What did you do before setting up your business?
My career background is 20 years of HR/Recruitment experience which certainly helps me to understand coaching, handling situations, rollercoaster emotions and business structure. However, it no longer excited me nor challenged me and so I spent time carefully considering which self-employment route to take. Initially I set up a Recruitment Support business whilst I was also establishing High5ers but in time I quickly realised my passion and drive was simply for coaching children through the High5ers programme.
What inspired you to set up your business?
My career was ticking along nicely. However no matter how flexible, understanding or demanding my employer was I actually realised that as I was approaching 40 and being a Mum of 2 children it had changed my career desires, values, motivations and these were no longer aligned to my then day to day work.
My desire was to help more and to have a more practical and rewarding role where I could go to sleep at night knowing that I had ‘done good’ that day (no longer did that mean for me getting through a ticky list and attending meetings after meetings but it was more about genuinely helping).
What makes this business different?
It’s an independent business with a passionate business owner who believes in this service offering 110%, a service that is relevant for children, parents and schools with the sole priority of helping.
What inspired you to enter the If We Can You Can Challenge?
My business mentor, Tracy Clarkson from Tedco made me aware of the challenge and because we’ve built a relationship on trust and understanding I very much listen to her suggestions and value any ideas she puts my way. So I took a look at the website and it seemed so accessible and feasible it excited me as High5ers does need a helping hand like any business to get it out there and growing.
Where do you see your business in three years’ time?
I would love the business to have really taken shape and to have developed into a viable business model that can be franchised.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
Working with Year 6 pupils on the build up to their SATS, I felt as though I had equipped them with suitable life skills which would help them to be as cool, calm, collected as possible so that they would feel good about their test week. Their individual testimonials to High5ers made me feel super proud.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Without a doubt social media! I love and hate social media! I love how it works and helps businesses to grow but I hate the time it has taken me to get my head around it all. It’s been great learning lots of new skills but I have to be honest I can’t wait to streamline this part of my business.
Who/what gave you support or advice?
Tracy Clarkson, Tedco Advisor has given me lots of straight talking yet objective advice which has been invaluable. My Husband has given me support with his years of self-employment experience and also practical support with our family helping with school runs and all sorts so that I can attend meetings all over the place.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own business?
Do it! It is a big step no matter what your current circumstances and it is a big change which can’t be underestimated but it’s a whole new exciting world too. I would strongly advise those thinking of taking the plunge to research their market, consider why they want to be self-employed and if it will fit with their short term and long term plans. I would also suggest that where possible set the business up whilst still being employed to at least gain some new clients before pushing the business full time.
The If We Can You Can Challenge is a competition that recognises and celebrates the best of the North East’s 0-3 year old businesses.
The competition is now open to all pre-start business ideas or start-ups established in the North East, regardless of the business leader’s age or experience.
For information on how to apply, the competition and its benefits please visitwww.ifwecanyoucan.co.uk Deadline for entries is 16th of October 2016.