Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Enterprise Hub Invites Men & Women To The Business Start-Up Conference

Enterprise Hub, a new programme that has launched to help create and sustain over 1200 new enterprises in Liverpool City Region, is open for business!

On Wednesday 13th July from 10am-1pm at 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB – men and women who are interested in the idea of self-employment or are wanting to start their own business, are invited to the Enterprise Hub Business Start-Up Conference!

With the support of the Enterprise Hub programme and partners and event sponsorship from Startup Direct, this will be an informative morning of business support to help men and women across Merseyside take turn their business dreams into a reality.

So! If you’ve got an idea for a business, if you want to create your own job or you’re thinking of going self-employed but aren’t sure how to get started – then this is the event for you!
At this free and informative event you will:

  • Be able to hear from successful local business owners who will be sharing their tips on how they moved from idea to business reality
  • Be given the opportunity to take part in group activities to understand the practicalities involved in self-employment
  • Have the chance to network with others who are considering starting a business and make key connections
  • Find out about the FREE support on offer to help you get your business off the ground through Enterprise Hub, Start-Up Direct and other local organisations

This event is FREE and open to anyone living in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral or Halton), aged 16+ who is looking for support to start a business.

We are delighted to be partnering with our event sponsors, Startup Direct who will also be on hand to offer advice to you if you are interested in accessing a loan to get your business started.

Nick Bell,Startup Direct North West Regional Development Manager has said;

"Startup Direct Liverpool are very pleased to sponsor the launch of the Enterprise Hub at this conference. As a leading delivery partner for the UK government's Start-Up Loans Scheme we have already helped more than 1,500 UK businesses access more than £12M of funding."

"The Enterprise Hub will provide the tools and support for even more local entrepreneurs to launch or expand their business and our new Liverpool office is ready to help them access funding. Talk to us at the Enterprise Hub Start-
Up Conference or visit our website

So join us on Wednesday 13th July 2016, from 10am-1pm at 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB

For more information and advice you can ring Enterprise Hub on 0151 706 8113 or email us on

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Women’s Organisation Business Club Got Pitch Perfect With Cyberfrog Sue & Anne-Marie Swift

Last week business women from across Merseyside got their business pitches perfect with Personal Branding Expert, Anne-Marie Swift and Sue Flannery, Co-Director of Cyberfrog Design!

The Women’s Organisation Business Club welcomed them to 54 St James Street as part of our Business Club networking calendar of events. Firstly we had the chance to hear from Sue Flannery, our guest speaker and event sponsor who told us the story of her business journey and how networking has helped her business to grow over the years.

We’d first invited Sue to speak at our Business Start-Up Conference last month and were absolutely blown away by her! We just love Sue’s down to earth, determined and positive attitude and knew her story was one that we wanted to share with our Business Club members. Sue told us all about how she had gone from running pubs, to teaching to finally starting her own business with her husband Richard – Cyberfrog Design, and has grown the business over the last couple of years and now manages a team of 7 staff from her offices in the Baltic Triangle. We heard all about her networking techniques and the importance of continued, consistent relationship building to produce outcomes and possible sales.

Next up our guests took part in a session led by Personal Branding Expert, Anne Marie Swift who also runs the Women in Business Network for Merseyside. A networking pro, Anne-Marie split the group into pairs where our women worked with each other to draft their 1 minute business pitches using a great template which outlined the business, what they were looking for, and the areas of expertise. After this everyone was given the opportunity to present their pitches and get feedback from Anne-Marie and the rest of the group!
We think it is safe to say that our business women enjoyed the evening from the great feedback that they gave us…

 ‘Sue and Anne-Marie were great; I feel much more confident and clear about giving a pitch’

‘Great event as usual, very informative and energised event, thank you’

‘Very good, I feel a lot more confident than I did at 4pm this afternoon’

Thank you to all of the business women that attended our Pitch Perfect Open Mic Networking Event! And a huge thank you to Sue and Richard Flannery of Cyberfrog Design, who were our event sponsors. And also thank you to Anne-Marie Swift for her fantastic pitching session!

We would also like to thank Mitchell Charlesworth, the headline sponsors of The Women’s Organisation Business Club! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Meet Our New Team Member – Sue Phillips!

We’ve had an exciting few months here at The Women’s Organisation, and have taken on 2 new team members in our Administration staff! We’d like you to get to know them, so we’ve sat them down and had a chat to find out all about them. First, of all meet Sue Phillips – our new Administrator!

What’s your full name and where are you from?

Sue Phillips from Liverpool

Tell us how your first found out about The Women’s Organisation and became part of our team?

I first found out about The Women’s Organisation when I was applying for the job although I had known about Train 2000 many years ago when I was working at CDS Training for Enterprise Ltd. When reading the job advert I felt that this organisation was very similar to other organisation I have previously worked for and I felt that I would really like to work for the organisation. So I applied and became part of the team!

What kinds of things have you done prior to coming to The Women’s Organisation?
I have worked for 2 other organisations similar to The Women’s Organisation as mentioned; CDS Training for Enterprise Ltd. Which was an Enterprise Agency, training long term unemployed people to get back into employment. We were the first training organisation to teach people working in the print industry on Apple Mac computers back in the 80’s when this was new to the industry. We also helped people starting up their own businesses, accessing grants and training courses.

The other organisation was Positive Impact, this was an all-female business set up by myself and 3 other women. This was a Performing Arts training agency set up for young people from disadvantaged groups, it was very successful helping many young people from Liverpool fulfil their dreams of performing, whether it be singing, dancing, acting or scriptwriting.

Both these organisation were very similar to The Women’s Organisation in the way we worked towards helping people achieve their goals.

What has surprised you about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The thing that has surprised me most about The Women’s Organisation is how much I have learnt in the short time I have been here.

What’s the best thing about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The best thing about working here is working with people who genuinely enjoy being here, which makes my time here very enjoyable!

Could you describe one of your typical workdays?

A typical workday would be opening up the building, dealing with our clients who have booked rooms, arranging refreshments for our courses, checking that rooms are tidy and any unused rooms are locked. We also email or text people reminders who are on our courses or for one to one meetings, and sorting out our post for the tenants,, we deal with tenant’s visitors when they arrive, book rooms for internal and external visitors and set up rooms for the following day! So lots of different things to do!

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

That I was in a 4 piece girl band called Distinction when I was younger! We got back together during my time at Positive Impact and did all the backing singing in our productions, so I was doing finance during the day and on stage during the night!

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

When I’m not working I still do some finance work for Positive Impact as the company is still going but much smaller due to lack of funding. I also spend time with my daughter and son when I can; we enjoy the same things like the theatre and music concerts. I also visit and spend time with my friends and family when I can.

We're delighted to welcome Sue to our 54 and WO family, and know she's going to fit right in!

54 St James Street Tenant of the Month - Know Services Limited

So, Tenant of the Month is back! Each month we will be publishing an interview with one of our lovely tenants in the building, asking them what they like about the building and finding out what their business is all about!

So far we have spoken to Siren, Dobson Welch, Barrette, A Quiet Place, Bold Online Marketing and Color Consultancy - And this month we spoke to Loraine Lewis, Director of Know Services Limited. 

What is your business name and what do you do?

KNOW Services Limited Consultancy

KNOW Services Limited has been established to provide organisations with the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions; achieved by working in partnership with clients, providing outstanding bespoke Intelligence and Analytical products and guidance.

‘Putting you in the KNOW; to make informed decisions’

What did you do prior to setting up your own business?

I was a Senior Crime Analyst, for the Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (in the Caribbean) 5.5 years and spent 14 years in total working within Warwickshire Police and West Midlands Police

What made you decide to set up in business?

I wanted to move back to the UK; however not be mis-utilised as an analyst.  I felt my skill set could provide much needed assistance to many companies, not just Law Enforcement. The analytical model I use is widely used globally (in Law Enforcement); however, many companies across the UK have also adopted the model including; British Telecom, NHS, The Post Office and Trading Standards to name a few

Where have you been working from previously?

New Setup, I formed my company out of 54 St James Street

What made you decide to move to 54 St James Street?

The Women’s Organisation had been mentioned to me previously and it wasn’t until I was looking for a Virtual Office did I actually make contact – Immediately the services that were offered, help, courses and an excellent rate for the Virtual Office.  There was no decision to be made; this is the best place for me.

How have you been working with The Women’s Organisation?

Since 7th January 2016

What is it that you like the most about 54 St James Street?

Although my registered office is at 54 St James Street, I have a home office I work from, but I do get a bit ‘stir crazy’ – so I can pop into Siren and work from there for a few hours, everyone is so friendly.  Usually when I collect post I see my Business Advisor John Jones and we have a chat about how things are going, whenever I have a query I email John and he can usually point me in the right directing within a few hours.  Whenever I have been on a course, the people running the course always remember you and have a chat, you feel so supported, which goes the same for the other participants.

I love 54 St James Street so much that I have decided to work half a day each week from there as it lifts me so much, gives me so much energy and such a burst of enthusiasm….it’s good for the soul…

Social Media and Contact Details

Loraine Lewis |Director
DDI +44 (0)151 2143071
Mobile +44 (0)7951 612811

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Business Owner Lesley Woodcock Says; ‘Age Isn’t A Barrier’

‘At the age of 57 years old, I said to myself, if you really want to do it, then just do it. I’ve realised that age isn’t a barrier, it’s only yourself that’s the barrier.’ These are the inspirational words that Lesley Woodcock told us when we interviewed her last month, and frankly we think they are great! Here’s Lesley’s story of how she successfully started her own business, later in life.

Chillax with Lesley is a Holistic Therapies business, where Lesley offers Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Ear Candling all from a unit in The Box inside Runcorn Shopping Centre. The business has been up and running since January of 2016 but already Lesley has gone through quite a journey to get to where she is today. Before setting up in business, Lesley worked for 22 years as a Civil Servant in Kent, although originally from the Merseyside area, before returning back up North where she planned to take early retirement alongside her husband. But of course, after some months spent recovering from a big move, she began to look for work and found a job as a hospital receptionist in The Walton Centre.

‘In January 2016, I came to a crossroads because my contract at The Walton Centre was coming to an end and the choice was either to look for another job or to finally put a plan into action for starting my own business. I thought if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this now, so I took a deep breath and jumped in, and the rest, as they say, is history.’

Whilst Lesley was living in Kent she trained and qualified as a Reflexologist back in 2008 and then qualified in Aromatherapy in 2010. She began to establish herself back then, but due to a lack of time found it difficult to grow the business. ‘Back in January 2016, after many conversations with my husband, we decided that now was definitely the right time to go for it and start my Holistic Therapies business up again.’

‘Once we made the decision, I contacted the management at Runcorn Shopping Centre to enquire about availabilities in The Box. I viewed the space, and at that point it wasn’t ideal! It’s an old store room next to the cafĂ© kitchen, but I decided to take it. With a bit of imagination and a lot of hard work, some carpet and decoration, we’ve managed to create a welcoming and calming treatment room.’ And Lesley didn’t hang about when it came to renovating her new treatment room! All of this work was done within a week with the business officially opening on the 28th January.

She got into contact with The Women’s Organisation after Runcorn Shopping Centre put her in contact with us through the work that we had done to support other independent business women who have units in The Box. Lesley then began working with Business Adviser Mike Marsden who she says has been ‘Invaluable.’

‘Mike has given me some great ideas and pointed me in the right direction regarding the availability of free advertising in particular. But more than that, he has given me the confidence to move forward. He’s provided me with a guiding hand and helped me to produce a business plan so I can see where I need to be and look at ways to get there.’

Although the business is still in its infancy, things are going well for Chillax with Lesley as she’s received lots of interest and positive reactions. Currently she’s working very hard at promoting the business and making sure everyone in the area knows she’s there! But considering how quickly Lesley got her business up and running, we can’t be surprised that’s she’s already thought about the future of Chillax with Lesley;

‘Eventually I would like to move to new premises and have something that is a bit more user-friendly. But as I grow, I still want the values and ethos of the business to remain as they are now. I want to be able to keep my prices at an acceptable level,  there are lots of people out there who aren’t on high wages or have a low income and I believe it’s important that they are able to benefit from Holistic Therapies too.’

For now though, Lesley is reaping the benefits of being her own boss after many years of working in different organisations; ‘I love having the freedom so I can dictate what I want to do and when I want to do it. I don’t have anybody pressuring me or looking over my shoulder.’ – We think it’s clear that self-employment is definitely the life for Lesley and it just goes to show that you can become your own boss at any stage of your life!

‘If somebody would have told me 18 months ago that I would be running my own business, I’d have laughed! But it has always been a dream of mine that up until now seemed impossible. I’m a 57 year old woman, who with the support of my husband, has started this adventure a little later in life, but it’s such a thrilling experience – I wouldn’t change it for anything!’

If you’ve been inspired by Lesley’s story and would like The Women’s Organisation to help you start up your own business, then get in touch with us! You can ring us on 0151 706 8111 or email on

You can find out more about Chillax with Lesley by visiting her website here!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Leaders of Today Inspire Leaders of Tomorrow

If you are walking through town today – you might spot something new, something slightly out of the ordinary, something that you’ll want to stop and take notice of – Sane Seven’s new exhibition ‘Beyond the Desk’

Our CEO Maggie O’Carroll has been honoured and profiled by Sane Seven’s creative project ‘Beyond the Desk’ – and is standing tall amongst city leaders to inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

Today Sane Seven announced the first instalment of their two part project launching in Liverpool in line with the International Festival of Business. 34 business leaders have collaborated with Sane Seven in this project to inspire the leaders of tomorrow. Some 30,000 visitors, as well as city residents and guests will be treated to an outdoor photography installation showcasing unusual portraits of 34 of the North West’s most inspirational and successful business minds.

'Beyond the Desk' at Lime Street Station
‘Beyond the Desk’ uses unique portraiture to break the traditional stereotypes we associate with business leaders aiming to bridge the gap between established leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs and young people entering the world of business. Some of the other portraits included in the project include Sir Terry Leahy, Steve Morgan, Judy Halewood, Sir Michael Bibby, Peter Moore, Ian Ayre and many other respected individuals.

Portrait Photographer and one half creative due Sane Seven – Viktorija Grigorjevaite is a long-time friend of The Women’s Organisation. We’ve seen her business grow across the years, but one thing has always remained a constant – Viktorija’s incredible talent for creating mesmerising photography.
The incredible Viktorija

We are overwhelmed with the end result!  The portrait that Sane Seven have created imaginatively captures Maggie in a stunning way; as an opener of doors, a true campaigner for equality and a leader for today and tomorrow.

‘Beyond the Desk’ will be exhibited from June 17th to July 5th in Liverpool ONE near the Hilton Hotel and outside Liverpool Lime Street – Maggie’s portrait is positioned outside Lime Street. 

We do have a photo of Maggie's portrait - but we want you to all head on down to Lime Street to see it in person! It's something to behold, they are an incredible collection of portraits. Tweet us @TheWomensOrg when you see them! 

Today at IFB2016...

We are excited to be invited by the brilliant 'Writing on the Wall' to be involved in their Blue Skies discussion today at International Festival for Business.

2pm - 3pm Living in 'The Gig Economy'
From a job for life to a Zero Hours contract, low pay and uncertain futures – the world of work is changing. We explore the changing nature of work and its impact upon working and social lives, health and income, asking the question - who really benefits from the ‘gig’ economy?

Host: Madeline Heneghan Co-Director, Writing on the Wall
Jo Austin - Engagement and Digital Marketing Coordinator, The Women's Organisation
Lynn Collins - North West Regional Secretary TUC
Tony Schumacher – Writer, The Darkest Hour, The British Lion (William Morrow) 

This event is FREE to attend and there is still time to register.  Click here for your ticket. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Erasmus+ ACE Partners Meet in Bulgaria

Last week project partners for the 'ACE' project met in Sofia, Bulgaria hosted by 'Know and Can Association'.  Enteprise Director Jackie Williams and Training Coordinator Bernie Cox from The Women's Organisation joined the transnational meeting to represent the UK.  

The purpose of the visit was to review progress to date on the creation of the 5 training modules which are being developed to support adult educators and enterprise advisers in working with lifestyle entrepreneurs. The modules will cover:
  • The Basics of Lifestyle Entrepreneurship
  • The Use of ICT and Open Educational Resources in Lifestyle Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing of Adult Education on Lifestyle Entrepreneurship for Disadvantaged Learners
  • Assessment Tools of Learners' Skills and Competancies in Lifestyle Entrepreneurship
  • Creating Awareness on Validation of the Acquired Competences 

During the meeting the group also reviewed the template for video and written case studies around lifestyle entrepreneurship that will be used to gain better understanding of the practical experiences of lifestyle entrepreneurs. 

Bernie Cox reflecting on the meeting saying:
"Transnational partnership meetings are a great opportunity to build closer bonds with the team you are working collaboratively with.  It is great that we have skype and other online tools to allow us to work together even at a distance, but meeting in person solidifies that working relationship and allows us to workshop ideas as a group.
It was interesting this time to meet in Sofia as it is somewhere I've not visited before, so it was good to have a chance to soak in some of the local culture and to find out more about our host organisation. 
I've come away from the meeting in Bulgaria with renewed understanding of what we are hoping to achieve through the ACE project, and I look forward to seeing how the training modules continue to develop."

The next transnational meeting will take place later this year in Cyprus where a pilot of the training modules will be carried out. 

The ACE Project brings together a dynamic European Partnership of Key Practitioners within the fields of ICT, Education and Entrepreneurship to research and develop a programme that will focus on developing adult educators' competences to promote learners' lifestyle entrepreneurship.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Should I Use Facebook to Promote My New Business? Yan's Tips

When starting a new business, you may be thinking about having an online presence to promote your business. There are so many social media platforms to choose from, but Facebook is indeed the largest social network on the web with more than 1.55 billion active users. That alone is enough for most businesses to consider utilising it as part of their marketing strategy. 

Facebook is designed to encourage interaction, with ‘Share’, ‘Like’ and ‘Comment’ buttons where people can communicate with each other. One of the great things about Facebook is that it allows you to create custom pages, have conversations with your customers and easily post photos and videos. This platform offers businesses opportunity to grow organically through non-paid campaigns, or via a paid advertising service.

The key benefits of having Facebook business page:

  • You can reach a specific audience using the advanced targeting features such as, age, gender, location, and interests.
  • You can track how many people are engaging with your posts and advertisements using the insights.
  • It is a good alternative to a full website when you have limited marketing budget and can be picked up by Google.
  • It is a very effective tool to build brand awareness and image to your targeted customers
  • It allows you to choose specific goals e.g. increase website traffic when doing targetted advertising.

Key considerations when thinking about using Facebook for business:

Facebook is the best platform for B2C (business to consumer) businesses, so if your core customer is other businesses, facebook might not be your first choice.

Before you get started, you need to understand the purpose of your facebook page by defining:

  • What are the key personality and characteristic of your business?
  • Who are your targeted customers?

How you can utilise Facebook to promote your business:

The more interesting you are, the more likely you are to engage your target customers, and thus spread the word about your business.

You can use Facebook for:

· promoting special offers

· promoting events

· annoucing new products or additional services

· showcasing your industry knowledge and awareness

· uploading pictures and videos of your products, services, events or workshops

· sharing testimonials from satisfied clients/case studies/success stories

· offering helpful tips and advice to get your customers hooked

· share inspiration quotes that your followers may share with friends

Ultimately you are using Facebook to connect with as many people as possible and getting them to interact with your business. Facebook can be an amazing tool for generating business when used properly. Why not book onto our ‘Introduction to Facebook for Business’ workshop to get your business started on this useful social media platform.

by Business Adviser Yan Miao

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Women's Organisation Support Women Living with Mental Ill Health to 'Change It'

The Women's Organisation are proud to offer a postive programme to support women in Liverpol to build tools for change.

Thanks to some charitable funding, local women living with mental ill health have been given opportunity to meet together and be supported to look at ways to change their future. 

We caught up with the women from our first cohort at their final session to see how they feel the programme has benefitted them.  Here is what they told us:

What has been good about 'Change It'?
“What is good is that it is not formal goal setting, although we did set goals. I’ve got much more out of it than I thought I would.” 

“I liked goal setting and that it has made me more aware of my achievements.  You tend to forget the things you’ve done.  This helps you to be more aware of the positive and not the negative.” 

“It’s good that we have been allowed to drop in and out of the sessions.  If we didn’t manage to make it one week there was no feeling of ‘oh you didn’t come last week’.  It was fine to come back when we could.” 

What can women expect from the sessions?
“There’s no pressure here. It’s informal, no role play. The stuff you want to do to move on, that is what is offered here.  A lot of the prescribed help for mental health you find keeps you in a loop where it is a cycle you can’t get out of.  This breaks you out of that.  Here I’ve found I’m with other women like me who really do want to ‘change it’.” 

“It’s been relaxed. Nice company” 

What are you taking away from the programme?
 “I’m taking away self-belief in my own ability. I feel what I embark on I can achieve. I’m hopeful for the future.” 

“It highlighted what I have actually done.  I’ve got a book now with all of my achievements in.  I can look and say ‘I’ve done that, and I’ve done that’.” 

“Last week we were talking about ‘why wait’.  It made me think yes, why wait? So I’m definitely going to go to college or something.  You tend to think that while you are in recovery, oh I’ll just wait until…, but why?  Why just sit at home? I might as well do things now.” 

“I liked looking at the qualities and skills.  It’s given me a new way to look at things when looking at jobs.  I have different things to say than I did before, and now it is more about looking for jobs that match my skills and qualities rather than just qualifications.” 

The next 'Change It' programme will begin on Wednesday 29th June and will cover:

· Positive Thinking and Learning about Yourself

· How to Become a More Assertive You

· Managing Change

· How to Present Yourself with Confidence

· Building an Effective Employability Toolkit

Change it is open to women living in Liverpool who are living with a diagnosed mental health condition who are looking for support to move forward. 

If you are interested in joining the next programme, or are working with women you would like to refer to the programme, please contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or

Ruth Smart Establishes a Family Council To Continue Her Legacy of Tranect Ltd.

We’ve heard many different business stories here at The Women’s Organisation, but never have we heard one quite like Ruth Smart’s and the business which she is the Executive Director of, Tranect Ltd. Tranect is a design and manufacturing company for electrical components used for power generation and transmission. Ruth is currently in the process of something rarely seen in the UK, establishing a Family Council so that her business can be taken over by her children when she retires. We spoke to Ruth to find out more about her background, her business and how she is implementing this interesting business model.

Prior to founding Tranect Ltd, Ruth worked for different multinational companies designing and manufacturing this type of product, after studying at Brunel University and becoming a Chartered Engineer. Ruth told us; ‘I wanted to start up my own business because I kept on being made redundant as manufacturing plants moved overseas. When I had the opportunity to buy an obsolete product range and redevelop it. I took out a bank loan, secured on our family home and invested all of our savings and my redundancy money into the business.’

During the initial years, like many business owners starting own, Ruth faced some challenges such as cash flow and other issues which she faced head on. She told us that she has a supportive partner, and although she worked for longer hours, she enjoyed the benefits that come with being your own boss such as deciding when she needed to be in the factory and when she could be at home. Tranect Ltd. has been running for 15 years now, and it’s really starting to get interesting at this point a Ruth begins to think about what will become of her legacy after she retires.

She told us; ‘Originally the business was to provide a secure source of income for my family, but now that they are grown up and working, I can see how the business can continue to provide security for all the members of the family, and potentially my grandchildren. It can be a legacy that I pass on.’

And the way that Ruth will pass on her legacy is through the formation of a Family Council who will take control of the business, so when Ruth steps down as the Executive Director, her children will be able to take over the running of the business through the Family Council. Ruth says; ‘When my children were growing up, they didn’t want anything to do with the business, they wanted to go off and do their own things. But now that they’ve graduated, had some time out in the big wide world and have their own families and children, they are starting to appreciate the benefits of a family owned business. Where we have far more control over the hours that we have to work, and we’re better able to get our work/life balance right. So, now my son and son-in-law work in the business, and we are having discussions about how to hand over the business when I retire.’

This was the conversation that led Ruth to seek help through her local growth hub where she came across The Women’s Organisation. Ruth has been working with our Senior Business Adviser, John Jones, on an ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funded business growth programme; New Markets 2, and has found specific support from John in transferring the business from one generation to the next; ‘I’ve been working with John, which has been really helpful. We’ve ensured that the women within the family are all equally represented within the Family Council going forward and are provided with the training and support that they need to be able to fulfill their role.’

So what has Ruth found challenging throughout this journey? Namely, explaining this interesting business model to the rest of her family; ‘The strangest explanation was to my youngest daughter who lives in London and has nothing to do with the business whatsoever, but will inherit a third of the business in time. I had to explain that as the non-executive shareholder, she would have to take over chairing the Family Council including the role of having to sort out any disputes in the business going forward. She responded saying that she doesn’t know anything about that sort of thing, but The Women’s Organisation and their recommended consultants can provide the training and support she needs to fulfil that role.’

What we found most interesting about this business model of the Family Council was that they are relatively unknown in the United Kingdom. The Institute for Family Businesses has general guidance for succession planning, but Ruth said; ‘We are using a model that has been adopted by family businesses from around the world, and it’s quite a typical way for German family-run businesses to operate. It’s one of the greatest successes of German businesses that they are able to have the second, third and fourth generations come into the business, learn about it and provide the business with continuity and continued investment. I think there is something in this that we could all learn from.’

So, now Ruth has her family on board and the Family Council is established, she is safe in the knowledge that the business she has worked for half her life to establish and grow, will continue after she retires, in the hands of her children and grandchildren.

If like Ruth you are looking to make changes and grow your already existing business, please get in touch with us to see how we can help you grow. As a local growth hub broker we are here to offer you advice and guidance whatever stage your business and help you to connect to relevant support. Email us on or ring us on 0151 706 8111

Contact Details for Tranect Ltd

Tel: 0151 548 7040

From 4 Instagram Followers To £1mil Per Week Online Success

We often get asked questions by clients such as, “how do you make money out of a blog?” and “how can I go viral?”. The answer to these questions is the same as all the advice we give on our social media workshops, and that is, when developing your social media strategy it is essential that you are putting yourself out there as an expert and that you’re are generous in sharing your knowledge.  Give advice and in doing so showing a passion for what you do. This will get people interested and excited about you and keen to seek out what you have to say even more. If you set out just to try to make money it usually doesn’t work.

Joe Wicks, The Body Coach (image courtesy of youtube)

This is no better exemplified than by the phenomenon that is The Body Coach.  It’s likely that you may have heard of him having seen his posts and videos on facebook or Instagram, bought his book or seen him spreading the word on TV.

What is that word? Well, The Body Coach is 30 year old personal trainer, Joe Wicks, who originally started posting hints tips and advice to people about their diet and fitness online and developed this into his 'Lean In 15' programme and HIIT training programme. Three years ago he was working in a pub and had about 4 instagram followers, now he has millions of followers, his first cookbook, 'Lean in 15' sold 70,000 copies in its first week beating Davina McCall’s, and is now number 15 in the 20 biggest selling books of all time, beating the likes of Mary Berry and Gordon Ramsey. He is turning over £1 million per month (just let that sink in for a moment), has 500 people signing up to his plan every day and a staff of 50.

It’s an incredible achievement in a short 3 years, but when asked why he thinks he has been so successful he puts it down to the fact he never set out to make money. He genuinely wanted to transform lives and never chased the cash.

Read the full story of Joe's success here. 

So what are the takeaways from Joe's story?

  1. Be passionate about your brand - No one else is going to get excited about it if you aren't
  2. Be Generous with your knowledge - Knowledge is power is definitely true when it comes to social media
  3. Don't start it as a sales pitch - Monetising social media comes further down the line, It takes an upfront investment of time to get to that ideal
  4. Keep up to date and be an expert - Keep your industry knowledge fresh and be prepared to move with the trends
  5. Look for additional avenues for growth - Joes book is a great example of this.  If you have built a good following online look for offline markets you can utilise
For more help with building a social media strategy check out our range of digital marketing courses available for just £25 each (or 5 for he price of 4 at £100).  We offer an introductory course 'Building a Social Media Strategy' free as part of our Enterprise Hub business start-up programme, so speak to your business adviser for dates and to check eligibility.

If you are in the ideas stage of creating a new business and would like some advice, get in touch with the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or

By Business Growth Adviser Claire Pedersen