Roni Singh – VA 24/7, Swap See Bay – MEMBERS ADMIN TEAM

Name: Roni Singh

Business Name: VirtualAssistant247/SwapSeeBay

Website: www.virtualassistant247.biz

Facebook page/group: http://www.facebook.com/VirtualAssistant247

http://www.facebook.com/SwapSeeBay

Twitter name: VA247 UK, SwapSeeBay

Linkedin: Roni Singh

When did you start your business and why?

It was whilst on maternity leave with my third child I realised how unhappy & stagnated I was in my current working role.  I realised that both personally & professionally this had to be addressed.  I had always been involved in an administration/IT roles and thoroughly enjoyed my tasks, however always felt I was restricted by too much bureaucracy.  I had always been enthused with seeing the changes I could make to both a person and their role, with the addition of a procedure or automating a function.

I also wanted to be here for my children, so they had the stability and security.

What gives your business the edge?:

I work flexibly where a client can ‘pay-as-you go’ for my support or pay a set weekly/monthly fee.  As I work remotely the employer does not pay my National Insurance, Tax, Holiday Pay etc.  As I’m not directly involved with the company I am able to view their procedures and tasks objectively.   I’m not restricted to work with one type of client and can offer advice to similar clients on recommended approaches.  I’m always willing to share my knowledge with the company on how I do something.

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

I can work around the needs of my children, whilst still allowing my brain some activity and challenge. I become involved with different projects, companies and tasks on a weekly basis, therefore I’m never bored.

And what is the worst!?:

At times working late into the evening and sometimes on a weekend.

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:

In the morning I drop my children to school and entertain my other two.  In the afternoon whilst they are napping or at childcare I get on with my work.  I complete any tasks on an evening.  I’ve an excellent support network, whereby a group of freelancing mums take turns in entertaining/looking after the children whilst the mum does some work.

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

Next year I would like to employ an assistant, which will allow me to focus more on my freelance training.  Once my children are all at school, I would like to secure some office premises.

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:

Don’t put your idea off.  Don’t be afraid to make that leap.  Try to ensure a good support network, especially fellow mums who can offer their support.

Mandy Charlton – Photographer – SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM SUPERSTAR

Name: Mandy Charlton

Business Name: Mandy Charlton Photography

Website: www.mandycharlton.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MandyCharlton

Twitter name: MandyCharlton

Linkedin: linkedin.com/MandyCharltonPhotography

When did you start your business and why?:

June 2007 after agoraphobia and a diagnosis of Bi-Polar disorder, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something and wasn’t useless as I’d been told, I didn’t even expect to make a profit, I just wanted to make hubby and the kids proud of me and I wanted to be able to say I’d done something fantastic with my life, so many people think because of mental health issues you can’t have your own business but it’s perfect because it’s on your own terms.

What gives your business the edge?:

Me!  I truly love what I do, am constantly positive and I love kids and people and recording lifes fabulous events.

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

I get to be so proud of myself and I get to meet the most amazing people and share some of the most special events of peoples lives, it’s a truly happy and wonderful job.

And what is the worst!?:

I beat myself up when I make mistakes and it’s hard not to take things to heart when photography is such a personal and subjective thing, it’s gotten better over the years but I’m so close to what I do I’ve been in situations where I’ve been hurt, it’s all a learning curve though.

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

I’m hoping it goes on to get better and better, I want to shoot more portraits and do more commercial and editorial so that my childrens photography can go worlwide, I’ve had a taste of it with some of my work ending up on baby product packaging in Boots etc and it’s such a proud thing!

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business:

Be happy, positive, reach for the stars and don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes or if you can’t manage to do the tidying up!!

 

Lynn Huggins-Cooper – The Forest House Press, A Case of Wonders and Spotlight Tuition

Name: Lynn Huggins-Cooper
Business Name: The Forest House Press, A Case of Wonders and Spotlight Tuition
Linkedin: Lynn Huggins-Cooper
Location: Gateshead
When did you start your business and why?:
It happened organically. I trained as a teacher and began writing…but you can’t stop teaching if you are made that way! I love getting people whipped up with enthusiasm for their writing and crafts – any creative endeavour, really.
What gives your business the edge?
Creative drive and a passion for helping people to develop into the person they want to be, doing the things they want to do.
What is the best thing about running your own business?:
Working together with my husband – we get to spend lots of time together 🙂
And what is the worst!?:
Taxes, VAT…
Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:
Footling on FB with my morning cuppa; correspondence; making sure youngest daughter has everything she needs for the day’s home education. Writing; lunch with my sweetie; writing again. Reviewing manuscripts from potential authors; planning new creative courses.
How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:
Building a stable of happy authors. Getting more of our materials out into educational settings.
Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:
Be kind to yourself and make sure you have time to actually enjoy your family (not cleaning/cooking/shopping etc)

Kate Baucherel – Galia Digital Ltd

Stockton Business Headshots

Stockton Business Headshots

Name:Kate Baucherel

Business Name:: Kate Baucherel

Website: www.katebaucherel.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/galiadigital

Twitter name: http://www.twitter.com/katebaucherel

Linkedin:https://uk.linkedin.com/in/katebaucherel

Location:Teesside and rest of world

I write, speak, and consult on digital business, particularly in the fields of community management, privacy, and security. I am working in a business development capacity with several digital enterprises from pre-startup to growing SMEs. I’m fascinated by all things digital and how technology is applied in the real world, particularly the developing science behind community engagement and concerns over privacy.

When did you start your business and why?:

I started my first business in 2010. In 2016 my second business Ambix was sold after 4 years of hard work, and I’m now passing on the lessons I learned both as a tech startup and as a businesswoman with 25 years prior experience. The portfolio mix of consultancy, writing and speaking suits me well.

What gives your business the edge?:

I have a unique mix of skills and experience.  I’m a Chartered Management Accountant so I have wide industry experience and understand how businesses operate, and I have taken a tech startup from concept to exit. I love all aspects of the online space and understand how businesses can benefit from using the internet wisely, while avoiding pitfalls.

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

Flexibility and constant change and interest as new topics or contracts appear. Being able to get to the gym regularly, and sort out family matters without worrying about how to explain this to your boss, or using up precious annual leave.

And what is the worst!?:

Juggling irregular income, and sometimes having to be surgically removed from my smartphone.

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:

7am-9am mum: breakfast, school run. Three days a week I work solidly until 5pm either at home or on site.  The other two days are more flexible, either meetings or me-time, and I get to collect the kids from school too.

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

I want to develop my profile and my research. I have goals around speaking – a TED talk, a SXSW panel – and around publishing another book. I would like my work to deliver a steady income stream on my own terms.

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:

Make sure you can switch off, so that when you are concentrating on your family you are not thinking about work, and vice versa, otherwise you will never be satisfied with either.  Be prepared to be rewarded not for your efforts but for your results.

Jill Hindmarsh – Allen Sykes Accountants

Name: Jill Hindmarsh

Business Name: Allen Sykes Chartered Accountants

Website: www.allensykes.co.uk

Where are you in the North East? Durham

We have offices in Bishop Auckland, Barnard Castle and Stanhope serving a wide range of businesses in Weardale, Teesdale and the wider North Pennines region and beyond.

We provide a service that suits you, whether that’s simply accounts preparation and tax returns once a year, or payroll, VAT returns and Sage training on a regular basis, or anything in between. We can have as much or as little involvement as you choose, leaving you free to run your business.

There is no charge for an initial, no-obligation chat.

When did you start your business and why?:

Allen Sykes has been in business since 1961. I joined in 1995 and was very proud to become the firm’s first female partner in 1999.

What gives your business the edge?:

Being able to offer financial services such as pensions, investments and life insurance to our clients. This seems a natural add-on to our relationship as we already know about our client’s hopes and ambitions and the things that matter to them.

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

The variety of meeting and helping so many people from day to day.

And what is the worst!?:

The self-assessment deadline in January.

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:

I have a full time job so I am very lucky to have a full time house-husband who is good at cooking, cleaning, ironing and shopping.

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

The recession has been very difficult for many businesses in the North East but I hope that over the coming years many clients will look to expand and will need our help. Difficult times often lead to business start ups so there will be new clients too.

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:

It will always cost more than you think to get a business up and running so build some extra costs in to your budget.