Monday 17 December 2018

Advice Corner: So You Want to Get Cleaning?

If you are thinking of starting a business and trying to find a fairly low cost business idea, then domestic cleaning could be one to explore.

Domestic cleaners mainly carry out work for individual households, buy to let properties, B&B's and guesthouses. It seems an easy profession to get into, however, the sector is highly competitive with an estimated 25000 domestic cleaning services in the UK.

Despite competition there is still space in the marketplace, and here are some useful tips when starting your cleaning business to ensure you can take advantage of the opportunity and build a competitive business.

1. Qualifications and Skills 

While there are no formal qualifications required you may consider looking at training opportunities to put you ahead of the competition.

Start-up Courses include:
  • The Practical Cleaning Skills award at levels 1-3. This is an entry level course for those with limited experience covering the principles of cleaning which is accredited by various bodies including Edexcel and City & Guilds, green cleaning practises and teamwork.
  • The Level 2 award in cleaning principles accredited by various bodies including City & Guilds and Edexcel. The course covers waste disposal, health and safety and cleaning of bathrooms and restrooms. 
Business Start-up courses include 
  • Free webinars from HMRC, giving advice such as the ins and outs of becoming an employer. 
  • Contracts of employment, recruitment and selection which is a distance learning course that costs £110 and is beneficial for cleaners wanting to recruit staff.  
  • Consumer rights training which is a 35 minute online course that costs £25 and explains the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and instructs on how to deal with customer complaints, fair wording of T&C's and handling disputes.  
  • Enterprise Hub offers direct training through a combination of business advice and short courses to help you through the business planning process and understand your responsibilities as a new business owner
You may also wish to keep up to date with developments in the industry on websites such as the Cleaning mag and Cleaning Hygiene today or follow Karcher UK on Twitter. 

2. Trading and Commercial 

There are a few things that you will need to think about on a practical level:
  • Provision of cleaning and protective equipment including safety goggles and waterproof gloves for any staff team 
  • Notifying your landlord/mortgage company should you wish to run your business from home and arranging home and business insurance.
  • Setting up pricing strategy - will you charge at an hourly rate or a look for a monthly retainer? Checking your costs and ensuring you are factoring in a wage on top of those
  • You might consider trade body membership to get access to online directories and discounts from industry suppliers from and   
3. Legal

The law is vast, but here are some key ones that effect the cleaning industry that it is worth reading up on so you don't get caught out later.
  • Compliance to The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 in terms of resolving disputes. 
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015.
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

Advice Corner: Can I make a living cooking from home?

If you are a passionate cook and want to start your own business cooking from home, then here are 5 useful tips to get your business off the ground.

1. Choosing your market

The catering market is fairly saturated so finding your niche and a gap in the market is the key to success. The type of food you make will affect who your core customer will be which will shape your branding and marketing plan.

Catering can either be corporate or private. The former will give you the opportunity for repeat business as corporate clients prefer to have a regular supplier so if you provide a good and reliable service, you'll become an asset to them and they will call you whenever they need you, however, your food will need to be of a high quality and freshly prepared. You'll also be preparing food for large numbers of clients at short notice so it is essential to be organised especially having your ingredients ordered in time. Competition is fierce in this market so you'll have to work hard to win the trust of clients.

Alternatively, you may wish to take your service to the private market where you'll be serving at family occasions as opposed to launches and conferences. Client Expectations would be much lower but you'll still be expected to provide a good quality service and you need to be able to cater for individuals with specific needs such as vegetarians and lactose intolerant. Your scope for services aren't restricted to special occasions such as weddings as you may also wish to host themed events such as Indian nights or gourmet cuisine for dinner parties.

2. Obtaining Equipment 

Starting a business requires a lot of equipment. You will need to detail this out well in your business plan as you need to have a good balance of capital as well as specific equipment for individual events. This will also depend on the type of food you're working with and basic operation would require fridge freezers, cooking equipment such as ovens & hobs and preparation equipment such as timers, scales, cutlery, thermometers and can openers as well as other consumables such as washing up liquid & sponges, Clingfilm and food containers.  It's essential you cost this all out to understand what finance you will need to access in order to get started.

3. Legal requirements 

Catering Services are highly regulated under legislation governing food safety. Caterers are legally obliged to submit their registration application 28 days in advance before commencing trading.

The FSA (Food Standards Agency) is the main governing body to food hygiene alongside the Food Safety Act 1990 being the main law ensuring food is safe for consumption as well as ensuring that there are no harmful substances used in food prep.  You'll also be obliged to comply with other legal requirements such as keeping records of direct suppliers as well as information of food products regarding presentation and traceability in the event of product withdrawal or recall.

Arranging insurance is also essential as failure to do so can result in severe financial consequences.  You can find more information on getting the right form of cover here.

4. Marketing your company 

While competitive, the food industry is a thriving market providing plenty of opportunities for you to generate much needed publicity.

You may wish to attend catering exhibitions with plenty of events happening up and down the country - take time to prepare samples and take your contact details with you as you could add a range of suppliers and consumers to your portfolio to make your brand more memorable and not only obtain useful contacts, but also get your brand into an online catering directory that'll help users discover you via search engines.

Also, don't underestimate the power of social media, Instagram is the perfect place to promote your recipes as food photography is a very in-demand and exciting art form. All you need is a smartphone, good lighting and a decluttered background which can make your brand more attractive and get people talking about you.

5. Obtaining appropriate I.T equipment 

Catering businesses rely heavily on temporary workers so you don't want to be wasting your financial resources paying every single member of staff. You should contact agencies across the country to help you find temporary event staff for the necessary amount of time you need them.

Investing in time & attendance and payroll software is essential to avoid the hassle of producing copious amounts of admin and red tape involved with paying employees, this is inconvenience you don't need especially in such a stressful and high demand profession. You can find more about relevant payroll software that can fulfil your needs here.

Click here to take inspiration from Anthony and Hannah's story on how they set up their own catering business. We wish you a successful venture into catering!

Thursday 29 November 2018

Concept Corner Helps Wirral Residents #ShopLocal This Christmas

When faced with redundancy former Police Officer, Hayley Matthews, seized the opportunity for a new beginning. Hayley is now the proud owner of Concept Corner, a high street shop with a difference. 

Based in New Brighton, Concept Corner is home to a number of small independent businesses made up of artists and artisans helping you to shop local this Christmas. Here, you’ll find an eclectic mix of luxury homemade chocolates and chutneys to bespoke real wood plaques and vegan candles.

The person behind this unique concept of high street store is former police officer, Hayley Matthews: “I was a police officer for 26 years and the job started to take its toll. I have children at home and I decided that the lifestyle that comes with being a police officer wasn’t for me anymore.”

After speaking to local artists and artisans across Wirral, Hayley decided that Wirral needed a space for makers to showcase their work. Concept Corner offers a supportive environment for quality local creatives to trade and grow together under one roof in the heart of Wirral.

Hayley received business advice from The Women’s Organisation where she was supported under Enterprise Hub business start-up programme. To read this case study in full, head over to The Women's Organisation blog:

To find out more about Concept Corner, head to the website or Facebook page.

If you’re thinking about starting a business, contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or to find out how we can support you.

5 Digital Marketing Tips to launch your new Business

Have you just started your new business but don't know where to start when it comes to Digital Marketing? Fear not because Enterprise Hub are here to help with 5 Digital Marketing Tips to get your new start-up off the mark.

What is Digital marketing and why do I need it?

So you might be wondering what Digital Marketing is and why I need it. Well, to put into context, Digital Marketing is basically the promotion of products or services via electronic means. It is a goldmine for businesses as it will enable you to interact with consumers in real time and analyse your campaigns to understand what's working and what's not. Internet is an everyday part of our lives so consumers will not only know about your brand, but also what the media, relatives etc. are saying about your brand who they are most likely to believe as they've had first hand experience of your product and user experience.

Digital Marketing can come in different methods including:
  • Website (SEO content)
  • PPC (Pay-per-click advertising)
  • Email Marketing e.g. Mailchimp
  • Social Media e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
  • Online video content
  • Blogs & Vlogs
Here are 5 reasons why Digital Marketing can be beneficial to your business:

1. Smartphone compatibility

Image result for smartphone emailTechnology has evolved to the point that electronic devices are considered a necessity than a luxury. 95% of UK population aged 18-34 own a smartphone so consumption of electronic content is highly active so it is important for new businesses to adapt quickly because of it's high growth. 91% of users have their mobiles within reaching distance and regularly use them to browse the internet. Daily usage is regular so a marketing strategy that targets these devices is   essential.

2. More Cost Effective

Digital Marketing is much more cost effective than traditional marketing as less resources are needed as content is posted electronically. This will be very important especially when you start your new business as resources and capital are low. Digital media can provide you with a cheaper and more effective advertising channel which can also enable you to get your promotions out quickly without spending a penny but more importantly, it gives you a level playing field to compete with large organisation.

3. Can generate real time engagement

Image result for twitterDigital content enable you to connect with consumers much more effectively as you can reach them much more quickly. It can also be a huge advantage to your growth strategy as social media engagement can allow you to acquire new clients as well as engage consumers through real time engagement with more likes and shares which can help your company to grow as well as building brand equity and customer trust which can lead to increased traffic to your website through positive user generated content. Most clients trust a company they can give positive feedback to so customer reviews can make or break your business.

4. Able to measure engagement and competitor actions

Image result for analytics
Online content can also give you access to various tools such as Google analytics will enable you to monitor user journey's as well as peak times which show you when users are on your website most frequently. You can use this to your advantage as you can target your customers based on their interests, demographics etc. via recommendations, specified email campaigns and so on. Analytics tools can also enable you to monitor bounce rates and identify which customers are only on the website briefly or are leaving items in their basket, you can use this will enable you to implement tactics and tailor your strategy much more effectively to optimise conversion rates which can lead to higher ROI. (return on investment)

5. Reach larger audiences

An online presence will enable you to reach a variety of audiences and is a very quick way to connect with audiences worldwide. In addition, you can be more engaging in terms of providing swift responses to relevant queries and feedback on your platforms. Also, you have many opportunities to gain publicity globally which'll help with your growth strategy as well as opening up the opportunity for influencer marketing in which you use an online influencer to promote your product on social media.

Monday 26 November 2018

Single Mum Michelle helps others fight for Justice

Mum of 3 Michelle Harrison returned to the UK from Tenerife to find a lack of job opportunities. However, her strength and determination inspired her to seize the opportunity to start a new chapter.

Having previously worked in sales and admin jobs, Michelle Harrison returned from a stint living and working in Tenerife wanting to be her own boss.  She told us "I’ve been thinking about running a business for a long time now and was thinking about it a lot whilst in Tenerife. I returned to the UK, and saw no opportunities here for me, that’s when I decided that  to establish my own business would be the best thing for me to do. I am strong minded and determined and have always had an issue working for other people, and I was tired of other people making money out of me."

Seeing the benefit of being able to chose hours that fit around her family life, Michelle launched firm Harrison & Mitchell Ltd based in Liverpool, a firm set up to link those needing support with legal issues or fighting injustice with the right services and people to help them. 

Both while in Teneriffe and when returning to the UK this is something Michelle had got involved with on an informal basis but said "I realised I could make a good living out of being me, using my skills and identifying people who needed support and ensuring they go the right support."

Starting up her business was an overwhelming experience, it was unsettling thinking of everything she was needing to balance personally and professionally and Michelle found she faced bureaucratic barriers. That was until she contacted Darren Guy from Enterprise Hub partner Granby Toxteth Development Trust, they knew each other from their days at ELECT, she says, “I remember him being a great business adviser, so I knew he would be my first port of call.”

Armed with a list of contacts, Michelle knew she was in good hands. “Darren put me in touch with ICC who gave me a small grant to purchase a laptop, he also helped me get a better off benefit review which helped ensure I get the child support I needed, more importantly, he believed in me and encouraged me all the time.”
So what did Michelle gained from the work with Enterprise Hub?

“The service was excellent, I received all the business advice support I needed such as writing a business plan, understanding finance and cashflow, dealing with legal issues and learning about research and marketing.”

Now into her 2nd year of running the business, how does she feel about what she’s achieved so far and what are her prospects?

“I feel rewarded for the work for the work I do, running my own initiative and having time for my children, I’m so happy, I work with other solicitor firms, some great, some not so. We haven’t developed a website yet, so we are using social media and word of mouth a lot.”

Finally, asked about her experience with Enterprise Hub at Granby Toxteth Development Trust. 

“I am so grateful for all Darren' advice and guidance, GTDT have provided me with a step by step service, which has given me confidence in starting my own business. Darren also signposted me to the Citizen’s Advice who helped me with my finances and benefit rights now that I am self-employed. He then referred me to various organisations with pots of funding for new businesses. We have been successful with this and have now got the training and tools that we needed to help our business grow and become a success. I can honestly say hand on my heart. I could not have done this without Darren's support. Thanks you so much for all your continued support. Anyone that is thinking of starting a business, even if it is just an idea contact Darren and the team”.

Enterprise Hub is open to men and women living in the Liverpool City region who want to receive support to start or grow a new business offering a one door access point for appropriate and expert business support.  And if like Michelle you would like some support to pursue your dream off starting a business, contact Enterprise Hub to find out how you can benefit from the European Regional Development Funded programme via 0151 706 8113 or

Thursday 8 November 2018

Baby E Coffee and Deli launches in Liverpool's Commercial District

With a mantra of 'good food and good vibes', Baby E is the international-inspired eatery taking Liverpool's business community by storm. Located in a grade listed building on Dale Street, this coffee and deli was opened by foodie-fanatic, Lauren Clinton.

Having lived in Melbourne, Lauren worked as a chef and discovered her passion for good, home-made and creative food. She returned to Liverpool and utilised her degree to begin a career in finance in order to fund her long-term ambition of owning and running, alongside her partner Chris, an eatery in Liverpool. 

Late 2016, Lauren began working with Senior Business Adviser at The Women’s Organisation, Claire Pedersen, to get her business idea off the ground. The doors to Baby E officially opened in June this year, operated by Lauren and her partner Chris, as well as a small but extremely talented team of five: “the support from The Women’s Organisation was unbelievable. It was so helpful to bounce ideas back and forth to my business adviser, as she had worked with other aspiring and established food businesses and knew industry trends, what works and what doesn’t.”

Baby E is a lively coffee and deli that serves all-day brunch and transforms into an intimate bar of an evening. Current menu customer favourites include: bangers & hash, shakshuka baked eggs, fluffy pancakes and pesto potatoes.

To read Lauren's story in full, head to The Women's Organisation blog.

And if you'd like to find out more about how our team can help you to start a business through our Enterprise Hub programme then call us on 0151 706 8111.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Jeane sets her designs on tackling pickpocketing

After becoming victim of pickpocketing while away on holiday, Jeane Melbourne is on “mission invisible” to combat the crime through her innovative new clothing line. Jeane designs and sells anti-digital pickpocket clothing online, specifically designed to combat the problem when visiting large cities.

Wanting to find out how to take her new business, Tarsius Creations Ltd, to the next level, Jeane joined us for our ‘Boost Your New Business’ course. We caught up with her to find out more about the business and how things have changed since we last saw her…
If you’ve been on a city break recently, then you will may have been wary of watching your personal belongings when moving through the hustle and bustle of busy streets. Sound familiar?

Entrepreneur Jeane Melbourne has developed a solution to this growing problem with her unique clothing range. Her answer comes in the form of invisible pockets with multi-layers of security. This means that that it is impossible to access the pocket from one side and two hands are needed to access the secure inner pouch. Creating a handy, safe-space to keep your money, credit card or mobile phone.

That’s not all.

Jeane explains that as technology advances, more and more pickpocketing crime is becoming electronic. The digital thief can easily steal private data from unsuspecting passers-by, simply by carrying a Near Filed Communication (NFC) device to transmit data from mobile phones, credit cards, biometric passports or any ID embedded with microchips.

During her time working for a surveillance and ground recognition company in Luxembourg, Jeane developed a knowledge in radio frequency technology – she had an ‘eureka’ moment. Why not combine a Radio Frequency ID (RFID) blocker with her designs? This meant that Jeane was able to develop a fully anti-digital pickpocket range, tackling electronic pick pocketers too.

Never before seen on the market, Jeane tells us where it all began: “I spotted a gap in the market when I became a victim of pickpocketing in Paris. On the same trip I saw another victim who was sitting right in front of me on the train - it happened in just seconds. Loosing your passport, wallet or mobile phone can be very stressful, especially if you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language.

“Since then, I became obsessed in finding anti-pickpocket clothing, but I couldn’t find any on the high street or online. I saw some in the USA, but none in the UK or Europe, and in all of the designs I found the pockets were still visible. None of these satisfied me so I asked myself, ‘why not make this a business and fill the gap in the market?’.”

Wanting to turn her idea into a reality, Jeane first came to Enterprise Hub back in January 2017. Working with our business advisor, Francine Taylor, Jeane was able to explore her idea and get Tarsius Creations Ltd ready to launch. Taking full advantage of the courses and training on offer, Jeane received support with her business planning, bookkeeping and understanding tax and national insurance.

She says: “I contacted The Women’s Organisation as I had known about them for a while and thought they will put me in the right direction, and they did! All those steps really helped me to move forward with my business.”

One year on and Jeane decided it was time to see what further support was available to her. Keen to take her business to the next level, jean came on Boost Your New Business two-day programme.

Talking about her experience with Enterprise Hub, through The Women’s Organisation, Jeane said: “I’m so thankful and feel blessed to have the support of The Women’s Organisation. I’ve been able to attend, 1-2-1 meetings, courses and workshops which I’ve applied to every aspect of my business.

“Boost Your New Business was a very useful programme. My trainer Bernie was very professional, energic and positive. I came away with areas to improve, especially around developing my marketing strategy. I’m now reviewing some of my content and building up my social media platforms.

“Their slogan that “when a woman is empowered, women are empowered” it truly reflects their work and dedication to supporting women.”

Jeane explains that finding the Enterprise Hub was the push she needed to follow her business dreams.

“I had been wanting to explore the business for some time, but I have been suffering with severe back pain and neck pain. When it flares it can be really painful, which created doubts in my mind about whether I could do it. My positive mental attitude made me challenge myself and channel it in a positive way. I asked myself ‘can I do this?’ and I said loudly ‘YES I CAN’. As the old adage says, ‘where there is a will there is a way’ and here I am today making it possible.”

Now with plans in the pipeline for a Liverpool city range and her sights set on collaboration, we’re sure we’ll be seeing more of Jeane and her creations.

To find out more about Tarsius Creation, you can contact or visit You can also find them on Facebook.

If you’ve been inspired by Jeane’s story and would like to see how Enterprise Hub can help you boost your new business, then get in touch with us. Email or ring us on 0151 706 8111.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Story Explorers: New mum Claire strikes the balance in her first year of business

After a whirlwind career taking her from Buckingham Palace to working as an undercover surveillance officer, Claire Jackson decided it was time to take control and re-adjust her work-life balance following the birth of her daughter. Offering interactive storytelling, creative play and adventures for under 5’s, Story Explorers was born.

Wanting to find out how to make her small business more successful in its first year, Claire joined us for our ‘Boost Your New Business’ course. We caught up with her to find out more about her new business and how things have changed since we last saw her…

Following the birth of her daughter and returning to the workplace, Claire found that her work wasn’t flexible enough for her to strike a good work-life balance. A dilemma which many new mums and women returners face.

She says: “My previous role was pressured in what I was expected to do and so I found it difficult. Certain issues made me feel unsupported. I believe people expect you to return to work after having a baby to be the same. Your priorities shift.”

“I placed high expectations on myself as well and this contributed to me having anxiety and depression. I needed to find a new job to stop these triggers and find a way I could achieve some of the elements I was missing.”

For Claire, starting her own business was the ideal solution. With support from her family she took the plunge. “I have always had this little idea to start something myself and use my education and passion. Having a child made me believe that I could work with children and so I just needed a push to make me take the leap!”

As with any start-up business, taking those first steps to becoming self-employed was daunting for Claire.

“It’s very daunting – you can feel like you are alone out there. I was so used to having peer and management support before and now it’s just me so you feel like you are making it up as you go along. I was worried financially but my family have been amazing - we’ve had to cut back but we are getting used to it!”

Claire now enjoys the flexibility of working from home and being her own boss. “Being remote means I can take my sessions anywhere – even outside which gives me lots of flexibility. I choose when and where I work and I can factor in more time with my family.”

Story Explorers’ unique sessions carefully tie in to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, so they are the perfect mix of education and fun for little ones. Claire also creates bespoke sessions to fit around exhibitions, events or different locations.

So, what does one of Claire’s sessions look like? She explains: “I create and provide fun 45-minute story sessions based on themes in popular stories. We do a song warm-up before finding clues relating to the story with our binoculars. Then we embark on some educational activities which are related to the story. We end with a bubble dance and then I read the story on the story mat!”

Looking to take her business to the next level, Claire decided to take advantage of Enterprise Hub’s ‘Boost Your New Business’ course. The course is designed to help those in their first year of trade review important aspects of business, including sales and marketing strategy, as well as business planning and management.

“It was a fantastic two days of sitting in a room with other small business owners, knowing you are not alone and hearing about new approaches to give what you are already doing a big boost.”

So, what did Claire take away from her time with the Enterprise Hub?

I immediately got a card machine! This now means attendees are not put off by having to pop to the bank before a session. I refreshed my business plan by putting it into a new format which was suggested as part of the session. It helps me to better understand what it is I’m offering and gives me a clearer view of what I’m trying to achieve. I now have a clear handle on the social media platforms that I need to be using for my desired audience and I also now say no to doing things for free!”

Now into her second year of trading Claire hasn’t looked back: “I am finding more and more people attending and I am thinking of other ways I can share what I do. We now have four sessions in various Wirral locations as well as themed events. I have started to do more parties and festivals as well as working with charities and being in schools.

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing her pretend to be me at home with her teddies watching her leading her own little class! I am a happy mum who now can spend more time together with her family.”
We asked Claire what advice she’d give to someone wondering how to start up a new business: “Find someone who can hold your hand whilst you start such as The Women’s Organisation. You need a business advisor to make sure you create a strong foundation – a business plan to start from a firm platform. Simply having one gives you confidence!”

To find out more about Story Explorers, you can contact You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

If you’ve been inspired by Claire’s story and would like to see how Enterprise Hub can help you boost your new business, then get in touch with us. Email or ring us on 0151 706 8111.

Monday 17 September 2018

Jonathan launches new business JC Fitness

Having worked in different roles in the leisure industry since the age of 16, 30 year old Jonathan Cahill launched his own mobile personal training business JC Fitness with the support of St Helens Chamber and Enterprise Hub.
As an Advanced Personal Trainer, Jonathan offers individual training sessions in people’s homes, workplaces and parks, as well as group sessions and post-natal fitness boot camps. He specialises in offering nutritional advice, creating customised meal plans and training programmes to meet individual needs.

Jonathan commented: “I’ve worked in a number of different areas of the leisure industry and personal training is the area that really stood out.
“I enjoy helping people to achieve their goals and interacting with clients face-to-face. I decided I wanted to work for myself and have the flexibility of being my own boss.”
Jonathan met with a business start-up adviser from St Helens Chamber, Steve Mather, to discuss his business plan and attended a business essentials course covering basic start-up knowledge and skills.
Jonathan added: “The tax aspect of the course was really interesting for me as registering my own earnings was new to me at the time.
“I learnt quite a lot on the course and Steve helped me to set up my online tax account so I could declare my earnings.
 “All of the start-up support from the Chamber has been great, I can email their advisers any time I need support.
“Staff have been friendly, helpful and approachable throughout the start-up process, they are quick to get back with any queries and have a wealth of knowledge to advise and support.”
To find out more about JC Fitness visit
St Helens Chamber is part of Enterprise Hub, the enterprise gateway for business start-up support in Merseyside.  Offering expert advice and support to anyone thinking about starting a business including help to:

  • Understand the process of starting a business
  • Research a business idea
  • Build a comprehensive business plan
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Create financial forecasts to understand the costs of running your  business and potential income
  • Identify sources of finance to get started

Enterprise Hub is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. For more information about the support available contact the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Taking the Franchise Route Proved the Road to Success for Ste

Like many struggling with mobility, Ste Ives had been left wondering if he would ever work again after an injury left him jobless.  Being out of work for over 3 years after an accident in his previous job Ste was keen to find a way back to work.

While working on the docks in Liverpool Ste was involved in an accident where he fell seriously injured his back. Having worked there most of his life, this was a massive shock for Ste who realised due to his injuries that he would never be able to do the job he had known all his life again.  Struggling with his mobility he felt his career options were limited.

Taking back control of his situation Ste approached Enterprise Hub partner Franchising works in April 2018 and signed up to receive support through the programme to explore enterprise at the start of May.  He had taken the decision the get his Driving instructor license, but was unsure of what steps next to take, should he go independent or go with a Franchise.  Ste met with Franchise 'RED Driving School' and decided this was the best route for him, with the benefits and support they offered new instructors through their franchise.

Working with Franchising works on a 1-2-1 basis Ste received support to understand and complete a survival budget, business plan, marketing plan, cash flow and projections.  Looking closely at his survival budget helped Ste to understand what he needed to live on and how to ensure his business worked and his family could survive. Franchising works also offered general business advice and support to help Ste feel confident enough to take the step to start his business.  As this was a franchise Ste was taking on RED had already started to support him with clients and marketing, making the transition a lot smoother for him.

Ste started with RED in May 2018, and is finding running his own business rewarding and beneficial to his life.  He told us:

Working with FranchisingWorks on the Enterprise Hub, helped my tremendously, I was lost and unsure of what to do, until I spoke to Vicky.  She sat down with me and went through everything, step by step, what was best for me, how many clients I need on a daily and weekly basis to survive, plus she even helped with my financial planning for the next 2 years. She’s been a great support and I couldn’t thank her enough, as even now she is always at the end of the phone, if I have a question”.

If like Ste you are trying to explore new ways to get back to work and would like to look at business start up as an option, get in touch with the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Child-Friendly Salon, Ava & Harrison, Launches in Old Swan

Having worked together in the 90's, Sara and Jo went on to pursue different career paths, but desire to create their own path brought them back together to build their dream business 'Ava and Harrison' Liverpool's first child friendly hair salon.

Feeling "nervous, excited, doubtful and confident all in one" the friends contacted Enterprise Hub partners The Women's Organisation for advice and guidance and soon got their idea off the ground.

Within weeks of starting they needed to expand their team when a facebook post by a local mum who spotted their new shop sign went viral. 

Read their full story of success here.

And if you are friends thinking about going into business, you too can get advice and guidance from European Regional Development Fund supported Enterprise Hub programme get in touch with our team via 0151 706 8113 or

Jenny Farrelly takes over Wirral Institution

Despite her many years’ experience in supply and retail of school uniforms and branded workwear, it was still a big step to consider the challenge of setting up independently.  To add to the magnitude of the change, Jenny was considering taking over an existing business that was long-established on Wirral. 

Jenny was partly financing her venture but needed to apply for a StartUp Loan to make her entrepreneurial dream a reality.  She also had to contend with unfamiliar territory in the shape of TUPE staff obligations, decisions involving stock, collating accounts history, both for the loan application and the organization she was taking over.  Wirral Chamber’s startup team were with her every step of the way and Jenny made the most of the expertise at hand, building a great business plan and realistic cash flow as well as building great relationships with the team.

The business she was buying was a Wirral institution with a fairly reliable customer base that, with strategic marketing and planning, she could retain and grow.  There was additional seasonal pressure for Jenny to secure the loan and to be in the business during the summer holidays as this is a peak time for sales of schools uniforms.  She did it!  The StartUp Loan application was successful and Jenny took over the shop August hit the ground running with parents and pupils getting sorted for the new school year.

The Enterprise Hub Team always knew Jenny had the determination to succeed and we enjoyed working with her to make her business happen.   She had particular words of thanks for Patsy Crocker: “Patsy went through detailed cash flows with me for the loan application, she was amazing and helped my confidence hugely.” 

StartUp Wirral from Enterprise Hub is helping start-up businesses like Jenny’s with the support required to become successful companies.  If you’re thinking of starting a business in Wirral, please contact Lisa, Paul or Warren on 0151 541 0976.

Plumber John taps into startup support with Enterprise Hub at Wirral Chamber of Commerce

Having spent most of his early career as a plumber, for the last few years John Holden had been handing on his expertise working as a trainer at colleges in Halton.  Having identified a gap in the market and following a growing desire to get back to his roots, John decided that it was time to set up his own business as a plumber.

From the first phone call to Enterprise Hub at Wirral Chamber of Commerce, John got on really well with the team  and made the most of the range of support that is on offer from this programme.   His initial meeting really made him think how he would market himself, having already chosen his future business name “Plumber John”, and an idea of the customer base that he wanted.  With his many years’ experience, friendly approach and, let’s be honest, a real shortage of plumbers, this does feel like the right time for John Holden to start up.  
John has attended the Business Planning, and Marketing Workshops on Wirral and valued the networking aspect of these as well as the information being delivered.  With additional 1:1 guidance from the Wirral Chamber of Commerce on his sales and marketing techniques, Plumber John now has a website  and an increased confidence in social media techniques which he continues to learn.

On the support received, John commented: “From the moment I contacted the Wirral team I was impressed in how proactive they were in helping me to get my business started.  It was useful asking direct questions and getting answers.”  He is now beginning to build his customer base in Halton, Wirral and Liverpool and he has some past students in mind that showed real promise that he would consider taking on when the workload increases sufficiently.   

StartUp Wirral from Enterprise Hub is helping start-up businesses like Plumber John are given the support required to become successful companies in both Wirral and Halton.  If you’re thinking of starting a business in Wirral or Halton, please contact Lisa, Paul or Warren on 0151 541 0976 to find out about the programme which is part funded by European Regional Development Fund.