Small businesses face challenges every day that can put them at risk and which need to be dealt with before they become problematic, cost money or lead to opportunities being lost. All of which can effect business growth, so it’s no wonder that the UK’s leading business organisation, the Federation of Small Businesses who supports businesses across the country and has its 200,000 members in the forefront of their mind when it packs a real punch when it brings its voice to Government in the UK and Europe.
The benefits package that the FSB offers are unrivalled but attracting those small businesses to the membership is no small feat, so bringing that support to the small business community are a team of Member Advisors, self employed / business owners, are the very people FBS seek to encourage to its membership. I’m Angela Lock and I am one of these people, acting as a Membership Advisor as well as looking after my own business interests.
With an early career in retail management I moved into the world of recruitment and later established my own consultancy, specialising in senior retail operations for both major high street and out of town retailers and preferred supplier to brands such as IKEA, Asda, House of Fraser, Hobbs and the Arcadia Group. Also during this period together with my husband developing a property portfolio, before moving into project management supporting businesses in a range of sectors, including a period in Welfare to Work.
Still having an interest in property but also a love of nature and of the outdoors a recent venture has been converting a cart lodge into a rural retreat which has received a Visit England, Quality in Tourism 4 Star Gold Award and so after being a Member of the FSB for a number of years in August 2014 I became the Membership Advisor of North and West Essex and Herts.
Angela visits businesses across her territory and is among the top performing membership advisors for the FSB, speaking at training seminars and network events as well as visiting businesses on a one-to-one basis, playing her part in ensuring that the FSB remains the largest business organisation in the UK
The FSB looks to business people like Angela to raise awareness and ensure business owners are fully briefed when it comes to the support mechanisms, benefits that it has in place as well as activities and events that it organises or sponsors such as The Business Womens Network summer event. Angela herself joined the FSB because ‘It’s very reassuring to know that when a legal issue arises I can immediately turn to the FSB and that advise is just a phone call away. They are on hand to help in so many ways and although I do not have any employees anymore, I have still found the legal team very supportive of a few personal disputes I’ve experienced. Not only that, Tax investigation Insurance is a real must for any business these days and not only does that FSB provide this as part of the Rights of Membership but its provides peace of mind and the reassurance that one needs as the tax team are there every step of the way and deal with HMRC on your behalf’ . The Federation of Small Businesses also adds her voice to the many other of thousands it has when it takes its messages to Government. Messages that come from the membership through Big Voice, the FSB’s online research community. Big Voice is unique amongst the business organisations, and makes the FSB the Voice of Small Business in the UK
Thank you for sharing Angela, If you are a member of the BWN (which means you pay no membership fee just for the events you wish to attend this year in one go – so we can spend our time promoting you and your business and not dealing with admin, click here to learn more.)
I’ve been attending the Business Woman’s Network for the last four years, on and off, and have found Mandie an inspiration both professionally and personally.
Having been a member of other networking groups and thoroughly enjoyed the ethos of them, I had a lighting bulb moment earlier in the year, remembering Mandie saying ‘get paid to network’. It wasn’t so much the being paid to do it, but I felt that I was carrying out various roles in the other groups with no appreciation or thanks for my time and efforts. So, I decided to put the efforts into my own group and thoroughly believe in our BWN mission statement and supporting business women because we are as passionate about your success as you are!
I’d always come away from the BWN mornings feeling motivated to achieve what we’d learnt at the meetings. 18 months ago I also did Mandie’s “6 week kick your butt” business course and it certainly did that!
It came at just the right time for my business and enabled me to work flexibly around my clients and family life. Well worth every penny, thank you.
I decided earlier this year that I would set up a South Essex BWN under Mandie’s guidance. When I phoned her to ask her, she sounded surprised but keen to make sure it was right thing for me to do… in fact she asked me a several occasions to make certain I was sure!
Having had the summer off of networking, it was a little of a shock to the system to stand up in front of a room of ladies and lead the meeting. However, with Mandie there to support me, it was plain sailing. Fortunately she had agreed to deliver a masterclass on marketing too, so it all went very well with two ladies joining.
Next month I am lucky enough to have Nick Looby delivering a masterclass on networking and after the feedback from the room on the day, I can sense it’s going to be another good meeting.
So thank you BWN and a special thank you to Mandie for allowing me the opportunity.
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org / 01621 680818
Louisa knows The Business Woman’s Network events very well and is one of our positive advocates. In fact she attended the very 1st BWN meeting six years ago.
We are so pleased that she has decided to join us once again at the launch of our Saturday Events with her new venture and here she is telling us her story.
What made you set up as an Independent Scentsy Consultant?
I first found out about Scentsy at a local fair where I was given a sample. I could not believe how much I wanted to keep smelling this little bag with a small wax tester! The fragrance was so addictive and heavenly. I just had to have it for myself. I really was in my element when I had my 100 testers arrive to sniff in my starter kit!
Previously I have had so much trouble trying to find a fragrance that lasts in the house without causing my breathing problems to flare up; Non-toxic Scentsy wax warmers won hands down and I’ve had no breathing problems since.
How many years have you been in business?
I started in August this year.
What do you love most about running your own business?
Scentsy is pressure free and fits alongside my 3 children while I can enjoy scents till my heart’s content. I joined Scentsy because there isn’t any competition and I can work my own hours. Since joining up I have been able to solve one of my biggest problems – not getting enough sleep. I put French lavender wax in my warmer for my daughter and myself and we have been able to fall asleep naturally very quickly!
What do you hate most about running your own business?
I find it difficult to have the confidence to introduce my business and products to people. I know that it will take practice to feel at ease and getting out meeting people will do the trick.
Could you be living in fear within your business? Seems unlikely, right? Well actually many business women fear public speaking, cold calling, networking just for starters. Others procrastinate over accounts or legal matters for fear of getting it wrong, so they do nothing instead. Follow our 4 step process here: Are you Living in Fear?
What benefits do you get from networking?
I used to network in my previous businesses and I made some great contacts and friends, but it’s not just business, it’s a real social experience and its fun!
What was the reason that you decided to exhibit at The BWN?
I attended The BWN’s 1st networking meeting 6 years ago and I was hooked. The women were just like me! Intelligent, interested in similar subjects and so sociable, it felt more relaxed and less pressurized than other networking groups. So for me the BWN is always my starting place when I start a business, the girls give me the confidence to pursue my dreams.
What do you see the future holding for your Scentsy business?
I seek just happiness because when you’re happy, everything falls into place.
Here are the contact details for Louisa and feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter:
Twitter: LouisaGS Media
Facebook: Scentsy Colchester
Website: Colchester Scentsy