Sefton’s Sarah McCartney saw opportunity when faced with redundancy and decided to launch her own business.
Having spent 22 years in the building plastics industry in senior positions in customer service, key account management, and marketing, Sarah had a wealth of experience to lend to her new venture.
But how did Sarah go from brimming with ideas to getting started?
Sarah told us “The first thing I did was contact Invest Sefton [Local Growth Hub Broker for the borough] to ask what I needed to do, and they suggested I start networking and referred me to the Enterprise Hub to get the support of a business advisor to guide me though the process”. Support from Enterprise Hub partners The Women’s Organisation set the ball rolling for SLMC Consulting – a marketing consultancy specialising in supporting SME’s and Start-ups overwhelmed by the idea of marketing or buzzing with ideas, but not sure how to put them into practice.
Sarah received one to one business advice and also attended courses around business planning understanding tax and national insurance, and events around the keys to business start up with The Women’s Organisation and told us about the support
“The support I received from the Enterprise Hub was brilliant, the best thing I could have done to help start me off. Huda was my advisor and I found the meetings we had every couple of weeks amazing.”
SLMC Consulting has continued to cultivate success in the five months that the business has been running, and has found networking with other businesses through the programme has helped her to build an initial customer base that has led to the business bringing her an income sooner than she had anticipated.
Reflecting on the steep learning curve of going into business, Sarah offered some insight into her key lessons she has learned along the way.
“It is important to get advice but ensure that you take it and make it your own. Not everything people suggest is always right for you and your business. Getting out on the networking circuit has been a highlight which I had not anticipated but it has lead me to meet some very supportive people that have become part of my ‘personal board’ of either people I will ask advice of, or people if feel I can refer my clients to, to provide services that I don’t including print, design, social media, sales training etc.”
Already finding “work life balance” to be one of the key benefits of going self-employed, Sarah is feeling positive about the future and is currently completing coaching qualifications to be able to add an additional dimension to her consultancy services.
Like Sarah over 5000 residents from the Liverpool City Region have now been supported to assess their business ideas and build enterprise skills, with over 850 now launching their new enterprise.
When asked what she would advise another person facing a career crossroads and debating taking the leap into business Sarah said “I would tell them to get involved with a business advisor from the Enterprise hub first. I would then get them to look at what they really want to achieve and to ensure that it must be something they are passionate about to keep them committed. Things take a lot longer than you realise so work to a plan and make sure you reflect on the progress you are making regularly to keep you motivated.”
To find out more about SLMC Consulting you can visit Sarah’s website drop a line to @SLMCConsulting. or connect on twitter
If like Sarah you have expertise you think you could transfer to your own business, then contact Enterprise Hub to access free impartial advice.
Enterprise Hub is part funded by European Regional Development Fund and offers a one door access point for any Liverpool City Region resident who is looking for business support to access free expert help.