Monday, May 22, 2017

Working from Home vs. Working from the Office - Which One Wins?

A surge in self-employment over the past few years has spurred debate around working environments. One of the very benefits of self-employment and ‘being your own boss’ is the ability to work from home - but does it beat the office? 



Granted, working from home has many benefits; no over-head costs, eliminating traffic and daily commute, proximity to home and family and best of all, ability to complete a working day wearing slippers and pyjamas. 

However, we think that office space is still something to shout about. 

Of course, it’s all about finding what works for you and your business. Whilst office space is undoubtedly more expensive, ‘office space’ doesn’t have to mean traditional rented space. In today’s business landscape, an office can be your favourite table in a coffee shop, the library, a hired co-working space – pretty much anywhere that offers WiFi, and in this day and age, where doesn’t have WiFi?

So, what are the benefits of working in an ‘office space’?

Your working-day has a definitive start and finish:



If you are always home, abiding by pre-defined working hours requires a huge amount of self-discipline. When you work from home you never really ‘enter’ or ‘leave’ the office, so it becomes all too easy to have that extra hour in bed or carry on working past your ideal working hours.
On the other hand, time management is integrated into office-life. You will most likely have a generic start and finish time, lunch hours and breaks. Early mornings and punctuality become routine and easier to follow.

Is the work life balance of working from home a myth?:

When you work from home, your colleagues assume that as your home is your office, you are always available. This makes it harder to shut off from work. If you know that colleagues or customers can and will contact you at any moment of the day, you’re more likely to check emails and take calls.
However, when you leave an office space, colleagues generally assume that once you are unable to contact. This helps you to mentally switch off from your working day and detach ‘work’ from ‘life’.  



Interaction with others:

When you run a business single-handedly, it’s important to be out and about as much as possible. We all know the benefits of networking and how the majority of business stems from recommendations. But, it’s important to remember that networking doesn’t just take place at events, it happens in coffee shops, hallways, communal areas, meetings. Being part of a business community, such as 54 St James Street, and interacting daily with various kinds of people opens many possibilities.

If there is more than one of you in the business .. interaction with colleagues:

Sharing an office environment with colleagues allows you to understand the business more – you will have a more thorough understanding of the long-term plan of the company.
Additionally, increased face-to-face interaction is great for staff morale, building a better team ethic and developing your communication and interpersonal skills. 



Increases creativity:

Being able to bounce ideas from your colleagues is great for creativity. Sometimes a ‘silly idea’ said out loud can blossom into a fantastic outcome, and these are conversations that wouldn’t have happened from separate locations. 

Increases productivity:

Distractions in the work-place are far different to distractions at home. At home, a distraction could be dishes, a knock on the door, a stack of ironing, or whatever else. In the office, a distraction is usually still work-related, so your productivity isn’t affected because you are still working.

If you’re looking for the right workspace for you, we have a number of options suitable for all types of business available at 54 St James Street.

Office Space:

54 St James Street was designed to provide a light, modern, welcoming and distinctive addition to city life. If you are looking for office space, we currently have spaces available to fit businesses of 2-5 people. 54 St James Street was developed as part of the 'WICED' project to create a Women's International Centre for Economic Development. Our building is a flagship facility for female enterprise and home to many women-led businesses, for this reason we are looking for female-led businesses to fill the available office space. 



Hot Desking:

Hot Desking is an innovative alternative to traditional office space – it is a pay-as-you-go service with no ties that allows you to hire desk space as and when it suits you. This can be particularly useful if you are self-employed or travelling for business and crave the office environment, but don’t require a full office. To find out more about our Hot Desking services, head to the blog. 



Siren:

Siren is our on-site café and catering partner, it’s also the light, bright and welcoming home to many of the Baltic community who pass through each day for coffee or a hearty and delicious breakfast or lunch. With free WiFi, it’s the perfect environment to pull out your laptop and take in the mellow bustle of 54 St James Street.  



If you would like more information about hot-desking or business incubation, please contact our team on 0151 706 8100 or venue@thewo.org.uk.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

After Redundancy, Katie Dullaghan Didn’t Lose Ambition, She Decided To Start Up Her Own Oral Health Business; Happy Teeth

Katie had worked in the Dental Health sector for 12 years, exploring all fields of dentistry. When Katie was unfortunately made redundant, ‘It pushed me to evaluate my life in every way.’ It encouraged Katie to the extent that she was able to start up her own business. ‘Happy Teeth is an Oral Health Education Services company providing training and education looking after our teeth. I provide education to schools, care homes and other healthcare settings to improve oral health in the local area.’

Prior to her business, Katie had worked 3 different jobs in the industry simultaneously at one point to make ends meet. Katie left school after her A levels with no idea of the career she wanted to pursue. She stumbled across an advertisement in the local paper. From this, Katie achieved her Level 2 and 3 Oral Health Qualifications, working as a Dental Nurse Assessor/Tutor delivering those qualifications. ‘I completed Level 4 PTTLLS teaching Qualifications and working in Management I completed a Level 5 qualification in Leadership and Management. I worked my way up from the bottom.


After taking some time away, during her holiday to Croatia, Katie was given that vital time to evaluate her life. ‘Having time to myself and to really think about what I wanted in life and how I could make a positive change in my field. This encouraged me and gave me the strength and motivation to start Happy Teeth.’

With her motivation and strength pushing her along the way, Katie wasn’t sure exactly where to start. So, she started to think of various things she could do to make a change to oral health. Katie decided to contact the Women’s Organisation for some key advice.  ‘I contacted The Women’s Organisation and attended the start-up workshop with Bernie Cox. From when I entered the building at The Women’s Organisation to meeting all the lovely women attending the workshop I fell in love with the atmosphere.’

“Women inspiring and encouraging other women I found really motivational”

During the start-up process, Katie had completed the bulk of her business plan and met with our Senior Business Adviser; Huda. Huda supported Katie and her initial idea about dental friendly snacks. However, Katie ‘Realised the effects of selling to large supermarkets and with the budget I had, it was not plausible.’ As a result, Katie decided to neglect this idea and instead focus on making a difference, ‘If the population know about how to care for their teeth and what snacks are healthy to eat I can inspire change in this way.’ Katie’s passion for Dental Health grew, ‘So many children and families are unaware of the causes of dental decay and are unnecessarily suffering from it. Dental decay is 100% preventable.

The Women’s Organisation supported Katie throughout her business process. ‘I found the service really good guidance and would encourage anyone thinking of going into business to contact them.’ Since her business start-up, Katie has now signed up to the Business Club and has attended various event that are held monthly. Katie was also asked to speak at the Enterprise Hub showcase in The Atkinson as a guest speaker, which ‘I really enjoyed.’

Being a single mother was no obstacle for Katie and her dreams. Due to her large circle of close family and friends, Katie was given that additional support to push her. ‘I definitely could not have done all I have without the support and reassurance from them.’

So, how is business going for Katie? ‘Really well.’ Katie is receiving recognition for her work and enquires far and wide about her workshop. Her business has progressed extremely and Katie has also written a range of children’s picture books that are used as a resource during her training.

The best thing about running your own business for Katie is ‘Being able to make the difference I so wanted to make especially for children.’ To have the ability to reduce dental decay and protect children from this is the rewarding aspect to Katie’s business that is truly priceless. As well as this, Katie is able to manage her own time and can work around picking her son up from school. ‘I wake up everyday knowing that all the work I put in is for me and my son. For the success of my own business. Nothing inspires me more in the mornings than that.’

“I am so proud to say that I now run my own business.”

If anybody was looking to start up their own business, Katie would advise them to ‘go for it!’ There may be obstacles along the way but, ‘if you push for what you want you can make your dreams a reality.’  Due to Katie’s amazing achievements so far, ‘she can honestly say for the first time I am completely happy in every way. Taking that step back from the 9-5 grind and realising my potential and going for it turned negatives into positives for me and turned my life around.’

Katie’s future plans include expanding the training further and employing staff. She also wishes to write more educational books for children and have them published into a whole library of picture books that will help to educate children and families on caring for teeth. Katie hopes to possibly return to producing those healthy Dental snacks. ‘Happy Teeth snacks watch this space.’

If you would like to find out more about the services Katie offers, you can contact her using the details below:

Contact Number 0151 903 5503
Email: info@happyteetheducation.com




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Liverpool Has Become The Fourth Best Location For Business Growth!💪 So, Why Choose Self-Employment?

Exciting new statistics have revealed how successful the city of Liverpool has become regarding business start-ups. Studies by company information specialist DueDil reveals that 1,469 new businesses were registered in the city in January, February and March this year in comparison to the 1,207 in Q1 2016.  Self-employment is continually expanding across the UK, and Liverpool has soared up to the 4th best location for percentage growth (YB news). Digesting these remarkable statistics then poses the question, why do people choose self-employment?

As discussed in many of the successful case studies featured on our blog, there seems to be occurring advantages to starting up your own business... So, here are several areas of positivity you can discover from self-employment.


Flexibility- Flexibility can dominate the appeal of starting up your own business. Being self-employed gives you the freedom to decide when and where you will work. You can set a schedule that allows you to work at times that suit you and your needs.  It is very rare for employers to set their own schedule, so this is an exciting aspect that many women have highlighted as the best aspect of business.
Passion- What is better than working in a job that you love? Employers who experience the same repetitive and unsatisfactory job may have a passion that they would love to turn into a thriving business. The more passionate you are about the field you are in, the more you will flourish as both an individual and a business owner. Our case studies demonstrate various women who all differentiate in their industries, but all find common ground in the passion rooted behind their business.
Income Potential- The potential behind your business can lift your salary cap and your income directly relates to your productivity. You can make as little or as much as you like, depending on the ways in which you promote your business.  Rather than being capped at a certain salary through employers, you decide.
Confidence-  Being self-employed forces you to test your limits. Taking the plunge into something you are completely unfamiliar with, will surprise you by how much you really are capable of.  The initial daunting challenge of tackling finances and getting to grips with social media channels may knock your confidence. However, once you have overcome these small obstacles, the confidence developed is invaluable.  Our most recent course, ‘Change it: Progress to Success’ works with many women who lack confidence to empower them with the self-assurance to build a better world for themselves.
Of course, self-employment may not appeal to everyone. But, becoming your own boss offers an element of freedom along with the satisfying feeling of achieving your goals. Having seen the incredible growth in Liverpool, could you increase the numbers of success? If you have a business idea, why not get in touch with us on 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Catherine Jones Decided After 25 Years Of Working In Journalism, To Start Up Her Own Writing Business; Catherine Jones Arts

Catherine Jones is a writer for hire within the arts, cultural, tourism and heritage sector.  Prior to this, Catherine worked as a newspaper journalist for 25 years, ‘Most recently as the arts editor at the Liverpool Echo for eight years, and before that I was Capital of Culture Reporter, covering the build up to 2008 and the year itself.’ During this time, there was a restructuring within Catherine’s department at work. Due to this Catherine decided to seek new pastures and think about setting up  her own business, ‘I felt a mixture of sheer terror and elation – a combination which has continued!




After deciding to take the plunge, Catherine spoke to friends who had followed a similar path. They suggested contacting The Women’s Organisation. Here at the organisation, we set out to support Catherine and make those initial feelings of ‘terror and elation’ disappear. Catherine received guidance from our Business Advisor, Jo Mountfort, to discuss her business idea and to set up a business plan. As well as this, Catherine also attended our courses, such as Planning for Success and our financial course on Tax and National Insurance.

“It gave me confidence that I wasn’t an idiot and could do it if I tried.”

Becoming a freelance/self-employed writer was something that had never crossed Catherine’s mind. Having only three weeks’ notice to leave her job, Catherine felt like ‘Everything was daunting.’  As her life was always her job, Catherine felt lucky in a way that she didn’t have any dependants. Despite this, it also felt like added extra pressure on Catherine to really find success in her business. Catherine has always had supportive family and friends who continually supported her throughout her journey.

Although Catherine isn’t currently earning at the kind of level she was when employed, it has only been two months so ‘In general, I am pleased.’ Catherine has already had interest from various organisations who have either hired her for a specific job or have a particular interest. Success!


For Catherine, the best thing about running your own business is having the opportunity to work with different people and organisations on interesting projects. Catherine is given the ability to choose, to a certain extent, what she wishes to do. Considering that three months ago Catherine had no thoughts about setting up her own business, she has attained a HMRC code, business bank account, accountant and having secured work already. ‘I feel I’ve achieved quite a bit'

Catherine’s advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business is to, ‘Do plenty of research, talk to people who have done something similar, talk to people who might be a potential customer base, and ask for help from professional organisations who can guide you through the process.’

 “While becoming self-employed came as quite a surprise, now it has happened I’m determined to keep doing what I love best, writing – and hopefully lots more of it!”

If you are interested in the services Catherine offers, you can contact her on:

Telephone: 07776 492540

Catherine also has an arts website, www.artscityliverpool.com

And if you would like to start your own business or are thinking about becoming self-employed, then get in touch with us! You can email us on hello@thewo.org.uk or ring us on 0151 706 8111