What made you start your own business?
A few reasons. I really wanted to develop my skills and progress in my career. I had been very fortunate in my employed job as I had many opportunities to train and develop over the years I worked at the company in all areas of the business, then due to a long term project, those varied roles diminished.
I also wanted to be around more for my family and starting my own business meant that I would offer my services only within commutable distances. The third reason was that I loved the idea of building business relationships with people local to me, which was more difficult in a big company.
How long did it take you to establish yourself/the business?
I did this in two stages. My previous experience within a very reputable training company gave me a lot of credibility and I established myself as a freelance trainer within the 10 weeks’ notice I gave my previous company.
During this first stage, I worked purely as an associate trainer for other established training companies (including the company I was leaving). Then, within a year of going freelance I was starting to get my own clients and wanted to create my own brand, so I decided to set up Glide Training Ltd.
Do you have any tips for anyone looking to start out or grow an existing business?
Define exactly what it is you can offer right now, and think about how this might evolve as time goes on. Research the market – is there enough demand for you to earn the money you need to survive? If there isn’t then re-think your offer.
Network as much as you can – as well as it being a great way to find clients, if you find the right group it can become your support network for advice and for finding the suppliers and service providers you will need. Connect with as many people as you can through social media and face-to-face and spread the word to family and friends about what you are doing.
How has it been juggling your work with your personal life?
It is hard work sometimes, but so much easier than when I was employed. I am very organised and ensure that things are in the diary as soon as they can be. I am happy to occasionally work in the evening or at the weekend if it means I have been able to attend other important family events.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Time. It’s a challenge being the one responsible for everything, but I do actually like being responsible for myself. I have a great business support network for when things get tough!
What are the perks that come with your job?
I plan my own time, my own work and I can work flexibly with my clients. I get to meet new people every day and I enjoy finding out how different people learn and how their business and organisation works. I can choose when we take holidays, and if we want to extend the weekend into Monday, then we can!
How do you tend to find new business?
The majority of my work has come from recommendation and referrals. The rest comes from networking. I am a member and manager of The Mumpreneurs Networking Club which is great for meeting both solo-entrepreneurs who attend my workshops and bigger companies for whom I provide in-company bespoke training.
What advice would you give to aspiring freelancers?
If you know you have a service to offer and the market is there, then go for it. I have learnt that big or corporate organisations will buy from freelancers. If your skills and experience are right then there is no reason why you cannot compete with companies.
How can our readers find out more about your business?
Photo by Mi Elfverson Photography