Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Crossing Borders with WoWFest 2018 at 54 St James Street!

We’re delighted to team up with Writing on the Wall for their annual month-long festival celebrating all things art, literature, debate and performance.

Every May, WoWFest takes over various venues and locations across Liverpool to host a jam-packed calendar of events featuring a multitude of writers, journalists, performers, activists, commentators, broadcasters, academics and communities.

Empowered by the digital age, the personal really IS the political and 2018 could perhaps best be summed up as the year of accountability. With the ongoing of the worlds current affairs, never more so has story-telling and discussion been more important, and WoWFest 2018 is encouraging just that.


This year’s theme ‘CROSSING BORDERS’ responds to recent national and international political, social and cultural developments around issues of Brexit/The EU, migration, race, inclusion/exclusion, diversity, and nationalism.

“While Trump talks of building walls, and borders are back on the international agenda, WoWFEST 2018 - Crossing Borders will explore messages of togetherness, hope and inclusivity by building stories and experiences around the thoughts, ideas and hopes of our communities for the society and identity they wish to build for themselves and each other in the wake of Brexit.

With the impact of Brexit hotly contested and unbridled Trumpery across the Atlantic, WoWFest 2018 – CROSSING BORDERS will explore literature, art, ideas, and practice that has transgressed and challenged accepted ways of thinking. From migrant literature to refugee stories, prisoner stories and translated works, we’ll be discussing race, gender, sexuality, Europe, politics, activism, satire, collaboration, grime music, and technology.”

Event Promo for 'Beyond #MeToo' taking place at 54!

Following on from some fantastic events last year, we’re delighted to be back in the mix for WoWFest2018 by hosting a number of events here at 54 St James Street! Take a look at what’s going on:

Wednesday 2nd May, 6pm at 54 St James Street, L1 0AB
Tickets: £10/£5

Tuesday 8th May, 6pm at 54 St James Street, L1 0AB
Tickets: £10/£5

Beyond #MeToo (hosted by our own Maggie O’Carroll)
Wednesday 9th May, 5:30pm at 54 St James Street
Tickets: £10/£5

Wednesday 16th May, 6pm (Doors 5:30pm) at 54 St James Street, L1 0AB
Tickets: £12/£6

Monday 21st May, 6pm at 54 St James Street, L1 0AB
Tickets: £8/£4

For more information on WoWFest, head to their website. To view the full calendar of WoWFest and book your tickets, click here. 

We hope to see you at 54 St James Street throughout May!


For any WoWFest ticketing queries email customerservice@ticketquarter.co.uk or telephone the box office during opening hours: 0344 8000410. Call centre is open 9am -9pm Monday - Saturday, 10-5 Sundays and bank holidays.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

5 Minutes With .. Prosperity Private Wealth


54 St James Street is home to a broad variation of businesses, and we’d like you to get to know them a little better through our blog series ‘5 minutes with ..’

We’ll be sitting down with tenants to ask them five simple, snappy questions. Last time we heard from Gillian Hunt.co (catch up here!) and this time it’s Prosperity Private Wealth!


Prosperity Private Wealth provides clear and precise financial planning to help you meet your financial objectives, to maintain the lifestyle you want and within the timeframes you chose – and they’re based right here at 54 St James Street.

Introducing .. Prosperity Private Wealth!


Our typical daily routine consists of .. matching new clients with their own personal financial adviser, who can accommodate both their personal and business needs with the highest level of attention and expertise. And helping our existing clients to achieve all they desire, with the help of firm financial foundations. 

We chose 54 St James St .. because we liked that it promotes female led businesses like our own and we share similar values. We are proud to advocate services for women and know from experience what a difference the right advice and support can make.

Our top tips for business start-ups are .. Know the money - cash flow planning is essential for the immediate heath and long term growth of your business. And be sure to utilise the courses held at 54 St James St, they really are effective. 

On our watch list is .. Brexit, it’s important to us to be aware of the environment our clients are investing at all times. 

Thanks Prosperity Private Wealth – it’s great to have you here!


For more information on Prosperity Private Wealth’s services, please contact them via 0151 727 1257 or on hello@prosperityprivatewealth.co.uk.

To stay up to date with their latest news, follow Prosperity Private Wealth on Twitter or visit their website.

If you’re a tenant and you’d like to feature on ‘5 minutes with ..’, please contact us on venue@thewo.org.uk

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Advice Corner | 5 Steps to Planning a Successful Conference: Part Two!

Welcome back for part TWO of our Laura’s guest blog on planning a successful conference. 

If you missed part one, you can catch up HERE. Laura, our Senior Administrator, has tried to sum up her wealth of experience in event planning into five simple stages to share with you.

Planning an event can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow Laura’s blog to pick up some great tips and tricks and be sure to put them into practice next time you’re event planning. 



STEP 3: Begin the Communication and Publicization

The third step is to start contacting any of the possible speakers, sponsors, volunteers or external support required. It is best to have these in place or at least partly before you start to publicize your conference as the speakers can be a selling point for your conference. You also need to check their availability for the proposed conference date. Any sponsors or funders can then be advertised on your marketing materials. 
You can now start to promote your conference through communication or various marketing methods. This may be: word of mouth, email, social media, blogs, flyers, companies website, partners news boards or their websites, promotion websites such as PaperCrowd, videos, press releases or even local magazines and publications. The Women’s Organisation regularly use Mailchimp to release email campaigns and Eventbrite to assist with the ticket sales. If you already have your agenda in place, this could also be used as a promotion technique.



Step 4: Prepare for the Day of the Conference

On the run up to the conference, it could be handy to start creating a checklist of what is left to do for the more finer details, such as: keeping track on number of attendees, purchasing any stationary or equipment, creating delegate packs and presentations, prepare the floor plan, printing, send out venue maps to delegates, ensure delegates have made payments if required and make any outgoing payments if they are due before the conference. Final delegate numbers will also need confirming with your venue and catering contractor, in plenty of time. A big one that is often unforeseen is I.T compatibility. Visiting the venue or contacting them before hand to check your laptop is compatible with their presentation equipment and checking if any technical support will be needed on the day; can be crucial. However, I.T can always let us down when we least expect, so prepare for hiccups, have your presentations on a backup USB stick and be prepared to present without I.T if all fails.



Step 5: Complete a Successful Conference

The day of your conference is finally here, and all the planning and setup is finally complete. There may be assistance needed on the day but most of all try to network, relax and enjoy yourself! Last of all, ask delegates for feedback, finalise any post conference tasks, thank the team of helpers, speakers and give yourself a pat on the back. All going well, and you will have achieved your vision in planning a successful conference.

So, there you have it. Five simple stages to making sure your event runs smoothly!   

If Liverpool is the next city of choice, why not check out our facilities at 54 St James Street? Our versatile Roddick Rooms can host between 10-120 people and provides a contemporary space for conferences, training, networking and more. 

If you would like to arrange a visit or speak to our team for more information, please contact us on venue@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8100. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

The ‘Stars Aligned’ For Helen Harry, So She Started Her Own Business; Country Mile Kitchen


Country Mile Kitchen is one unique business, so that makes Helen Harry one unique woman. 

In her own words she told us that Country Mile Kitchen is a business of two halves; ‘The first is offering baking lessons and the second is a food subscription services’ Customers within a mile of Helen’s home in Rainford can get a weekly subscription of artisan produce such as bread, soup, preserves and chutneys. Which Helen says; ‘I deliver on a vintage bicycle!’, How’s that for unique?


So, if you’re within a country mile of Helen Harry, you’re certainly in for a treat with Country Mile Kitchen!

Prior to starting her own business, it was another life for Helen, working as a teacher in a team to support children with behavioural difficulties to try and prevent them from being excluded from school. And it was what she now sees as ‘the chance of voluntary redundancy’ that led Helen to the idea of becoming self-employed. 

This interest paired with a passion for baking and the desire to be her own boss meant that Helen was soon on the phone to The Women’s Organisation where she began accessing support through Enterprise Hub’s business start-up programme.

‘All the stars aligned. I was at the right time in my life to change direction and to do something that I had always wanted to do.’

Helen was paired with Senior Business Adviser; Francine Taylor and attended all of the courses that we have on offer here to make stepping into start-up as easy as possible. ‘I found all of the courses to be of the highest quality and inspirational! Every time I left 54 St James Street I was buzzing with ideas and more confident in moving forward’


‘I also valued the supportive approach and informative networking opportunities I gained from chatting with other aspiring business owners. Francine was superb, she helped to challenge me and guide me through the process of really clarifying my ideas. She’s been brilliant!’

It was Helen’s upbringing on a farm that inspired Country Mile Kitchen, saying ‘It is where food is nourishment, comfort and something to look forward to, during a hard-working day.’ And it is the uniqueness of the business that we just love! From the fun and informal baking lessons to the subscription service of fresh bread and quality ingredients, there is something that is suitable for everyone wishing to bring some amazing flavour, incredible nourishment and the taste of the countryside into their lives!  

One of the things that Helen says she found a little daunting was her branding and social media presence, realising quite quickly that these aspects were something she needed support with. ‘I’ve engaged with other business to help and now have my own professionally designed logo, promotional materials and website as well as having accessed some coaching around the use of social media.’ All of which were new areas of development for Helen and has meant she has become more confident with the idea of ‘selling.’


So, what does Helen think is the best thing about being a business owner? ‘I like the freedom to make my own decisions around how my brand looks and feels. It’s difficult to describe but it’s akin to having a creative ‘baby’!’ Helen also likes the ability to manage her own time and being able to challenge herself.

‘When I look back at what I’ve managed so far, I wouldn’t have believed it 6 months ago! And that makes me proud.’

We think that Helen has every right to be proud of herself! And it’s been our pleasure to support Helen and the Country Mile Kitchen. But what advice does Helen have to offer other aspiring entrepreneurs?

‘Have faith, be brave and believe!’

If you’d like to find out more about Country Mike Kitchen, you can do so by following the contact links below

Email - helen@countrymilekitchen.co.uk 

And if you’d like to start your own business, like Helen, then get in touch with us today! Email hello@thewo.org.uk or ring us on 0151 706 8111



“I Fulfilled My Dreams And Made Them A Reality” says Jackie Williams of Ballroom Blitz


Not many people can immediately frame a redundancy as a positive opportunity, but Jackie Williams can, and did! And that business is…Ballroom Blitz! In her own words; ‘Ballroom Blitz offers adult dance classes, socials and events across the Wirral and Liverpool’ and is Jackie’s dream of a lifetime to run!

Prior to starting her own business Jackie worked as a Global Quality Specialist for industry giant; Unilever for almost 20 years but had always danced and had a passion for dancing and everything that it encompasses. ‘For many years I have been joking about retiring onto a cruise ship to teach Ballroom and Latin dancing! So, when my dance school offered the opportunity to qualify as a teacher, I took it!’


Coincidentally this coincided with Unilever offering voluntary redundancy and Jackie saw this as the opportunity she was waiting for; ‘to go and fulfil my dream and make it a reality!’ She told us that she is usually someone who is risk averse so making this decision was huge as the thought of not having a regular income was new and scary. ‘I got around this fear by taking a small part time job, so I had a base income.’

Now that Jackie had her idea she knew it was time to go and get some support and advice; ‘At first, I wrote down all of my ideas and possible venues for the classes and researched the competition that was out there. I also took the opportunity to get in touch with The Women’s Organisation.’ Jackie was paired with Senior Business Adviser; Claire Pedersen who helped her with all aspects of her business start up process.


‘At the start of the process I was extremely nervous as I was stepping out into the unknown. But the thought of this turned to be worse than the reality.’ With the support of Claire, and the courses that Jackie was able to access at The Women’s Organisation, with some hard work and a bit of time…Ballroom Blitz was up and running!

One of the hardest things for Jackie was finding a venue for these classes though, and she says that it took a lot more effort and was more challenging than she originally anticipated. ‘Through talking to lots of people and google searching I found the venues I now use, but since starting in July 2017 I have changed 2 of the 3 initial venues with positive results, so I’d say to others be prepared to change and be flexible in business!’


One of these changes is super recent, and Jackie let us know that as of April 16th 2018, 3 out of 4 of her weekly classes will now be held at Pensby Boys School; 'truly giving Ballroom Blitz an identity and a home!' 


Starting initially with 3 nights a week the business has grown and progressed so much that Jackie now runs 4 evenings each week as well as having a number of private clients! She says one of the things that is unique about Ballroom Blitz is that; ‘It’s social! Through offering social Ballroom and Latin dance classes this makes me unique as usually there is lots of focus on medals and competitions. Whereas my passion and mission is to spread the joy of dancing for social pleasure.’

It’s great to see Jackie living out her dreams of dancing and teaching dancing as a full time job, and at The Women’s Organisation we were delighted to support her with this. When we asked Jackie how she felt about what she had achieved so far she told us; ‘Words cannot really describe how I feel! I am immensely proud and thankful. I feel truly blessed for all the support I have had and I’m excited about the future.’

‘This is the happiest I have been in all my life!’

And isn’t that amazing to hear!? If you want to find out more about Jackie’s business; Ballroom Blitz, you can do by following the contact links below…


And if you’d like to turn your dreams into a reality, like Jackie did, and start your own business or become self-employed, then get in touch with us! Call us on 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Easy As VAT Guest Blog - 5 Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Finances When You Start A Business! 💰


Client of The Women's Organisation, Julia Day is taking over our blog today!

Julia Day runs Easy As VAT, which provides accounting and tax help for business owners. Julia is an accountant who is passionate about supporting small businesses and set up Easy As VAT to simplify accountancy through step-by-step guides, courses and workshops. She also provides accountancy and bookkeeping services.


As a business owner, it’s important to keep track of your finances to manage your money efficiently and comply with HMRC tax regulations.

The thought of recording your finances on top of all the other tasks on your to-do list can be daunting and seem time-consuming, especially if you aren’t used to doing it.

But the good news is that keeping track of your finances is pretty simple as long as you stay organised.

1. Make sure you’re recording the right information

You need to record the following information about your business transactions:

Date of invoice/bill

Name of your client/the name of the person or company you paid

Description of service or product

Amount received or paid

If you use accounting software for your bookkeeping, it will automatically prompt you to provide the necessary information every time you enter a new business transaction.

If you use a spreadsheet to record your income and expenses, make sure you include all of the information above. You can download a free bookkeeping spreadsheet which includes these details here.


2. Set time aside to update your records on a regular basis

It’s easy to keep putting off updating your bookkeeping records and filing your receipts, so make sure you schedule time to catch up on your bookkeeping on a regular basis. Adding it into your calendar is important, because it will prevent you from booking anything else at the same time as well as reminding you to do it.

Scheduling this time weekly or monthly works well - decide whether you would prefer to do
your bookkeeping little and often or less frequently but for a longer period of time. Lots of business owners update their books once a month when their bank statement is issued,
so that they can match their records to their bank statement as they go.

3. Scan your receipts

HMRC accept scanned copies of receipts as evidence of your business transactions, so there’s no need to take up precious office space with files full of paper.

To prevent a pocket full of crumpled receipts waiting to be filed, and to make sure you don’t lose any evidence of your business expenses, take photos of your receipts as soon as you get them, or download an app which scans them to your phone, such as CamScanner or 1tap Receipts.


4. Keep your records organised

Whether you store your records in paper form, on your computer or on an accounting
system, make sure they are in some kind of order and are easily accessible.

I would suggest organising your bookkeeping records by month, then type of document
(e.g. invoices you’ve sent, expenses receipts and statements).

5. Back up your records

However you choose to organise your bookkeeping records, make sure they’re backed up
somewhere in case of emergency!

It may be worth investing in an external hard drive or cloud storage like Dropbox to back
up your records.


You can contact Julia for more information on hello@easyasvat.com or 07585662994. Thanks for guest blogging Julia! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Learn the Tricks of the Trade to PR at April’s Business Club, Meet The Media!

As Marketing Guru, Seth Godin, once said: “people do not buy goods and services, they buy relations, stories and magic”. 

Join us for our annual sell-out event Meet The Media, on Wednesday 18th of April, where we’ll introduce you to a panel of media experts to help you discover the secrets to getting your business recognised by local and national media.


We believe that good press can be vital for the success of small businesses. It’s one thing for you to say that your product is good, and another thing for someone else to say it. Media attention increases visibility, develops reputation, and can be cost-effective, helping your business not only to survive but to THRIVE!

And at Meet The Media, you’ll be learning from the best! Our panel of press-experts will be on hand to share the practical hints and tips on how to shout about your business and get it in front of the right people.


So, who have we got on the panel?


  Caroline Corcoran – Freelance Writer @cgcorcoran

I'm a freelance lifestyle and popular culture journalist and copywriter with over a decade’s experience. I have worked for most of the top magazines, newspapers and websites in the country, including Stylist, Grazia, Marie Claire, The Pool, Refinery 29, Emerald Street, Heat, Now, Cosmopolitan, Fabulous, Look, The Mirror, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro and Yahoo as well as - when I have my copywriter hat on - helping agencies, clients and brands make their copy more sparkly. I’ve also written three non-fiction books and am currently building up to letting someone else see the 47,000 words that are sitting in my Google docs hoping to be turned into a first novel. 


Kate Reilly James – The Guide @katereillyjames

Kate Reilly James is a Journalist, Content Creator and Presenter at The Guide Liverpool. With a passion for writing (and talking) about the city, Kate's love of Liverpool, it's people, talent and pride, knows no boundaries. An advocate of continued professional development and education, Kate is working alongside COLC, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Liverpool Town Hall, Radio City Talk and of course The Guide Liverpool in 2018 to provide further training and work experience opportunities for our city's young people. Kate is also passionate about cake, all the cake. 


Tony McDonough – Liverpool Business News @tonymc39

Tony is an award-winning journalist who started his working life as an apprentice electrician. He has worked in the media for 25 years and his experience spans print, online, radio and television. Most recently he worked for the Liverpool Echo and is now part of the PR and business news venture, Liverpool Business News. Tony grew up in Croxteth, supports Liverpool FC and is a keen amateur photographer. 


Jimmy McCracken – BBC Radio Merseyside @jkmccracken

Jimmy, making his third appearance on our panel, is what we like to call a Meet the Media veteran! Jimmy is a reporter, a producer and a presenter. He gets sent out on jobs and has to make them interesting on the radio. He decides what items get included into a programme and also who gets on air to talk about them. He’s happy to say he also does some acting as well, when he can find the time.

Come along to pick the brains of these four media gurus and find out how to shout about YOUR business! This one is always a sell-out, so don't hang about. 


Meet the Media will take place on Wednesday 18th April, at The Women’s Organisation, 6pm-8:30pm. Tickets are £5 for members and £10 for non-members.

If you're interested in becoming a member head over to our website to find out more information, or contact a member of our team on 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk.