Five minutes with... Jo

In the last of our five minutes with series, we’re pleased to introduce you to Jo Deighton, our Practice Coordinator. She’s a core member of our team, working busily in the background on the critical management aspects of the business.

Essentially, she keeps the cogs whirring and enables us to focus on the planning and design!

What is it that you do for Mohsin Cooper?

My focus is on business optimisation. I’m a subconsultant to Mohsin Cooper, initially brought in to carry out a review of the business to identify how systems and processes could be made simpler and more effective.

Day-to-day, I manage the business accounts, and develop and implement operational improvements to improve productivity and profitability.

How did you get into this line of work?

I’m a classic example of someone who just fell into a career.

I moved to Brighton in around 2000, simply because it looked like a fun place to live and work. It was during my first job that I actually got to know the design company next door and they asked if I’d work for them to help them improve their business operations.

It was something I enjoyed doing – and must have done it well – as since then I’ve been working for a variety of businesses in the built environment doing the same.

I set up my own practice, Upbeat Business Solutions in 2020 and haven’t looked back.

What do you like about your role?

I love to simplify things for people.

I see my role as a facilitator, freeing up the team’s time to enable them to focus on clients and delivering a great service.

It’s really all about problem solving: with my outside perspective my value is seeing when something is being done in a less-than-efficient way, and putting in place a solution that deals with the problem head on.

I get to take a look under the bonnet of a business and see how well (or not!) things are working. I love coming up with a strategy for making their lives easier, like implementing a time tracking system or automating invoicing, and helping businesses make changes that will free up staff and help things run more smoothly.

What do you like most about working with MC?

The team gives me loads of autonomy to implement new ways of working, because they trust me that I know what I’m doing. That’s a great feeling.

The work they do is amazing, and I’m proud to be part of the team.

Ultimately, I’ve got a lot of respect for them, not just as architects and planners, but as decent human beings. And They’re really fun to work with.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Never fall out with anybody. Always part on good terms.

This has proved invaluable to me as I’ve lived and worked in and around Brighton since I was 18 years old. The property sector is a small world, and your reputation always precedes you. I’m a firm believer that you can have difficult conversations in business without it becoming unpleasant.

That’s held me in good stead all these years, and particularly since I set up my own business.

What do you like doing for fun?

I love being outside, walking and foraging and like many others have got into sea swimming in the last few years. I’m also a big fan of sleeping under canvas and have just got back from a weekend of camping (and yes, it was really chilly at night!).