Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Strategise Your Business Sales Techniques With Business Club’s 'Strategy for Selling’ Event!

The Women’s Organisation is welcoming the month of May in with our Business Club event- Strategy for Selling, taking place on Thursday 18th May. During this event, you will have the opportunity to network and connect with many business and professional women.

Today there are now an estimated 91 million direct sellers worldwide enjoying the flexibility, sociability and healthy work-life balance that the career choice offers them. But how do they achieve success?

 Well, as part of the business club event, we have invited Elaine Atherton from 2SummitUp as a guest speaker to provide invaluable information about how to strategise your business sales techniques. Elaine is a successful business woman who embarked on a career in Direct Selling, boosting her £130 investment to the building of a £4 million business.

“I now have over 25 years’ experience in a wide range of Direct Sales roles and have gained a reputation as an out-of-the-box thinker who thrives on finding solutions to challenges.”
Read Elaine's most recent blog 'Stop Selling, Start Helping' for a taster of what you will hear on the night. Listening to Elaine's experience and key tips for your business and asking any questions necessary will provide you with all the knowledge required to boost your sales!
So, come along and join us for our May networking event with Elaine Atherton for an evening full of professional discussions alongside interacting with many other business women.

Did You Meet The Media? #WOBizClub

Last night we met the media for fifth time! Meet The Media is one of our most popular and well attended Business Club events of the year and this year was no different. It was great to see so many new and old faces attending to get to grips with media and PR for their businesses.

We had a fantastic panel lined up who were raring to go and answer the many questions that were fired at them from the audience! On the panel, we had; Tony McDonough from YB News, Ngunan Adamu of iWoman Media and iWoman Academy, Jimmy McCracken from BBC Radio Merseyside and Rebecca Keegan from Good News Liverpool – And what an amazing panel they were!

After a little bit of networking everyone settled down and we heard from each of the panellists, they told us all about what they got up to a day to day basis, what they spent their time doing and how they got to where they are today. It was so interesting to hear the varied lives of our panellists and how their work differed from print, to radio to online and more!

After this we got down to the question and answer session and just like we knew they would, our fantastic audience came prepared with some great questions to ask the media experts. As our audience asked their questions it also gave them the opportunity to explain to the panel and the rest of the room what they did and what their businesses were. It was so exciting to see the panel light up as they explained why each story would work or how it would be possible to get it into press and we are sure some good connections were made! 

In previous years’ businesses at Meet The Media had pitched to the panel which resulted in their businesses being covered by various press outlets, and we are sure this year will be no different! That’s one of the great things about the Meet The Media event, it’s just as useful for the audience as it is for the panel!

Once the question and answer session was over, we had some more time for networking before the evening was over! It was a fantastic evening and the feedback that we got made us grin from ear to ear! Here’s what some of the guests had to say…

‘Great event, good to have ‘inside knowledge’ and the speakers were great!’

‘Really enjoyed it and learnt about the media. It’s opened my eyes to marketing’

‘As always a very well organised, informative and friendly event with The Women’s Organisation’

‘Absolutely loved tonight. Learnt so much information. Thank you!’

‘Really enjoyed this session. Lots of useful information I hope to use to get in the media. 10/10’

Thanks to everyone who attended Meet the Media this week, and an extra special thanks to our fantastic panel for giving up their time to come along and help our guests get to grip with utilising the media and PR for their businesses, we couldn’t do it without you!

May’s Business Club event ‘The Strategy of Selling’ will take place on Thursday 18th May, 6pm-8:30pm at 54 St James Street. Head over to Eventbrite for more details and tickets!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Change It and Progress to Success with Our Confidence Building Programme! 🙌

Earlier this year we launched our new confidence and resilience building programme for the women of Liverpool, and after a successful first cohort, we’re now recruiting for the next programme in May!

Change It, Progress to Success offers women the chance to be part of a circle that includes  8 personal development sessions and ongoing support from The Women’s Organisation team. During these circles, you will build a more positive outlook in all aspects of life; at work, at home, or in relationships. Our team will encourage you to think about what you would like to change and then help you to build the practical skills and confidence to take these steps.

Throughout the sessions and 1-2-1 support, you will learn more about yourself, think about how to become more assertive and break negative thinking habits. You will set achievable goals and begin to plan the future you want, and we hope that with our help, you will complete the programme with new skills, a positive attitude and a massive confidence boost!

The programme will take place in a number of Children’s Centres around the city, as well as at 54 St James Street, home to The Women’s Organisation. You can find your local ‘Change It’ here:

4-week programme:

The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB – 16th May, 10-3pm

8-week programmes (Excluding week commencing 29th of May due to School Holidays):

Picton Children’s Centre, 139 Earle Road, L7 6HD – 15th May, 9:30-11:30am
Speke Children’s Centre, Conleach Road, L24 0TW  Fully Booked
Fountains Children’s Centre, Fountains Road, L4 1QH – 19th May, 1-3pm
Kensington Children’s Centre, 23 Quorn Street, L7 2QR – 22nd May, 1-3pm
Wavertree Children’s Centre, 85 Wellington Road, L15 4LE – 22nd May, 9:30-11:30am

We caught up with some of the women from our last round of circles to find out how they got on. Comments included:

“In June, I gave birth to my son. I used to be so business-minded but I just completely lost myself and my confidence. When I found out about Change It; Progress to Success, it gave me that confidence boost and the excitement each week to go to the Children’s Centre. I met my tutor and all the other women, they were there to listen and that was one thing I needed someone to do for me – to listen.” 

“The course and my tutor left me feeling empowered, supported and able to make the changes I want”

 “’Change It’ is boss! My tutor is great, very friendly and approachable. Positive thinking and assertiveness modules have helped me already in my day to day – I don’t want the course to end!”

“I did a ‘one-day’ confidence building course a few years ago and wanted to do more but at the time there didn’t appear to be anything between that and business start-up courses – so thanks for listening” 

Over the next three years, we intend to work with over 500 women developing confidence and helping women to see their true potential. Whatever age, background and stage of your life you may be at, Change It; Progress to Success will help you in building a better future.

If you are a woman and would like to book a place or find out more about the programme, please contact our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email

If you are an organisation and would like to refer someone onto the programme, or contact a member of the Change It team about opportunities, please contact a member of our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Hectic Work Life Encouraged Laura Platt To Start Up Her Own Makeup Business And A Salon!

Working in the salon and experiencing the same thing every day was becoming tedious for makeup artist Laura Platt. So, Laura decided to set up her own freelance makeup business. The opportunities found along Laura’s journey has led her to opening her own salon in St Helens.

Prior to taking the plunge, Laura worked in a beauty salon for 12 years. Laura is still currently working here. She started off as an apprentice on a worked based learning scheme. As time progressed, so did Laura’s career and she was then promoted to Salon Manager. ‘I saw it as a great privilege.’

Laura in her own creation! 
There were a few barriers in the way for Laura. Her current employment was an issue as managers are not in favour of employees doing mobile work and working in the salon. Therefore, Laura kept her business secret for a year until she found the courage to tell her boss. In the end, I told her I’d been doing a few make ups and that now people were asking me to do more...She was very supportive of me and my business and I think it brought us closer together.’ But working 49 hours a week restricted Laura from doing make up after work.

After losing her social life and being run down by long hours, Laura decided to cut her hours down. This was vital for Laura as she needed to focus on her freelancing business. Business varied for Laura, ‘Some days I was full, some I had nothing in.’  Initially, this worried Laura as she had cut her work hours to work for herself but it wasn’t as busy as she had hoped. ‘But that soon changed!’

Some of Laura's work
Another significant barrier for Laura was her anxiety and panic attacks. ‘This has affected my business somewhat over the past few months. I’ve had to cancel or rearrange clients due to it kind of taking over my life.’ Driving around a lot and going into stranger’s houses ‘can be quite daunting and can be very stressful.’ However, Laura is determined to beat this and not let it affect her life or business.

‘I received loads of support from The Women’s Organisation.’

Laura was recommended by a friend to receive support from Enterprise Hub partner; The Women’s Organisation to help kick start her business. It was our drop-in event which Laura attended that got her initial business idea started. From there, a meeting was set up with Francine Taylor; a Senior Business Advisor, who ‘Was amazing. So, nice and friendly, and ever so helpful.’ Laura was booked onto several courses at the organisation, including: Planning for Success, Basic Bookkeeping and Become a More Confident You. ‘I absolutely loved every course I went on. I met such amazing inspiring women. Everyone had ideas and was so helpful.’ Laura stresses the fact that these courses are free and ‘Fabulous!’The help that we can get and it’s right under our noses and yet people just don’t realise.’ All the courses Laura attended gave her that boost of confidence she needed to start up her business.

There are two main aspects about running your own business that Laura enjoys. Creating a business in an industry you love is ‘Always great, most of my days are spent playing with makeup which I love!’ Laura’s income is also another factor as she is earning more money than she used to…’So I can treat myself a lot more, which is always great.’

Some more of Laura's work
Laura’s business is continuing to grow. ‘I’ve got my Facebook page up and running, my business cards are a huge hit.’ Laura’s boss has decided she is selling the salon and offered Laura to invest. So, Laura accepted! She is currently in the process of buying her own salon.

This is a fantastic opportunity for Laura as it has been established for 20 years. ‘I’ve worked there my whole time as a beautician so all the clients that come in know me, and now I have somewhere to set up a makeup studio!’ Reflecting on her business progress, Laura is proud of how far she has come. ‘I had very much started to become a plodder with my job, and now I feel like I’m an actual business woman.’

‘I’m so excited.’

For anyone thinking of starting their own business, Laura advises them to ‘100% get down to The Women’s Org, or even just look on the website at the courses they offer…I told my sister and she now has started setting up her own private therapy business thanks to the Women’s Organisation.’

So, what does the future hold for Laura in terms of her business? Laura hopes to become a ‘Makeup artist and nail technician to the stars!’

If you are interested in the service Laura offers, you can contact her using the contact details below:

Telephone: 0174422500        

And if like Laura, you have a passion and want to start up your own business, get in touch with us. Email or ring us on 0151 706 8111

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WoWFest 2017 Brings the Revolution to The Women’s Org for THREE Events in May

For seventeen years WoWFest has been showcasing a vibrant mix of top national and international guests, local talent and communities to promote and share their own writing, art and talent. This year marks 18 years of WoWFest, and we have paired up to hold not one, but THREE events here at 54 St James Street, home to The Women’s Organisation.

WoWFest is Liverpool’s radical festival that celebrates writing, diversity, tolerance, story-telling and humour through controversy, inquiry and debate. 

This year WoWFest 2017 will explore revolutions in literature and art, thought, ideas and practice; from our working lives through to the environment, Black Lives Matter and other new movements, technologies and relationships.

CEO of The Women's Organisation, Maggie O'Carroll, will lead in-depth discussions with two women that have once been at the centre of a 'media storm'. Vicky Pryce and Sharon Shoesmith will offer a compelling insight to the perception of women in the media as they share with us their stories.  

‘Prisonomics: Vicky Pryce’ 
Tuesday 9th May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3

On 7 March 2013, economist Vicky Pryce and her former husband, MP Chris Huhne, were convicted of perverting the course of justice and sentenced to eight months in prison. Pryce accepted driving license penalty points, which were incurred by her husband. She has written and published a book, Prisonomics, based on her own experience, which analyses the economic and human costs of imprisoning women. Vicky Pryce is a Greek-born economist and former Joint Head of the United Kingdom's Government Economic Service.

‘Sharon Shoesmith: Learning from Baby P’ 
Wednesday 17th May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3

In 2007 Peter Connelly, better known as ‘Baby P’, was killed by his mother, her boyfriend and his brother. Peter had been known to social workers, health professionals and police, and his death brought shock and devastation to those who had known him, many of whom had seen him only days before he died. Questions were asked about the causes of his death and the role of a range of services who knew Peter, yet failed to prevent his death. This led to a media and political witch hunt, aimed mainly at social workers, which had far-reaching consequences for children and the social work profession. Sharon Shoesmith, then Director of Haringey’s Children’s Services was sacked on ‘live’ TV by Ed Balls, the Labour Secretary of State, followed by four of her colleagues and a paediatrician. Sharon Shoesmith won her case for unfair dismissal against Ed Balls, Ofsted and Haringey Council in the High Court. She then returned to education, and has published a book, Learning from Baby P, based on her PhD which she achieved in 2015. It explores the case of ‘Baby P’, and the politics of blame, fear and denial, and attempts to understand those processes which were so prominent in the responses to Peter’s death, in the hope they can offer opportunities and lessons for all to learn and apply in the future. 
And finally, the last event will be a celebration of women who have rebelled to reclaim control, whether that be on a personal or a political basis. We will welcome guest speakers; Sabrina Mahfouz, Dashni Morad and Margaret Aspinall to 54 St James Street to offer inspiring and powerful accounts to the obstacles they have faced and overcome. 

Rebel Women
Tuesday 23rd May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3

Sabrina Mahfouz is a London-based poet, playwright and writer. Her poetry collection, How You Might Know Me, explores four women’s lives, connected through their experience in different areas of the UK’s growing sex industry. She has also written anthologies such as The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write. She received a Fringe First Award for Chef and won a Sky Arts Academy Poetry Award.

Dashni Morad, 31, is an Iraqi Kurdish- Dutch singer, television presenter and human rights activist. Her debut album Hela Hupa was a successful controversy, being deemed ‘inappropriate’ by more conservative communities. Her work has been boycotted by TV channels, imams have preached against her at mosques and she has received death threats. Persisting against this negative backlash, Dashni continues to make music with intentionally open Western themes. She presented a talk show in 2010 where she discussed openly female issues, which remains taboo in Kurdish society.

Margaret Aspinall is the chairwomen of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, and has spent more than 26 years fighting for the justice of the 96 victims, having lost her own son in the tragedy who, following The Hillsborough Panel Report in 2012, was named as one of 58 victims who could have been saved had he received proper medical assistance after being lifted from the pen.

If you would like to purchase tickets to any of our three events, please contact the Philharmonic Box Office on  0151 709 3789.

Alternatively, you can purchase tickets online by heading to the link below:

Prisonomics: Vicky Pryce – Tuesday 9th May, 6pm - Tickets here

Sharon Shoesmith: Learning from Baby P - Monday 17th May, 6pm - Tickets here

Rebel Women – Tuesday 23rd May, 6pm - Tickets here

Monday, April 10, 2017

What You Need To Know About Defamation & Social Media

We live in a world where information can instantly be shared around the world in a matter of seconds. Information is freely exchanged and everyone is able to have a voice online via social media sites, blogs and forums. However, this means that damaging, false and harmful comments can easily reach the public sphere where they can be read by anyone and everyone.

We should all put a lot more thought into what we post online if we want to protect ourselves. Although lots of websites check comments and posts for hugely inappropriate comments and foul language, they rarely check the facts.

Anyone can post information with incorrect facts. Before you post something on social media, consider whether there is anything that could get you into a sticky situation, legally and professionally speaking.

What is defamation?

Defamation is basically the act of publishing false information. If this false information damages a company or individual’s reputation, they may feel the need to take legal action. It’s fair to say that defamation on social media is a ticking time bomb, and the best thing people can do is educate themselves about the risks.

Reputations can be destroyed in an instant by careless comments and posts, even when the information shared is not true. In the digital age, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are perfectly designed to quickly share information, but it’s surprising how many people don’t check what they are sharing.

People can go online whenever they feel hard done by or irritated by something and post negative comments. For example, sharing details of a negative employment experience, or spreading false rumours about a competitor who has poached your clients. It’s all well and good letting off some steam, but at what cost? These sort of comments on social media are public, and may come back to bite you.

There’s been a rise in defamation actions and with the increase in social media platforms where you can have a voice, it’s not surprising. The main issue is that a lot of people don’t understand that they are legally responsible for anything they write. Twitter is one of the biggest culprits, and with Tweets being shared at an alarming rate, one little comment can go a long way.

Defamation and social media - things to be aware of

If you run a small business or just want to protect yourself, there are some basic rules to follow.

      It’s always best to seek legal advice if you are concerned about anything you are posting on social media.
      Whenever you do share content or information, make sure it’s correct and truthful. Consider whether it would cause any harm to the person in question’s reputation.
      Educate yourself and be fully aware of your responsibilities online. Speak to your lawyer about things you can and cannot say, and know that whatever you post on social media, you are responsible for.
      Always remember that whatever you post will be publicly accessible as soon as you post it. Anyone could see it and share it.
      Keep in mind that it’s not just what you write that you need to worry about. You can also face issues if you share someone else's post, such as retweeting a Tweet on Twitter. ‘You may not have made the original allegation, but retweeting it could be seen as an endorsement. You could be accused of making a defamatory statement, and you could be sued.’ [BBC]
       Deleting a comment may not protect you, because other people may have shared or saved your comment. Although, the length of time it is visible could affect the amount of damages you would have to pay.

Please note, we can’t be held responsible for any of the above information, each case is individual and if you have any concerns you should seek legal advice right away. Should you find yourself in a defamation dispute in relation to social media, get in touch with Kirwans, as they can provide you with the legal advice you need.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

4 Reasons To Use Instagram For Your Business

As we know, social media is a dominant platform for driving your business. Alongside Facebook and Twitter is the photo based app- Instagram. Instagram allows you to get creative to attract customers for your business. The Women’s Organisation run a monthly course- ‘Instagram for Business’ - that will take you through the fundamentals of Instagram and look at how you can use this growing Social Media channel as a business tool. This course will help you to firmly establish your brand online and by the end of the day you will have been shown tools to create an online presence at no cost. Attending this course and reading our top reasons why you should use Instagram will provide you with vital information to use the tool successfully.

So, why should you use Instagram for your business?

Visual Content:
Visual content is key to boosting your marketing success. Instagram focuses solely on the visual as it is designed to engage and entice the viewer simply by their images. This app offers you several different filters and options to edit your picture that will boost your audience interest. Instagram enables you to produce photos and videos which can be shared to other social media sites as well as being embedded into your website or blog. Creating a unique and attracting photo can increase your audience.

Unlimited Characters:
Unlike Twitter, where you are limited to 140 characters, Instagram lets you have more words to work with. Having a strong image alongside a creative description is a successful combination to boost your business. You can include various hashtags in your description that will reach out to potential customers. Using the right hashtags can help you expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. Your chances of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement are vastly increased using hashtags.

Tell Your Story:
Every business has a story and a personality.  You can use Instagram to flaunt this and attract customers on a personal level. The audience would love to see the progress of your business, your staff or the celebration of your business’ birthday. Take advantage of photos and videos to really showcase your personality and connect with the world.

It’s Fun!
Instagram has endless possibilities for creativity. It allows you to tell stories, get creative, and create a visual identity for your brand in a fun way. You can experiment with your photos and edits to find the best fit for your images. This is a fun platform so take advantage!

If you would like to learn more about Instagram and how this can benefit your business, come along to our next ‘Instagram for Business’ course.  You can purchase tickets here , or contact us on or 0151 706 8111 for further details and prices.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Claire Welch of Dobson Welch Received Comprehensive Start-Up and Growth Support from The Women’s Organisation

With a wealth of experience in banking and recruitment, Claire Welch was an ideal candidate to start her own business.

But some good old-fashioned ‘hand-holding’ was still important to give her the confidence to strike out and realise her business dream.

It was at this point, Claire found support from The Women’s Organisation’s Start-Up and Growth business development programmes via the Local Growth Hub, and two years down the line Claire’s Dobson and Welch office recruitment venture is already exceeding expectations.

Claire had worked in banking for 10 years, and after a further 11 years in recruitment had achieved the role of director and shareholder with her then employer.

But her career took a different turn after meeting Enterprise Enabler; Ali McGrath, from The Women’s Organisation.

Claire explained: “It was never my plan to start up on my own, but after talking to Ali, who explained about setting up in business, I decided to go for it.

“For me, it was a bit of a gamble, but The Women’s Organisation gave me the support and confidence. Without them I would not have known how to set up, because every business I had worked for had been established.”

Claire decided to take the plunge and go it alone in April, 2015, and within two months had begun a business support programme with Senior Business Adviser Francine Taylor.
Their weekly sessions dealt with issues such as, what insurance a new business would need, data protection, and the important step of creating a company website, which is vital to project the right message about what a business stands for and what it can offer potential clients.

“Francine held my hand through the whole process. Even after I had a business plan in place, she gave me advice on financial figures. She would tell me what to do, and today I do it naturally on my own.”

Around this time, and now operating from an office at 54 St James Street, home of The Women’s Organisation’s 54 St James Street headquarters, Claire was asked to tender for a contract with a major client that could be worth up to £200,000.

“Some of the things involved in the tender, I had no idea about, and I was wondering how was I going to do this, but, again, The Women’s Organisation held my hand.”

Dobson Welch won the tender and the contract is a key part of the fledgling business, although Claire adds: “The client is a big part of our turnover, but I know that you can’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

With that in mind Claire embarked on a second programme for growing her business; New Markets 2, with The Women’s Organisation last year.

She explained: “That focused on areas of the business that I had not looked at, like marketing and PR, social media, and my website.

“I wasn’t tweeting enough, or raising the profile of the business enough.

“Now we are looking at digital marketing, which has made a massive difference.”

She said prospects for her recruitment agency are immense: “Things are looking really good going forward.

“I was working from home for six months, and then got an office in 54 St James Street, and we now have five people in Liverpool and one in London.

“We have grown from one person to six people in two years.”

She said this is ahead of schedule in her current three-year business plan.

Two of her staff are consultants she worked with previously: “They have brought a lot of good clients on board.”

She also revealed that during her two years in business, turnover has doubled, and she is already planning further growth: “In the next five years we will maybe have 10 people in Liverpool, and expand the branch in London.

“I love this office, so we will probably take a bigger office in this building,” she added.

And she acknowledged the help and support from The Women’s Organisation which has enabled her to build such a strong foundation for her business: “I would recommend anyone starting a business to follow this course. One million per cent, get in touch with these guys to do it.”

Claire received growth advice through; 'Women's Growth Accelerator' New Markets 2 Programme, which is aimed at women who are running a business focussing on business to business activity in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley and Halton) are who are ready to take their business to the next level, expanding their team and signifcantly increasing turnover. For more information, contact us on or ring us on 0151 706 8111

Insider Media have today reported that Dobson Welch's turnover has more than TREBLED through the securing of several new clients - Massive congratulations to Claire and the team, and check out the full story here!

And thank you to Clare for this lovely feedback too! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Did You Find Out How To Make Food Your Business With The WO?!

As part of a series of industry specifc events aimed at women considering entrepreneurship, we held a fantastic 'Make Food Your Business' seminar on Thursday 30th March hosted by Sabah Shams and Jenny Wallwork. 

The workshop was greatly attended and we received fantastic feedback!

We were privileged to host Nicky Gibson from Scrummies and Paula James from PJ Kitchens. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful speakers for their time and for sharing their valuable experience, along with top tips to ensure your business venture is a success!

Further, Nicky spoke about choosing the right location for your business as well as the legal requirements, and the common mistakes to avoid during the initial process. She also highlighted the importance of customer service and how it's the key to success.

In addition to this, Paula discussed the progression of her business from her Mother's kitchen to a premise and the imperative nature of compromise especially when it comes to altering your business services to match the market demand. Lastly, she advised that dealing with your staff should be commendable as an it will exude positivity and in the long run will have a great impact on your business.  

The morning also included small group and individual tasks to allow attendees to think about self-employment as an option. The session also covered the requirements of starting a food related business including: qualifications, legislation, insurance and much more!

Below is some feedback we received! 

'Excellent presentation and informative'
'Loved the Guest Speakers'
'Friendly and welcoming knowledgeable staff'

We also heard from Nickie after the event and one of the attendees had got in touch with her to let her know how inspirational she found her talk. Nickie then invited her to spend a few hours in her cafe to show her procedures and processes. Nickie said; 'I'm delighted I can help inspire people to open their own businesses, thank you for the opportunity!'

It was a great event all round! 

If you missed out and want to know more about the food industry as an option, please contact us to book an appointment with a business advisor on 0151 706 8111

Thank you to the DWF Foundation who match funded this event which was offered as part of our Enterprise Hub programme, part funded by European Regional Development Fund.