Monday, 30 March 2020

Thinking about moving your coaching business online?

The Coronavirus has left many coaching businesses looking for solutions to meet customer needs. Now more than ever, coaching can offer valuable support and guidance to someone. Whether you are a fitness coach, school teacher, or business adviser – online coaching can be made simple if you consider the following.

Type of coaching
Before you build a website or start making coaching sessions let’s determine what coaching type you should pursue. Do you want to conduct private coaching sessions or group sessions for clients? One to one coaching session are indeed more beneficial to the client although they are more time consuming. If you are looking for a more scale-ready option or would rather meet with groups of people at a time, you might be more interested in group coaching.

Choose an Online Platform
The platform you use to provide your online coaching depends on what kind of coaching your business entails. For example, if you switching to an online teaching class “Skills Share” is a perfect platform.  Almost every course lesson entails two key components video and class project. Courses are made up of a series of small videos whose duration is typically anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes.

Live Stream
If you would prefer to coach publicly live streams is an ideal option.  You may want to use Facebook, YouTube or Instagram live streams as they notify all your followers to join. Not only does it allow followers to engage it also can be accessed publicly. This is a perfect option for fitness coaching as many people can join at one time.

Video call sessions
Video call sessions are ideal for one to tone or small group coaching sessions. If you are looking for a formal video conferencing app ezTalks is perfect for you! This app is complexly free and allows 100 participants to join a video conferencing per time. Compared to other free group video conferencing apps, this app has more comprehensive features to better your group video conference experience, such as screen sharing, file sharing, interactive whiteboard, meeting scheduling, meeting recording and meeting presenter control. Skype and ooVoo are also famous for person-to-person video chat or group video conferencing free, which enables you to do group chat with up to 12 persons.

Engage with your target market 
Who is the target market you want to coach? Knowing your audience is incredibly important to keep create ideal marketing strategies and customer loyalty. Social Media and Email Marketing are great ways to grab the attention of audiences. For example, int terms of formal academic or business coaching daily emails with news, links, updates and reminders allows you to inform clients and create customer relationships.

Find your unique selling proposition (USP)
What is your unique selling proposition that differentiates you from other coaches online? This can come from your own experience, your personality, or positive client results. For example, what makes you different from the fitness coach with a similar online fitness session. Give your clients a unique online experience, play upbeat music or if you’re a business or financial coach attach beneficial links to sessions.

For more information about the support available to help you take your business online, contact Enterprise Hub on

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Running an Online Fashion Boutique: A Guide

Starting an online fashion boutique can be quite daunting. With the help of this step by step guide you can turn your passion into a successful business. Starting a boutique requires a lot of determination and time management; however, it will give you the freedom to work from the comfort of your home and choose your own hours.

Draw up your Business plan 

Every business start-up requires a business plan. This proposal allows you to plan your business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. A business plan also helps you to identify who your audience is going to be and ways you can target them. The Women’s Organisation’s business advisors can support you with your business strategy by helping you to set targets to start up and grow your business. 

Choose an Online Platform
Where do you want to sell your products? Choosing an appropriate online platform is crucial for the success your online boutique. You can sell your products on a variety of platforms such as eBay, Esty, Shopify or even your very own website. Choose these platforms carefully. Where is your target audience shopping online? Social media channels can be connected to your online shop so you can confidently sell your products everywhere. For example, you can connect your website link to your Instagram account. 

     Pick your name
It is important to choose an appropriate name suited to your online fashion boutique. Keep it short and sweet. You want a catchy name that describes your brand and that people will remember. The process of picking a name will probably take a while. It’s all part of the planning process. 

Bring Traffic to Your Online Clothing Store

Social Media

The key to attracting high flows of online traffic to your website is effective marketing. It is important to adapt your marketing strategies to appeal to all audiences and demographics. For example, if your online fashion boutique is targeted at an older crowd you my want to focus your marketing on Facebook and email marketing as it appeals to an older audience. Whereas if you are targeting a younger audience you may find that your biggest traffic drivers are Instagram and brand influencers. 


SEO will certainly improve a website’s overall searchability and visibility. The job of a search engine is to take the information typed in by customers and to locate the most relevant websites using those keywords. Therefore, if you are not engaging in SEO, you are not on that first page of results, your competitors are! By investing in search engine marketing, you are staying competitive whilst giving your brand name exposure. The Women’s Organisation's partner Enterprise Hub, offers a workshop on “How to get your Business seen on Google”. This course helps start u business understand SEO and how you can build your online presence. 

Fashion Blogs

Keeping your audience up to date with blogs is a must for fashion boutiques! Inspire your customers with the newest street, occasion or holiday style. Use this to promote your own products and direct them to your website. 

Specials and Promotions

To increase sales, attract new customers, and retain current customers, many fashion boutiques implement various sales promotion techniques. While most business owners would love to sell products at full price all of the time, sales promotions have proven effective at increasing the overall bottom line in many online stores. Reducing sale item prices or offering free delivery over £40 can be enough to seal the deal for customers. One sales promotion technique that has proven to be popular with online shopping is to offer point-of-purchase items. These are suggested items that pop up saying “you may also like...”  after you have placed an item in your basket. For example, these items could be accessories or shoes to complement the customers dress.

For more information about the support available to help start or grow your new business through Enterprise Hub, please contact

5 Wellbeing Tips for Business Owners

Regardless of what type of business you own, taking care of your wellbeing and mental health should be one of your main priorities. Creating a healthy balance between work and play is essential when it comes to leading a happy and productive lifestyle. Monitoring your wellbeing not only reduces stress levels, it also increases productivity and can help you overcome daily obstacles.

Daily Planning is Essential
Being self-employed comes with a busy schedule. Try to plan out your day using an online or written diary. You are your own boss! Plan and prioritise your tasks throughout the day. This will form structure to your day and will help you become more productive. Don’t forget to give yourself breaks. Take coffee and lunch breaks to refuel yourself and break up your busy day. Owning a business can be unpredictable therefore be flexible with your daily plan. Allow yourself to change plans last minute and reschedule. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Nobody can run a business on their own. Operating a business is a team effort. Spread out your workload amongst your team. If you don’t have employees, ask your friends or family for a helping hand. There is also a range of business support services at your fingertips! The Women’s Organisation provide support from expert business advisors such as finance, tax and insurance as well as online marketing support.

                                                  Make sleep a priority

A repetitive cycle of poor sleep and difficult days can then put you in a low mood, potentially leading to things like depression and anxiety. Running a business is extremely stressful and can take a toll on your mental health. Regarding supporting your mood, getting enough sleep is essential. Being well-rested not only makes it easier to stay focused but also helps you make smarter decisions. As a bonus, it is also easier to solve problems or to learn new things when you get enough sleep.

You are not on their journey alone! There are lots of entrepreneurs who are trying to become successful. It is beneficial to link up with other start up business owners to exchange ideas, experiences and advice. Even during these times of isolation, you can build these connections online; using hashtags such as #Merseybizlink allows you to network with other businesses through Twitter.

Work Life Balance
Don’t forget to take time for yourself, family and friends. Take time off after working long periods of overtime to give yourself the chance to rebalance and maintain a healthy home life. Make time for hobbies, exercise, and checking in with friends and family. With the high reliance of technology in our lives today it can be nearly impossible to unplug, and that much easier to look through emails or take constant phone calls. Although, the more your work life filters into your personal life, the more you’re losing that balance that’s so important to your health and happiness.

For more information about the support available to help start or grow your new business through Enterprise Hub, please contact

TOMORROW! Live Twitter Q&A with The Business Forward Clinic

The Business Forward Innovation and Resilience Clinic is taking to Twitter to answer your business questions during a live Q&A.

54 St James Street's monthly clinic for the local business community will be going ahead as a live Twitter Q&A tomorrow (Thursday 26 March) between 11am - 12pm.

Simply head over to Twitter and search @54StJamesStreet to get involved. You can use the hashtag #BusinessForward to put your questions to a team of expert advisers who will reply with advice and guidance. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Helpful business resources during COVID-19

Developments with the COVID-19 outbreak have escalated in the UK over the past few days, which has led to many businesses worrying what this means for the future.


There are a number of initiatives being put in place to help businesses who may be affected by Coronavirus. We’ve compiled helpful, practical steps you can take to support your business:

Government Support

On 17th March, the Chancellor announced a massive £350 billion in financial measures to provide a lifeline for many businesses. It is still in the early stages on how this will be rolled out currently, but for now, you can access the package of support measures that the Government has put in place here. There is also a Business Support Helpline which can be reached on 0300 456 3565.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will allow businesses with a turnover of less than £41m to apply for a loan for up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion to protect small businesses.

Statutory Sick Pay

The Government will refund the cost of providing 14 days statutory sick pay per employee for businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

Small business cash grant

There will be a £10,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities, and worth a total of £2bn. Local authorities are awaiting guidance from the government on how this will be administered.

HMRC Helpline

A dedicated helpline has been established by HMRC to support businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, to provide support with their tax affairs. Businesses may also be able to create a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement through this. You can reach HMRC on 0800 0159 559.

Private lenders

A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.


Crowdfunder have put measures in place to help businesses through the outbreak, providing 100% free fundraising for crowdfunding campaigns with support through Enterprise Nation.

Business rates

The Government has temporarily suspended business rates in England for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value, meaning nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.

Bank of England measures

The Bank of England have also announced a package of protective measures to help UK businesses and households through the economic disruption associated with COVID-19.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England have announced plans to support people working as freelancers, artists and in publicly funded cultural organisations. Find our more here.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice have detailed how Coronavirus may affect you if you’re self-employed and need to take time off work, including what benefits you may be entitled to.

Companies House

Companies House have provided guidance on what to do about your company accounts if you have been affected by COVID-19. Find all the information here.

Friday, 13 March 2020

It’s Clean, Green and Pristine at Real Sphere Eco World Ltd!

Paul Griffiths is the CEO of Real Sphere Eco World 
Ltd, Wirral’s latest innovative cleaning products company.  

Now Paul is a Wirral lad through-and-through, but he left in 1980 for a 10-year stint in the Royal Marines. From there he had a number of jobs before finding a niche position as the London manager for a wealthy family abroad.  And it was here, in effect, where Real Sphere Eco World Ltd was first conceived.
It was while managing and maintaining these super yachts and properties that he was able to help use and test the environmentally-friendly, innovative cleaning products and find the many uses for them.  The products, which are invented on Wirral and manufactured in the North West, were giving such outstanding results that he made the decision to set up Real Sphere Eco World Ltd in 2019, to retail, distribute, and wholesale the products.  He now has a fantastic new shop on Market Street, Birkenhead, where local businesses and residents can visit and buy these innovative, exclusive products and try them for themselves.  They are also for sale in the ‘E-Shop’ on the company website.
Real Sphere Eco World Ltd sells a whole variety of different environmentally-friendly products that cover a multitude of cleaning applications including glass, leather, food surfaces, drains, screens, multi-surfaces and so on.  He also has a range of detergents, air fresheners and anti-bacterial cleansers, not to mention the new products in the pipeline currently being developed on Wirral. Paul is also looking at putting Wirral on the map by exploring other prestige markets including the automobile and aircraft industries whilst not forgetting where it all started - the growing luxury yachts market!
And what wise words would Paul like to share?  “Listen to the young,” he responds quickly.  “People only started to take notice of what was happening to the environment when the youngsters started demonstrating and making their voices heard.  Let this be the catalyst for change.”    And proving you can’t take Wirral out of the man, he adds: “My old teacher at Rock Ferry High School always said, ‘Wirral supports Liverpool as well as Liverpool supporting Wirral.’  We’ve all got a part to play in the economic growth of the region. Together, we can stand out internationally.”
So, we asked Paul how Enterprise Hub helped his business: “Well, the advice and motivation I have received from Heidi and Paul has been immense.  The workshops they run and organise are second-to-none.  Also, meeting like-minded people has been a very positive experience, to the extent that I am now stocking another Enterprise Hub client’s eco-friendly wax wraps in my shop!” 
If you would like to contact Paul at Real Sphere Eco World Ltd, check out their ever-growing product range at   or e-mail Paul Griffiths at

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Gaynor Connor promotes the importance of self-care with reconn3ct

At age 63, Gaynor Connor could be getting ready to retire; but after a varied career, Gaynor’s life was changed by a Cancer diagnosis, which she turned into a unique opportunity to help others.

Gaynor Connor

Gaynor explained: “To be faced with your own mortality is a dreadful thing, but I certainly wasn’t going to sink, so while undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I wrote a booklet called: ‘You Are Not Alone’ which encompassed my own and other Cancer sufferers stories; this aimed to inspire others to continue on their cancer journey with hope.

“During this time I realised the impact self-care was having on my recovery. I was doing weekly yoga and meditation sessions which I found really helped me through my treatment – so this ultimately lead me to set up reconn3ct.”

Seeing the effect that these forms of self-care had on her own recovery, Gaynor wanted to pass this knowledge onto others who were in need of help with problems; both physical and emotional.

Gaynor commented: “When you find ways of helping yourself, you want to pass this onto others. So I wanted to set up reconn3ct to allow me to help others in this way; to start a new business that gives you an income but in the process helps others is very rewarding.”

While she was starting out, Gaynor worked closely with St Helens Chamber’s Business Start Up team who supported her with one to one meetings and introduced her to the training courses available at the Chamber.

Gaynor commented: “My start up adviser Steve is fantastic, he’s given me a lot of support and is there to talk through any ideas I might have. To help me gain a new perspective, he questions any ideas I put to him which gives me new insights; it’s great to have someone to share and develop ideas with.

“I didn’t have much experience with Digital Marketing, so I’ve done an introductory course which has given me much more confidence in my digital skills. The support has been fantastic, I’ve now even joined the Chamber as a Member so I can network and raise my business’ profile.”

Steve Mather, Business Start Up Adviser at St Helens Chamber added:

“Working with Gaynor has been a pleasure, it’s fantastic to see her business grow and continue to help more and more people who are suffering with mental or physical health issues.

“Gaynor’s business is unique and it is fantastic how she has turned a negative life event into something really positive.”

reconn3ct is a bespoke business, the aim of which is to promote an opportunity for self-care through yoga, meditation, workshops and guided walks in peaceful surroundings.

“reconn3ct provides people with an opportunity to find out how stress affects their emotional and physical wellbeing and teaches people the importance of identifying and managing stress. It also encourages people to explore what they currently do to self-care and what they could be doing more of to promote their wellbeing.

“Attendees will have the opportunity to develop a self-care plan with the help of an experienced healthcare professional, so the self-care can continue after the retreat and hopefully become a part of the attendee’s day to day life.”

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.

If you’d like to find out more about reconn3ct visit or to find out more about Business Start Up Support visit

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Sally turns her Hobby into a Success with Enterprise Hub

For many years’ photography had been a hobby that had allowed Sally Barreteau to express her creative side – now with a boost of confidence she has taken her passion and turned it into a full-time career.

Working with Enterprise Hub partners The Women’s Organisation – she now runs ‘Sally Barreteau Photography’ a Liverpool based photography business that is helping people capture moments in their lives for generations to come.

Beginning her enterprise journey with a love for all things photography, Sally felt like it was the right time to work towards a career she would love.

She told us: “I have 100% invested in myself & my photography mentally, financially & physically.”

Feeling nervous about the prospect of going it alone, she approached The Women’s Organisation to find like-minded women who had been through the same journey.

With support from business adviser Yan, Sally Barreteau Photography was born - photographing anything and anyone, the company focuses on portrait shots and boasts a portfolio of family occasions, wedding, parties and travel. 

“I first had a meeting with my new business adviser Yan, she sat down and explained all the support that would be available and the steps I could take to make my photography business become a reality”

“The networking and programmes have helped build my confidence and knowledge around the structure of running a business”

Her love for photography was a lot stronger than her fear of failure – but the thought of not being able to make a living to support her family had been holding her back. Sally told us: “My biggest challenges were financially, photography equipment doesn’t come cheap, As I am one photographer running a business solo, it can be expensive. I've learned about my costings and i'm in the process of thinking about raising my prices to meet competitors.”

Living with dyslexia also played a part in her fear of ‘getting it wrong’ 

She told us: “I feared I would mess up the admin side of the business. I have the photography skills – taking photos, editing, communicating with clients but when it comes to business skills, that came a little harder. You need to be thinking about your marketing, bookkeeping, accounts, alongside being a wife and mother. The Women’s Organisation has helped me to build these skills and made me realise that time keeping, and organisation is the key to any business”

Since working with The Women’s Organisation, the small business has gone from strength to strength, working with big names like and national government. “My greatest achievement to date was being asked by an MP from Norway to be their personal photographer for their visit to Liverpool for Remembrance Sunday at St Georges Hall.

“I was the only female photographer with the press capturing this huge event”

So, what is coming up in the future for Sally Barreteau Photography? She told us: “I always touch base with Yan; I think it’s important for me to have someone there who’s looking in from the outside to give me potential idea’s for growing. Everything has been going great so far, I will be going to France in July and August where I will be doing some travelling photo shoots!”

Sally Barreteau photography can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

For more information about the support available to help start or grow your new business through Enterprise Hub, please contact 0151 706 8113 or