Louise Barson has always gained great satisfaction from helping people in her corporate career by informal mentoring, and nowadays as an IOEE (Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs) Business Mentor. But when a corporate project ended in late 2008 and the recession hit, Louise found herself without an income.
She decided to set up her own business, but, with a spin. She wanted to focus on helping others to save time, money and stress so that they could get on with enjoying other aspects of their lives, saying; ‘I’ve always believed in collaborative models and paying it forward, giving to gain.’
She began with her business concept Silver Concierge in 2010 and has won awards for her decluttering and organising services including The Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Award, EVA Awards New Business Runner Up in 2011 amongst others.
Moving on from this, Louise continued to solve problems and provide solutions for her clients, by creating a product. A life personal organiser, which she has trademarked, self-published and named; My Life Pack…Your Life at Your Fingertips™. She says;
‘I’ve had to learn a lot of new skills around this process as well as different marketing skills, moving on from a service to a product.’
Highly-organised Louise has had some enforced time out over the past 18 months, as she fought (and beat) cancer, and lost 3 family members within 5 months of each other, but she says; ‘
Time out for a micro enterprise often means no business as you are your business, but I’m back in action now with big plans for My Life Pack™ for 2015 which I started putting together in November 2014, and I am attending courses on and offline to build up my knowledge of digital marketing.’
Micro Enterprises and Micro Businesses have always been an interest of Louise’s after she spotted a tweet by Tony Robinson OBE, a Business Mentor and Public Speaker, promoting a national Micro Business Matters Day on the 9th January 2015. Tony Robinson primarily advises on and promotes ways for organisations to engage with and benefit from start-ups and micro enterprises.
He enables people, policies and programmes which help those starting and running their own business to survive and thrive.
He says; ‘Micro enterprise (0-9 employees) owners are essential customers and suppliers to larger organisations. They are major contributors to every nation’s employment, innovation, communities and economic growth.’
‘In the UK alone there are over 4.5 million, representing 96% if all businesses. One in seven of the UK workforce runs their own micro-enterprise and the number of micro-enterprises and their contribution to employment and the economy continues to increase. With the right help in the first 18 months for every 100 start-ups, 85 will survive beyond 3 years and 6 will become substantial, employing businesses.’
So on the 9th January 2015, the initiative for MicroBusiness Matters Day is to get everyone (whether they are large or small businesses, or the general public) to spend 9 minutes on the 9th January promoting or helping individual micro businesses. Louise spotted a way that micro businesses like herself could use this national event to raise their own profiles whilst helping others at the same time.
Her big idea is called 9xTable© Your Proactive Micro Business DigitalMarketing Session, a flexible session which you can host around your kitchen table or your office desk. She says;
‘You need your laptop or tablet and your pre-prepared social media marketing messages that you would like more people to see. And work with between 3 and 9 other micro businesses proactively sharing your marketing material for 9 minutes across various social media platforms. You repeat the 9 minute rounds for the number of people sat around your 9xTable© Thus increasing your reach and improving your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).
Louise firmly believes in the importance of micro-enterprises and is determined that January 15th is a successful day for micro business owners;
‘As a micro enterprise owner yourself you know that you need to be proactive and resourceful. Why? Because most, but not all, business support initiatives are aimed at limited companies and large organisations. The support around to help micro enterprises is not always easily found. I found The Women’s Organisation when I first set up and have kept in contact since.’
‘95% of all businesses are micro enterprises. Collaborations and sharing ideas allows us to help each other, keep each other going, help each other grow and level the business playing field.’
If you think that this is something that your business could benefit from and work with on Micro Business Matters Day on 9th January 2015, then get involved! Take advantage of the national coverage and use the hashtag #MicroBizMattersDay and #MBMD on Twitter, to raise your profile and that of your contacts.
If you decide to run your own 9xTable© session with 3 to 9 of your contacts, then get in touch with Louise, she can send you a FREE social media marketing template with ideas for marketing actions! Follow Louise and My Life Pack on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest using the links below to get in touch and hear updates about 9xTable around the UK and about what is happening on #MBMD and My Life Pack hints and tips on saving time, money and stress.