Last night we were delighted to hold our May Women Into Business Event.
We were especially excited as we decided May means that WIB gets BIG...
We promoted our event through these avenues, set up a very lovely Eventbrite page to take bookings and print tickets. Through all of the ladies who have been engaged with Business Gateway services in the last wee while, we beat our record with 27 attendees at the event.
WIB Got BIG! and we are hoping that it will continue to grow bigger (we are not sure if the hashtag WIBgotBigger will work as well) with the ladies help and encouragement in spreading the news to local start up businesses run by women.
Women into Business exists for any ladies starting up, thinking of starting up, or who have in the last 12 months started up their business - to dip their toe in the water of networking, get out there, make contact with other ladies in business, and learn top tips from the women who have been there and done it.
Last night's event was no exception as we heard from the fantastic Lili Hunter of Lili Hunter Consulting and Eileen Cooper of Limetree Consulting (more on their pearls of wisdom later).
The evening got off to a bit of a blonde start when it came to light that our numpty of a Communications Manager (that's me!) had put 449 union street as the address instead of 499. Nevertheless - out in the rain with a make shift sign and we were back in business!
Business Advisor Gillian chaired the event, ushered the ladies to enjoy the copious amounts of tasty nibbles, introduced our speakers and asked each of the attendees to introduce themselves along with the type of business they were running or thinking of running. It was fantastic to see that we had such an array of sectors and talents in the room: we had… 2 accountants, a florist, 2 software developers, a health and welfare specialist, a cake decorator, a property leasing expert, a mind mapping specialist, an online travel operator, a Business Development lady, a women specialising in language services and tours, an HR & Property specialist, an IT trainer, a lady considering Oil and Gas contracting…and that's just the ones I managed to scribble down - a diverse group by anyone's standards.
Lili Hunter of Lili Hunter Consulting, who has her own practice on 499 Union Street - not to be confused with 449 - which is the Bells Bar!
Lili gave us a brief overview of her career, how she had balanced obtaining her law degrees with having her son, how she'd worked for many legal firms in her time that didn't quite fit the mould of what she wanted out of life and her career, how people had said she wouldn't have time for babies and work! well how wrong were they?!
Lili is a feisty, lovely, hilarious and hard working lady - and even though you'd love to give her a cuddle - you certainly wouldn't like to come up against her in a court of law (she's told us about when the rottweiler comes out).
Lili showed us a perfect example of how branding can perfectly emulate what you want it to.
Lili's branding is bright pink and orange and so is her office (which is why we ladies all love it), but she remarked on the change in people when they come into her office after visiting a perhaps more stuffy counterpart - relaxed and ready to be helped.
Lili's business image is reflected in the staff attire who look smart and professional without wearing suits - she wants her clients to feel like she is part of their team - and for a period of time - she is!
Lili also loves that because her branding has a marmite effect, she can attract the kind of clients she loves working with, which are often butch men - so there you go!
After a spot of networking we were on to our fab second speaker Elieen Cooper of LimeTree Consultancy. Eileen talked us through the vast amount of Marketing jobs she has been through and how other jobs had paled into insignificance in comparison. How 'life is a roller coaster' should be her Ronan Keating soundtrack with the highs and lows she has experience in business and how they have clearly only served to make her stronger and more successful. Unfortunately it sounds like this has lead to her working all of the hours god sends but she was still a bubbly and happy person, so we guessed it must be because she loves it.
The best lessons I feel we learnt from Eileen were as follows:
1. No Budget Marketing: this is all true a reality for many people running their business, that there are not thousands of pounds in the bank to be used up on marketing activities. Eileen urges us to embrace this, use our imaginations, be resourceful, and find better and cheaper ways of doing things.
2. Don't let the down's get you down. Eileen was threatened to be sued by a US company of the same name and as she was without trademark this was a massive panic for her. You can find out more about trade marking at the intellectual property office: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm.htm
3. Embrace the Highs! Eileen was delighted when she was awarded with a Northern Star Award and thankfully had her new name trade marked and in place in time :-)
Marketing - What has changed and what hasn't?
Research is still key - think ahead and plan actions and content
Technology has changed the way we shop
Social Media - can work successfully for some business, especially the business to consumer ones, but not all
That's just a brief overview of what you missed if you couldn't manage last night…but what isn't included here is the fantastic networking opportunities, and the secret titbits of information from these legendary ladies.
You can check out all of the pictures from the night on our Facebook Page HERE
If you want to get the very most out of Women Into Business stay tuned for our next event - or email us on Lucy.Williams@enetrust.com if you would like to be added to our invitation list.
and if you are looking for some resources or help in growing your business - please check out our courses and guides HERE
See you next time!
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