Wednesday, April 30, 2014

For Emma Christiansen, Business is ‘All About Podiatry’

Owning her own Podiatry business had always been a dream for Liverpool resident Emma Christiansen. However, the chance came sooner than she had expected when the opportunity to buy an existing business presented itself.

Photo: Jessica Lang Photography

She told The Women’s Organisation: ‘It was the right place at the right time. It came 5 years sooner than I had originally planned, but it was definitely something I had wanted to do for a long time.’

With years’ experience of working as a podiatrist for the NHS and boasting a first class honours in BSc Hons Podiatry from the University of Salford, Emma felt she was ready to take the next steps in achieving her ambitions. ‘Although I took over an existing business, it was a leap of faith to set up in private practice. I haven’t looked back since.’

Based in the heart Runcorn Old Town, All About Podiatry Ltd is a friendly, professional podiatry/chiropody clinic that can cater for everyone’s ‘foot care’ requirements. ‘The practice has grown on reputation alone and is regarded by many as welcome relief from painful feet allowing our customers to feel like they are ‘walking on air’. It has a really positive impact on lots of people around Runcorn.’

With the business being held in such regard by the local community, it’s no wonder All About Podiatry Ltd has steadily grown over the past 7 years. Emma told us: ‘Things are going really well, it’s grown without any advertising, it’s all done by word of mouth. It’s been a controlled growth because of having a young child. When I first started I only wanted to work part time’ and it’s the flexibility and control that self-employment offers that the mum enjoys the most.

To aid the growth of her business, Emma participated in TheWomen’s Organisation’s WeMentor project. The programme paired business women with a mentor who could share their time and experience, whilst supporting them to develop a clear business strategy and improve business performance.

‘Although I already had focus, the programme gave me time to analyse and further focus on the areas I wanted to develop. My mentor introduced me to useful contacts and supported me and my business in the right direction.’

The successful Liverpool business woman’s advice to others considering starting or growing their business is ‘be organised and be patient because things don’t always go as planned, but that might be for the best. Spend your money carefully, don’t rush into anything. Be vigilant, be friendly and be good at what you do. Contact The Women’s Organisation and remember that good customer service is the key to success.’

Emma and her business have just secured a contract with Everton Football Club that will allow her to treat the staff, as well as contracts with Howdens Joinery and Algeos Ltd. Whilst discussing this, she noted how pleased she is with her progress and expressed her eagerness to make All About Podiatry a household name. ‘I am extremely proud of myself that I have achieved so much and been so successful in what is said to be one of the worst economic downturns, without even taking out any loans!’

‘I wouldn’t be able to do any of it without the support of my husband and our families. Watch this space for the “All About” empire!’

To find out more about the services on offer, contact Emma directly on / 01928 576 363 or visit

And if Emma’s success has inspired you to take your next steps, contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 / or visit for more information on the free business support and training available to women in Merseyside.

Portrait photo by Jessica Lang Photography

By Beckie Kinsella 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mother of 4 Rachel Williams Brings Imagination To Life With Rachie B

Rachel William’s business journey started with a moment of creativity when her 6 year old daughter wanted a garden in her bedroom. Eager to give her little girl the room she dreamed of, the mother of 4 began doing some research. Unfortunately the only desirable designs where in America and the prices were very high. This was when the Wirral resident decided to take things into her own hands and start-up Rachie B.

Photo: Jessica Lang Photography
Rachie B creates bespoke children’s themes on wallpapers, doors, tables, safety flooring, glass and window vinyls. The designs can be used for bedrooms, play areas, changing facilities, hospitals, schools, nurseries and libraries.

‘I design on nearly every surface and can create a world for children where their imagination can run wild. Just imagine being a child and walking into a nursery or their own bedroom with their name and designs coming to life. Whatever their passion is I can create it. I have children of all ages and being a mother, I know how children’s minds work but also how a parent feels about designing something that is going to be used in their home or business.’

Although very passionate about her new business venture, Rachel felt she lacked confidence at first. She told us: ‘Staying at home looking after children is another world to going into business. I had to learn to speak my mind, recognise difficult situations and deal with them effectively.’

With the support of The Women’s Organisation’s business start-up programme, Rachel’s confidence quickly grew. ‘My adviser saw a lot of me. She was amazing and helped me go through my figures which was a huge stumbling block to me, as I found it difficult to put a price to myself and then to get the best price for the best quality of products.’

‘I went on the free Business Planning and Building a Social Media Strategy workshops that The Women’s Organisation offered which were a really big help, it gave me the confidence boost I needed.’

Now her business is up and running and quickly growing in popularity, Rachel praises the perks of self-employment. ‘I struggled at first but to be honest I started Rachie B for me. To create something that was mine. I eat and breathe Rachie B and I have an adrenaline rush working for something that is mine. It gives me flexibility and allows me to work it alongside my family.’

With her new found confidence, the mother of 4 is more than willing to share her experience with others considering starting up. Her main point would be that marketing is key. ‘I didn’t realise how important the right wording on your website would be to bring you up the SEO rankings on Google. Find your customers, find your niche and market it to the people you think need your services. Gain as much knowledge as you can and know your competitors.’ She continued: ‘Don’t undervalue yourself, don’t price yourself too low.’

Rachel is eager to share her designs with people across the UK and move towards creating personalised designs for schools, hospitals and commercial nurseries.

‘I want children, parents and the general public to walk into a room or business I have designed and feel transported into another place. I dream of children being able to have a slice of their childhood where their own dreams come to life. I want to be able to give the best service to each and every customer no matter how big or how small.’

Let your imagination run wild with Rachie B’s designs by visiting or contact Rachel on / 07881 741 254 / 0151 909 2560

And if you would like to follow in Rachel’s footsteps and go ahead with that business idea you’ve been dreaming about or are in need of a confidence boost, contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 /

Portrait Photo by Jessica Lang Photography

By Beckie Kinsella

Friday, April 4, 2014

Venture Accelerator: Developing Business Growth with Manchester Women in Business

Women business owners in Greater Manchester can benefit from FREE support to take their business to the next level with The Women’s Organisation.  The Women’s Organisation who have been working in Merseyside since 1996 offering enterprise support to women, are pleased to announce the launch of their Venture Accelerator business growth programme in Greater Manchester.

Through Venture Accelerator women can be linked with a specialist business growth adviser who will offer tailored support to take their business to the next level.

Venture Accelerator Programme Manager Mike Marsden said “The first step to growing your business is committing to it. We encourage women to consider putting time aside and work ON their business not IN their business.  Taking that moment to reflect, especially with the support of an independent adviser, can help you focus on the possibilities.  Running a business day to day there are 101 things to keep us busy and can take our focus away from ever gearing up to the next level.  Developing a plan for growth means looking at what you are doing well that you can build on, and exploring possible new markets.”

Some of the women who have already benefited from the advice of Mike and his team have tweeted:

“Another informative meeting today with @TheWomenOrgManc” Mrs Frisbees All Naturals

“Anyone in the Manchester area has to be in touch with @TheWomenOrgManc for free business growth support. It’s absolutely brilliant!” Excalibur Inflatables

Mike says “There is a misconception that there is no funding for growth now.  All we hear about is the double dip recession, doom and gloom.  The good news is that there is help and finance available for business growth if you know where to look and have a solid plan.  It is a fantastic privilege to open that door for local women and see them get excited about where their business ambitions can take them.”

The Women’s Organisation’s Venture Accelerator programme of tailored support is open to:

  • ·        Women-led businesses registered in Manchester, Salford, Trafford, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Tameside and Stockport
  • ·        Businesses looking to expand through taking on new staff or significantly increasing turnover through accessing new markets

Examples of ways The Women’s Organisation can offer support to businesses include:

• Growth Strategy - developing a clear growth strategy for a business aligned to their needs
• Access to markets – research, business planning, pitch preparation
• Strategic marketing – Sales and marketing development, social media/E-commerce
• Developing effective leadership – building leadership potential, tightening human resources and talent development
• Financial Management - raising finance, bid preparation, procurement
• Linking to Networks & Developing Strategic Partnerships – Finding people or talent through networking opportunities locally and globally, referrals to professional partners
• Corporate Social Responsibility

The Venture Accelerator Programme runs to June 2015 and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  If you are a woman-led business based in the Greater Manchester area and you would like free advice to build your staff team or grow your turnover, contact programme manager to find out more about the help The Women’s Organisation can offer and follow @TheWomenOrgManc on twitter.