Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Paula James Launches PJ's Kitchen After Deciding 'Life Is Too Short'

Paula James is an expert in making healthy food look, and most importantly, taste fantastic, with her Café and Takeaway; PJ’s Kitchen based in Litherland. At PJ’s (Named so after her full name; Paula James) is a Health Food Café and Takeaway that specialises in gluten free foods and desserts. With the demand for gluten free offerings reaching the highest it has ever been, Paula definitely has her finger on the pulse when it comes to this type of food.

And she is well qualified too as well having graduated with a BSc Hons in Nutrition and Health, as well as having a Business Management BTEC, so she could get ahead of the game when it came to starting up her own business. Paula is also currently re-training in Sports and Exercise Nutrition online. After her training and education, Paula says; ‘I worked for a charity which was working with disadvantaged young people. I had always wanted to set up my own business but I was too scared to take the risk. Until one day I decided that life is too short and I needed to give it a try!’

Something that was incredibly difficult for Paula when she decided to start her own business was funding and where to find it, if even there is any available. With a record breaking number of businesses starting up across the UK last year, and an incredible 6,000 businesses starting up in Liverpool alone in 2014, it could be argued that it’s easy to see why the funding is hard to find and difficult to navigate.

Paula says; ‘I think that there could be more financial help and support for women in business.’, and when Paula was put in touch with The Women’s Organisation and worked with our Business Advisor Yan, she was able to receive some pointers in the right direction. ‘I received support from The Women’s Organisation and had help completing my business plan, cash-flow and forecast, as well as signposting towards MSIF for funding. I found this service very helpful, and I’m not sure I could have done it without the help of The Women’s Organisation!’
As well as receiving advice and support from The Women’s Organisation, Paula took other steps to get the ball rolling with her business; ‘I set up all the Social Media sites and tested the water with complimentary meals.’ The Women’s Org are sure her complimentary meals went down a treat with the type of food that she has displayed on her website! Main meals like ‘The Frenchy – Garlic chicken breast cooked with mushrooms, onions and fat free natural yoghurt’ and ‘PJ’s Fave – Sweet potato rosti with spinach and poached egg.’ All of her delicious treats are available to order and have delivered online.

Paula’s food looks incredible and she says; ‘Our menu offers a variety of nutritious, fresh and satisfying meals, with the added extra of detox juices and even the odd healthy desserts threw in there somewhere, we also cater for Slimming World users, and most of our meals are Slimming World safe.’
With such a large market of health conscious people to cater for, how is Paula’s business going so far? ‘So far, I am breaking event, and I’m happy with this, as I have only been trading for 6 months. The best thing about running the business is the freedom and being able to make my own decisions.’ And if a friend of hers was thinking about starting their own business; ‘I would say do it! You only live once, and what’s the worst that could happen. Right now I am proud of myself, and I aim to keep going, and hope to have a chain of PJ’s Kitchen’s in the future.

We hope so too! Perhaps we can persuade Paula to have a PJ’s just round the corner from our offices? If you would like to find out more about Paula and PJ’s Kitchen, you can visit her website, pop into the Café in Litherland, or use the contact details below!

PJ's Kitchen, Litherland, L21 2PA
T: 07939881993

If you are thinking about starting up your business, like Paula, then we can offer you help, advice and support from our talented team of Business Advisors, as well as so much more! 
Get in touch with us by emailing or ring us on 0151 706 8111. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sid Moore Is Growing Moore Accountancy And Has Taken On Her First Apprentice

‘We have a motto that no question is a stupid question’, says Sid Moore as The Women’s Organisation chats with her; ‘That’s what we want our clients to know.’ Sid is the founder and director of Moore Accountancy which she set up in 2010 in South Manchester. ‘I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the late 1990’s in London, and after spending time in practice, working for Merrill Lynch, time out travelling and starting a family, we made the move to Manchester.’

After taking a four year career break to focus on her family, Sid realised that in order to balance her career aspirations with her family, starting her own accountancy practice was the way forward. Five years on and Moore Accountancy consists of Sid, a part-time qualified accountant and also a recently recruited apprentice. Apprenticeships are a growing trend in the UK, and research from last year revealed that apprenticeships would contribute £34 billion to the UK economy in 2014. For many business owners, like Sid, apprenticeships and apprentices are a fantastic addition to their companies.

‘We are supporting a local girl who attends a local college. The apprentice programmes are great, it’s supporting us as a business, it’s giving something back to the community, and it’s giving us an asset who will hopefully grow with the business over the next couple of years.’

‘The fact that we’ve made a commitment to support a local student has been a big move for us as business. It has always been myself with another part-time team member, but now Ellen is there for more hours than I am, and the group dynamics have changed. She’s really enjoying it, and she has got a real passion for her work. We’ve chosen the right person, and she fits in with our values, so it’s a win win.’

Sid's Team!

 Another reason Sid’s apprentice, Ellen, is such a help to the business, is the extra capacity that she has been able to give to Moore Accountancy. Sid is able to work around her children, their school days and their activities, which for her is an ideal situation. She is able to drop them off at school, and work nearly a full day before picking them up and ferrying them to their many different after-school activities. She admits; ‘It’s a constant juggle, but it’s the only way I could still be there for them, and be doing something intellectual that I enjoy. If I was working for someone else, I wouldn’t be there at all to support them, after working a 40 hour week plus travelling or commuting. Yes I’m compromising on income, but I’m getting a massive lifestyle benefit instead.’

As Moore Accountancy grows, The Women’s Organisation is proud to support Sid and her colleagues. We first met Sid when our Manchester based Business Advisor, Mike Marsden spoke at a networking group which Sid was the treasurer of; ‘Mike came to Handbags and Briefcases last year and spoke about the support that The Women’s Organisation could give, and it really rang a bell.’ At that point we had been plodding along quite nicely, but another injection of support was really what we needed. Mike has given a different focus to what we do, helped to guide us to new information and given us leads to new contacts. He’s helped to mould our new direction.’

One thing that has always remained the same though, is the values behind Moore Accountancy. Sid is passionate about the practice, and the accountants being proactive; ‘This is where we try and differentiate ourselves from other accountants who you might just see once a year and they “just do your accounts”. We want to be more than that. If a client doesn’t know how to record a transaction, they can give us a call and we’ll explain it to them. There are so many accountancy practices out there who are just selling that one service, but we want to be there to support our clients.’

Through growing the business, Sid has learnt a valuable lesson; ‘I’ve learnt that you can’t do everything yourself, even if you want to.’ She admits that she is the type of person who likes to do everything herself, and when she started the business, in an effort to save money she attempted to build the website, do her own marketing, and throw herself into the sales of the company; ‘I then realised that if I spent some time investing in other people, it would grow the business faster. It took some time for me realise that it’s more time efficient for others to do tasks for me if they are better suited to them.’

Even if she still sometimes sits up all night trying to figure out how to make her website mobile friendly! Sid knows there is a line when she will pass a task onto someone else; ‘TO want to do everything yourself is the way a lot of small business owners are, because the business is your baby! I’ve got the same mentality and ideology, but I am learning to delegate!’ 

If you would like to find our more about Sid's Accountancy practice then please visit her website or use the contact details below! If her story has inspired you and you are a woman in Manchester or Merseyside who is interested in starting up your own business, or growing your business, then please get in touch with us! Email on or ring us on 0151 706 8111

Tel: 07542 299 247
 Sudipta Moore
Twitter: @sidmooremanc