Have you ever worked somewhere that made you think “I could run this company better”? For Liverpool resident Sue Crawford this was the start of her journey to setting up her own business.
Sue told us “I was doing all the work and having to share the benefits with other people. I knew I could do it better and earn more for myself if I was in charge.”
Having stepped back from previous role to give her chance to look at her options and start again Sue needed to make some decisions quickly. The opportunity was there to pick up local cleaning contracts where she already had connections, but Sue needed advice before taking the leap. She found out she could get some free advice and support from local enterprise support agency The Women’s Organisation, so gave them a call.
“I had an idea and people were saying to me ‘why don’t you just do it’, but I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision, or if I should look at other options” said Sue. “I remember one of the workshops at The Women’s Organisation, something that was said had everyone sat there thinking “Oh gosh that is me”. It was when we started chatting about women who have so much going on that they put off things they want to do until tomorrow. Coming to the workshop gave me courage to go out on my own.”
Sue was linked with a business adviser to put together a business plan to help her carefully weigh up her idea. She also turned to her family for support.
“My daughter has done a foundation A-level in art so she has done a logo for me and the other daughter has got it on the computer for me. I wanted my family to be involved so it’s great they were willing to help. They laugh though, of all the jobs that I’ve had they find it funny that I chose to run a cleaning business. They think I am fanatical about cleaning.”
In starting her business Sue needed to take on a full team to ensure she could meet the demands of the contracts she was negotiating so worked quickly to secure six part time staff and is taking on two more this year. This took a lot of courage, Sue knew where her strengths and weaknesses lay.
“My background is telesales, so that side of the business, marketing, admin and wages I wasn’t worried about. I had to learn quickly about the operations of a business and the financial side managing cash flow was new.”
Sue is loving being her own boss. “The best thing about running my business is having full control. I just want to enjoy working and doing a good job. It’s all about giving good customer service and getting customer satisfaction. If I can achieve that it’s the icing on the cake. It’s hard in this day and age to find a full time job, let alone one that gives you job satisfaction. I have a good bunch of cleaners, and it’s great to have them work for my company. I feel pretty good about how things are going so far. I haven’t really had proper time to reflect. From my point of view my background is phoning to go out and get another contract. As good as the contracts are I already have, I look forward to going out and prospecting again.”
Sue’s business Aquarius Facilities Solutions Ltd. offers commercial cleaning services. To find out more about her business you can visit www.aquariusfs.com or contact Sue via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to take advantage of the free advice and support from The Women’s Organisation then contact 0151 706 8111 or email email@example.com
Sue’s advice: “If you are out there thinking about doing what I have done and set up a business I would say go to The Women’s Organisation, go on the workshops. It’s invaluable! When you are on your own it’s quite frightening. Having someone on your side, and meeting the other women is just great.”