – watch this space.

    Business: so, the big question – have I got any business from twitter. The answer a big YES. Thanks to twitter I have met Sophie Jewett of Little Pretty Things, who both myself and my daughter have been working for; I made money from the school fairs and have developed some strategic alliances, which I am sure will lead to future business.

Red Kite Services really started to take-off in September this year and I am now offering a range of administrative support to a number of local businesses. My plan for 2011 is to work full-time for myself and I know that twitter will be a crucial part of taking that step.

These are just some of the many people on twitter who have helped and entertained me throughout 2010. I look forward to twittering with so many more of you during 2011

Sarah Wells at www.elizabethwells.co.uk

Kathryn Mason at www.eyeformarketing.com

Iain Creek at www.bhpinfosolutions.co.uk

Nikki Pilkington at www.nikkipilkington.com

Helen Stothard at www.hlsbs.com

Rupert Parsons at www.womersleyfoods.co.uk

www.1BigPresent.co.uk

Caroline Broquere at www.ohh-la-la.co.uk

Siobhan Hymes at www.inchpunch.co.uk

Richard McDougal at www.creativesqueeze.co.uk

Andrew Walker at www.whitekiteaccountants.co.uk

Jason Feevers at www.york-personal-trainer.com

Claire Streeton at www.yorkbride.co.uk

Sophie Jewett at www.littleprettything.co.uk