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: http://thewomensorganisation.blogspot.com/2018/11/concept-corner-creates-home-for-wirrals_27.html
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can support you.
Thursday 29 November 2018
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:Technology 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 EffectiveDigital 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 engagementDigital 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
5. Reach larger audiencesAn 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
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 email@example.com
Thursday 8 November 2018
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.
Wednesday 7 November 2018
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mission-invisible.co.uk. 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 email@example.com or ring us on 0151 706 8111.