Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Charlotte Fournier juggles many jobs in pursuit of her LIVE Languages business venture; ‘I have to be a sales person, a marketer, a recruiter, a tutor, a PR person, a secretary and a web designer, all in one!’

At LIVE Languages, Charlotte manages the planning, delivery and organisation of language classes and courses in and around Liverpool, and is currently working on opening a school where tutors can use tutoring spaces to invite their language students, create resources and benefit from tutor training.

Having worked in Recruitment, it seemed a natural progression for Charlotte when she started matching students with other tutors in her wide network and then supporting the tutors with their development and other work opportunities. 

Linking her keenness for working in an industry that loves, and also the gap in the market she saw in teaching languages, she decided to use these opportunities to implement her vision. Charlotte says; ‘I have a vision that learning languages must be interactive, lively, fun and intensive. I feel that this philosophy is not promoted in current schools’.

One of the most important things about beginning a business, and something that Charlotte knew all too well, and prepared for, was doing her research. In particular researching the market that she was about to enter; ‘it took many long trips to the library, multiple questionnaires and three years to complete. The process was long but eventually I was happy with my findings and what they meant for my business idea.’

After completing a great deal of market research, Charlotte began to seek advice and support from various organisations, before settling on The Women’s Organisation; ‘The WO offered the most tailored and up-to-date advice specific to my business! What a relief.’ Meeting with Francine Taylor, our Senior Business Advisor, they discussed a business plan. Like many other people beginning their businesses, having the support and structure was a great way for Charlotte to feel motivated and secure.

Although as Charlotte found out, starting your own business isn’t such an easy ride; ‘When setting up on your own, it’s easy to doubt yourself, lose motivation and be distracted.´ Something that Charlotte and many still find difficult. She continues; ‘Every new element is an unknown task and therefore daunting. I learn a lot in the process and know that the second and third time I will complete these tasks, I will be slightly more experienced and confident.’

One thing that Charlotte has learnt from her journey is the importance of delegating, coming up with a novel way of being assisted with her administrative and technical aspects of the business; ‘I teach a student who is very IT savvy. So I asked her to become my PA in exchange for free French lessons. It is the cheapest and best investment I have made! She organises my timetables, lessons, sends invoices and communicates with clients’ This set-up is financially beneficial for Charlotte’s student, also helps her French get better and frees up Charlotte’s time so she can focus on other tasks.

Now settling into the business side of things, Charlotte is keen on the idea of owning her own venture, saying there is a satisfaction in knowing that the product is her own work, and hoping to have a Liverpool city centre premises in the next 8 months to base LIVE Languages in.

The Women’s Organisation believe Charlotte has done a great job on her work with her business idea, especially as she has managed all this whilst working full time at the moment. We were happy to support Charlotte in her moments of self-doubt and get her back on track. Charlotte says: ‘Don’t doubt yourself, and when you do, seek support from a business advisor. I found that a quick chat was an easy boost.’

See Charlotte's Live Language website and Facebook page here and here

No comments:

Post a Comment