Friday, October 30, 2015

Choosing the Right Structure for Your Business

When setting up a new business there are a look of decisions to make, but one of the most crucial is to decide what type of business you are going to be.  

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Here are some key pointers to help you to understand different legal structures:

Sole Trader
  • One business owner, who is personally responsible for any losses the business makes
  • Taxed on a self assessment basis - you will fill in a paper or online form once a year
  •  Income tax, class 2 and class 4 National Insurance are due on the profits of the business
  • A sole trader can employ people so sole traderships can be small and large!
  • Accounts are not filed publicly, you just keep your own financial records for completing your self-assessment
Partnership 
  • Two to twenty business owners, who are personally responsible for any losses the business makes
  • Can have corporate (company) partners
  • Partners are taxed on a self-assessment basis like a sole trader and a separate partnership tax return is produced 
  • Income tax, class 2 and class 4 NI are due on the profits of the partnership
  • Accounts are not filed publicly, though again you will keep your own financial records
Private Limited Company

  • Separate legal entity
  • Limited liability – limited by shares or by guarantee
  • Companies must have at least one director and one shareholder but they don’t have to be the same person
  • Corporation tax is due on company profits
  •  Directors have responsibilities they must understand including paying Class 1 National Insurance as an employee of the company
  • Company accounts and annual returns are filed publicly at Companies House 
Limited Liability Partnership
  • Hybrid between a partnership and a limited company
  • Minimum two partners, no maximum
  • Must have at least two designated members (who assume director responsibilities)
  • Partners are members
  • Partners are taxed on a self assessment basis like a sole trader and a separate partnership tax return is produced 
  • LLP accounts and annual returns are filed publicly at Companies House

Community Interest Company
  • Limited by shares or limited by guarantee
  • CIC’s are set up to benefit the community rather than the shareholders – they are not for profit organisations
  • There is an asset lock
  • Limitations are applied to dividends and directors remuneration has to be reasonable
  • Corporation tax is paid on profits of the company
  • Company accounts and annual returns are filed publicly at Companies House and CIC return is filed with the CIC regulator



Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Before you make a choice it is important to explore each structure’s advantages and disadvantages from the following aspects:

Who has financial liability for the business debts?
What administration is required?
What are the tax implication?
How to raise money for business?
Who makes the business decisions?




The Women's Organisation offer a great course to help you get to grips with the business structures and to understand the complexities that go along with that.  Our 'Should I Register a Limited Company' course is part funded by The Women's Organisation so is available for just £25. If you are trying to decide which structure to choose or are thinking of changing business structure check out more about this course here.
If you are ready to book 'your place visit the events page of our website for latest dates or contact our team on hello@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8111 for more information.

by Business Adviser Yan Miao

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Where is Your Website? Basic SEO Tips

Many business owners want more sales, and the more that come through their website the better! So you have two choices, work on every word, page and the overall site to improve your sites rankings or pay to be seen. Lets take a look at both of the options and here's a couple of tips on us . 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


SEO - Getting your website higher in the search engines.

If you remember nothing else, remember this: just focus on Google. Almost all searches are completed using Google, a whopping 85%. So you're are focusing on Google.what now. Well read the rules of the game. Google publish what they want from webmasters to rank you higher. Start there. Having read the guide we took from it that you should make your site as informative as possible and make sure your site is easy to use.

4 Golden Rules:

1.    Focus on Google
2.    Read the rules
3.    Make each page informative
4.    Make your site easy to use

There's 4 tips, here are 2 more - add a site map if you haven't got one. And focus on a particular search term for each page. A good example is our Virtual Office page, search Virtual Office Liverpool and we have moved from page 5 to number 4 on the first page! We've done it and you can too. You can book on our SEO course in Liverpool for £25 if you want to learn a few more tips and tricks.

Paying to get noticed

At The Women's Organisation we use Google Ads to great effect. We get over 500 hits a month using this technique, and its growing week on week. Remember no advertising is expensive, if it brings the right results.

Think about this, how else can you target people in a specific area who are searching for your product or service at that very moment? You can target products or services to different areas at different times. What's more, you can start a campaign in the morning and be getting calls later the same day.

Two Most Important Take Aways

Number one, do not think about setting up a campaign unless your website is perfect. I mean you never tire of looking at it and your competitors are quaking in their boots. The site looks great, each page is interesting and all buttons/functions work as smoothly as a well-oiled machine.

Secondly, read the guides. That's the same tip as before so here's another, sign up when they offer you a voucher. Every other month we see the 'spend £25 and get £75 for free' - well it's true. We started this way, its free money and gives you chance to practice online advertising.


We regularly run a SEO course in Liverpool. In the morning we focus on SEO and just before lunch cover tips on Google Adwords. Save yourself time and money and learn from people who are doing it and getting results. A place on the course costs just £25 and could save you hundreds in lost revenue from your website being off the radar. Find out more about the course and how to book your place here

by Business Growth Adviser Mike Marsden

'Love Me Tender' - 5 Tips for Getting Tender Ready

Whether you are a non-profit organisation or a profit making business, one way to expand your reach and grow your business is to look for opportunities to tender. Tendering is the process by which bids are invited from interested contractors to carry out specific packages of work.  Local councils or even other organisations will often look for suppliers in this way, so understanding the process and getting tender ready can be a valuable tool to have under your belt.



Are you Tender Ready: Checklist
  • Develop a strategic plan for your organisation so when you are looking at tender opportunities you can ensure the service to be delivered fits the aims and objectives of your organisation.

  • Read the tender documentation careful and ensure that you can meet the quality standards required for the contract prior to tendering.

  • Carry out a risk assessment of the financial, operational and personnel issues related to the potential contract. 

  • Use the financial information you have to help you to work out the costs of delivering the contract. 

  • Ensure you have an equal opportunities policy in place (including details of compliance with race relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act, Sex Discrimination Act)

If you are looking to put together a tender for a piece of work, The Women's Organisation's business advice team can help you to put your proposal together.  Experts in tendering and bid writing we can help you to ensure you have everything required to give you the best chance of securing future contracts. Contact us today to arrange an appointment and receive a personalised quote for the support you require.  Our team can be contacted on 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk 


By Business Growth Adviser Huda Mamoun













Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Raising Finance for Business

It is important to think about the finance your business will need in order for you to make sure it not only survives the potentially difficult first few months, but also that you have the best possible chance to grow in the future. 
The following questions are a useful starting point when you are looking to access finance for business:-
  • How much finance is required? It is only when you have sat down and listed all the things you would want to get your business off the ground that will get an idea of the potential costs. It is useful also to have some ‘contingency’ i.e. in case additional costs are incurred that you hadn’t thought of. If you are looking to raise finance for business development the same rule applies.  Look at the project you are looking to raise finance for and list every cost involved.

  • Where can I go to access funding? This really depends on the amount of funding needed. For example, if your venture needs less than £10,000 and you are in the early stages of business devlopment then a good place to start would be the Government Start-Up Loan Scheme. If you need more than £10,000 it may be a combination of potential lenders. It helps, however, if you have some money to put into the business yourself (or perhaps some backing from friends and/ or family).

  •  How long will the funds be needed? If you take on a loan from The Start Up Loan Scheme you can repay this over 1 to 5 years. For larger projects it may be possible to repay loans over 10 or more years. It very much depends on both the amount of the loan and what the monies were needed for.

  • What if things change and I need additional finance? As long as you can demonstrate that you are running the business well, you may be able to access further finance to assist your growth plans. This is why it is important to have a good business plan in the first place and also to monitor how well you are doing compared against your plan. 

  • How can I make my finances better? This can be difficult to answer, but there are some common sense principles that cover most types of business. For example, keep on top of your credit control (make sure your customers pay you promptly); try to keep stock levels as low as possible (but making sure you don’t run out of stock!!); keep up-to-date with the latest opportunities (for example when local councils may be inviting companies to tender for work). 

If your business is looking for debt finance then a well-written business plan is definitely a must. This will demonstrate how your business will be able to meet the interest charges and repay the capital element of any loans.

Whether you are looking for finance to start or grow an existing business, The Women's Organisation are experts in helping businesses to develop a business plan and access finance.  For advice around the best financial options for you and guidance to build a robust business plan contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk.

This Global Entrepreneurship Week we are running a special finance advice clinic where businesses who are looking to grow can meet with our finance expert to look at raising finance. Appointments can be booked for Monday 16th November by contacting our team.  More details about this here.  If you need help more urgently though, don't hesitate to get in touch and we will look at how we can accomodate you. 

by Business Growth Adviser John Jones




Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Did You Manage Your Business Relationships With The W.O Business Club?

We knew with such fantastic members of The Women’s Organisation Business Club, following our BIG launch event last month wouldn’t be too tough. And we weren’t wrong – this morning we held our second Business Club event, Manage Your Business Relationships and were wowed again by the number of great business women who braved the rain and cold and came for a morning of networking with us.


We were joined by our sponsors, Mitchell Charlesworth and were happy to host Paul Durrance, Philip Ward, Gemma McCaldon-Gower and Louise Casey. Louise was to be giving our first talk on managing your business relationships, specifically focussing on their area of expertise; managing your relationships with your finances, as well as your accountants and advisers.

After we heard from Louise, Trainer Bernie introduced our next Guest Speaker; Zoe Richards who made sure we were all awake and invigorated by getting us up on our feet and showing us our ‘Wonder Woman’ pose. Feet apart and chin and head raised which is sure to put you in a powerful, assertive and confident mind-set, just by staying in this position for a couple of minutes! Zoe talked about the voices in our head, the ones that are proud, or makes our doubt ourselves, which she called ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wobble’, and told us great stories about business mistakes and failures she had experienced which made her the person who she is today.



And of course, as always, there were lots of time for networking and cups of tea and coffee. The room was full of our Business Club Members and guests coming to see what we are all about! At our Business Club events we always invite our Members to be a Featured Business for the day, giving them a shout out in the run up to the event and after, and give them a table at the event to showcase their business. 


For our Manage Your Business Relationships our featured businesses were…Helen Klepper from C4P Management which provides HR advice and guidance, training and management development. As well as this we were joined by Ann Marie-Mason from Creation Communication, who can help you build your online identity, write creative content and manage your Social Media. We were sad to hear that our third Featured Business, FabulousFrost Fair couldn’t make it to the event, but make sure you check out their website because they’ve got a big event which is going to be great this Christmas!

So! Our second Business Club event finished, and it was another success. We’ve had some great feedback from our guests and are always looking at ways to make sure our events get better and better every time! A big thank you to everyone who came  to Manage Your Business Relationships, Zoe Richards, our Featured Businesses and, of course, our sponsors; Mitchell Charlesworth!

Remember! We’ve got 3 great events happening in November that you need to put in your diary and they are…







Sarah Williams Conquered Everest And Now Is Conquering Starting Her Own Business - Tough Girl Challenges...

We thought we were supposed to be the inspiring ones? Well wait until you meet Sarah Williams from Tough Girl Challenges, 100 miles per hour, full of energy and passion for life, she might just be one of the most motivational and inspiring women The Women’s Organisation has ever interviewed! Now that’s a lot to live up to…

The story starts off pretty grey though! Sarah used to live and work down in London and spent eight years working in banking which she describes as something that began to frustrate her; ‘It was all about waking up in the morning at 5:45am, getting on the tube, commuting to Canary Wharf, and staying in the office all day. And I just wasn’t very fulfilled in what I was doing.’ Although on the surface of things, Sarah was doing fantastically, she was being promoted, getting pay-rise’s and bonuses, but she knew deep down that it wasn’t what she wanted.

Initially she combated this feeling though running; she completed the London Marathon five times (YES! Five times!), but still wasn’t feeling the sense of satisfaction inside. And here is where the story gets really interesting. Sarah begins to make change after change in her life. Doing more charity work, working with UN Women and Women for Women International, and it was here she finally found what she was looking for, that personal enjoyment that she was after. It came from motivating, and inspiring others, especially women and girls, in tough situations. Sarah says; ‘It all sort of came to a head about then, I knew I had wanted a change for a while. So when I was 31 I quit my job and decided to go travelling for a year.’ Sarah headed off to Australia, South America, did a Ski Season for 6 months in Switzerland, and…Wait for it…Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!

At this point Sarah realised that she could return home and would be in the position of explaining to future employers what she had spent the year doing and how it would impact would the future could hold. ‘I couldn’t turn round to employers and say; “I’ve had an amazing twelve months travelling the world” I needed to have done something productive. So I ended up writing a book about climbing Kilimanjaro’ after writing this book, she went on to write another one about her time spent as a Chalet Host. ‘So many people were asking me what it was like, so I wanted to share my experiences.’

And what was it like? For anyone who has ever done Chalet Hosting, knows as well as Sarah does, that it is one tough job! ‘It’s possibly one of the most physically demanding jobs I’ve ever done. You’re up at 7am and you go up to the chalet and cook breakfast for 10 people before tidying the whole chalet and then cook afternoon tea. At that point you are free between 12 and 6, and it’s a choice between sleeping and skiing. Of course, I generally choose skiing! Then you come back and would cook a four course meal. It’s very demanding.’ 
So when Sarah returned home, what was the next step for her? For the woman who has so much under her belt, loves adventures and is passionate about motivating and inspiring, her own business seemed the best option. ‘I’d been thinking for a while that I wanted to start my own company, well I thought let’s start Tough Girl Challenges, which is basically all of my passions and all of my loves combined. I love adventure, I love travel, I love pushing myself both physically and mentally, so that’s where Tough Girl Challenges came from.’
Tough Girl Challenges is a multi-layered business and is ever expanding as Sarah finds more opportunities to get involved with. There’s the blogging, the fitness, the book-writing and so much more. 

One aspect of the business is Sarah going to visit schools, specifically girl’s schools to speak to them and give motivational talks about challenging yourself, pushing yourself and stepping out of your comfort zones. And if there is anymore more apt to speak on this topics, then we’d struggle to think of them! Sarah has run marathons, travelled the world, bungee jumped, sky dived, climbed a live volcano and cycled down the world’s most dangerous road. 

‘Talking to the girls is really interesting, because some of them might tell me that they want to be a pastry chef in France, which is great and really interesting! But then you might have a few from the other end of the spectrum who will say that they want to be a reality TV star, or the wife of a footballer. And it’s almost as if it’s down to the lack of belief that they can do so much better with their lives. And sometimes all it takes is for someone to come in, and something might click in their heads and they can understand how much more they can do.’

A lot of Sarah’s success comes down to the way she prioritises her time, and for her, one thing that works really well, is to set herself goals. When Tough Girl Challenges website launched in December she wanted to become more connected with her local community and set herself the challenge of doing 100 motivational talks in schools. To help her on her way, she knew she needed to start networking more, and that’s how she found out about The Women’s Organisation and began to attending our networking events. From there she met with Senior Business Adviser, John Jones, who she works with to focus on the business aspects of the business. 

The best thing about working with John, for Sarah, is that it gives her another goal, using her meetings with him as targets to get things done by. ‘Working for myself, that’s one of the things that I struggled with, because when something comes up, it’s too easy to push another thing back and reallocate. Having a Business Adviser meant I had accountability, and having a meeting meant I had a firm deadline to get things done by.’ 

So what does the future hold for Tough Girl Challenges? Most recently Sarah has been storming the internet with her Tough Girl Podcasts which she started this summer. These podcasts came from a frustration that she found at opening the sports pages and continually seeing no women there. 
Whereas on Twitter she could see incredible women doing incredible things, that nobody really knew about. ‘I know of a woman cycling across Australia, there’s a 92 year old woman who has just run a marathon, a woman who is skating across Amsterdam. There are all of these women doing fantastic challenges and they never get the publicity’

So Tough Girl Tuesday’s is born! Sarah will be interviewing some of these great women facing great challenges, and she hopes to expand these into bi-weekly podcasts too. The Tough Girl Podcast got to the Number 1 Slot in iTunes for New & Noteworthy for Sports & Hobbies, and Personal Journals.

As well as this Sarah spoke on Bay TV’s show; 52% with another speaker from the This Girl Can campaign, on motivation and inspiration and says; ‘Even if just one person watched that and thought, do you know what, I’m going to go for a walk today, or I’m going to turn off the TV and read a book, then I’ll be really pleased!’ You can watch Sarah speak on 52% here, and she is now a regular panelist on the show! 

All in all, Sarah Williams is one tough cookie, and it’s great to see her inspiring women and girls to face their challenges and step outside their comfort zones. We can tell you that even after interviewing her, we felt that little bit more powered up to go out there and do something great! 

Website
Twitter - @_TOUGH_GIRLS
Facebook - ToughGirlChallenges
Email - sarah@toughgirlchallenges.com
Bay TV Interview

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

In The Media: The Women's Organisation Help Over 300 Businesses to Start-Up

This week The Women's Organisation's annual accounts were published, and as a result the Liverpool Echo took the opportunity to raise awareness of some of their achievements over the last year.



Key figures show that in 2014 The Women's Organisation:


  • Helped 321 women to become entrepreneurs
  • Had 100% occupancy at 54 St James Street - their business centre opened in 2011
  • Had 83 virtual tenants of 54 St James Street

Already this year The Women's Organisation have helped over 1000 women through their training and development programmes and are anticipating another successful year of business start and growth figures.  Turning 20 next year, The Women's Organisation look forward to reflecting on 20 years of supporting women's economic deelopment locally, nationally and internationally.

For the full article in Liverpool Echo click here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Looking to Raise Finance for Your Business?

Are you one of those businesses with secret ambitions or frustrations that only an injection of finance would solve?  



We meet so many businesses who are looking at ways to:·
  • Purchase, refurbish or extend premise
  • Develop product lines or fund research
  • Invest in vehicles and equipment
  • Take on new staff
  • Review current borrowing arrangements to see if savings can be made
If this is you then our finance expert Ali is exactly the person you need to speak to!  With a background in business banking and having run her own financial consultancy for many years, Ali not only understands the different options available, but can help businesses to understand what lenders are looking for and how to prepare your business for raising finance.

This Global Entrepreneurship Week we are offering a brilliant opportunity for businesses to come and have an initial free chat with our consultant Ali to discuss their finance needs and get some valuable advice. Ongoing support is available to help you to follow up her advice and put together an application for finance if you decide you want to go ahead. 

Appointments will be available on Monday 16th November 9.30am-5.30pm.

You MUST pre-book your appointment with our team by calling 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk

More information about this event can be found on eventbrite.

Need help more urgently? Get in touch with our team and we will see how we can assist.  Contact 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk

Rosie Jamieson Faced Adversity And Overcame Obstacles To Support Her Family

Rosie Jamieson has had an interesting year, and her story is different to the stories that we are often told. This story is an incredible one of perseverance in the face of difficult circumstances. 

Rosie had, as she says herself, her dream job working as a Footwear Designer for twenty years; ‘There are very few jobs where you can travel the world, shop the world and draw pretty pictures for a living, so that was really lovely!’  Rosie ended up as Design Director for that company, working with a team of six designers, doing what she really loved best. When her husband, Phill, received the offer of a new job in Amsterdam, this was the point where things began to change. Rosie and her husband, with their young son and daughter decided to give it a shot, move to Amsterdam and try out ‘A European experience.’

Phill was to start working for MEXX, the fashion company similar to Zara and Mango, becoming their Head of Marketing. ‘We moved over there in the last week of July, and started finding our feet in the school holidays with my daughter starting school at the end of August.’ – And then the unthinkable happened. Rosie’s husband suffered from a serious stroke which resulted in his speech and language become severely blocked, and the family returning to England after only 2 months. 


Rosie and her family decided to move to Liverpool, as this is where her husband was born and grew up, and where the rest of his family still live; ‘He’s got a big family, so that support network was obviously important to us at that point in time.’ Their original plan for Amsterdam was that Phill would work and Rosie would take a break to settle their family into their new way of life, before pursuing one of her interests like upholstery and soft furnishings to bring some income in, but not be the main bread-winner as she had been previously. 

Now that so much had changed, there were many choices to be made, and at first one of self-employment and starting a business seemed the right thing for Rosie and her family. Rosie came to The Women’s Organisation to gain support and advice in starting up her new business venture; Social Media Mama, which would provide Social Media Marketing support and training for small businesses and sole traders. 

But yet another twist was to happen in Rosie’s year … as she prepared to get started with Social Media Mama, in which she would be supported by Phill, the marketing expert, a new opportunity arose here in Liverpool. Rosie found a job in Footwear Design! ‘I was very fortunate to find out that the footwear brand, Hotter, were considering advertising for a Designer and that the Design Director, Ian Spedding, was actually my very first boss from my first Footwear Design job at Hush Puppies – he employed me exactly 20 years ago when I was straight out of university, and did so again this summer!’ 

Hotter’s Head Office is based at their factory site in Skelmersdale, which manufactures more pairs of shoes per year than any other shoe maker. Hotter now have 70 stores around the UK and a huge catalogue and website business in the UK, America and Germany, and Rosie is delighted to have found something so perfect for her, so close to her new home here in Liverpool! ‘It’s a really exciting challenge for me to work for a brand like this, using my existing 20 years footwear experience and skills but learning new areas of manufacture and target market and styling at the same time.’


At the moment, Rosie has been working for Hotter for over a month and is enjoying her time there, and one of the best parts about it is that there will be much less overseas work and travel then there was in her previous job, giving her more time to spend with her family and have a better work/life balance.

Although Social Media Mama is on hold for now, in her short time running the business, Rosie wrote a double page spread for LINK magazine, worked on a website for author Tracy Bloom and worked on the Social Media presence for Spa Rose Lane Beauty Clinic, and hopes in the future that it can make an appearance again. 

Rosie says; ‘Hopefully the financial stability that this job brings for our family will allow Phill to fully access all the support that he needs to make as full a recovery as possible from his stroke. Stroke recovery is a slow and often frustrating process for the survivors as well as the surrounding family, but we are fortunate that Phill continues to show encouraging progress. My children are adjusting well to my working full-time and are forging stronger bonds with Phill again which is lovely for us all.’

Looking back at the year that Rosie and her family have had, it’s safe to say that nothing is ever certain and your whole life can change in the blink of an eye. From moving across Europe, to starting the journey of self-employment to finding your perfect job right under your nose, all the while supporting your family when they needed support most – we think Rosie is an incredible woman with an incredible story to tell, and we wish her all the best for her future…

Thursday, October 15, 2015

WIN an Ultimate Business Bundle Worth £250!!!

The Women's Organisation are offering you a unique opportunity to win a package of support for your business.  Our Ultimate Business Bundle gives you access to 5 training courses that can help you or a member of your team to further their skills around business, finance and marketing.  This brilliant package will be offering FREE to ONE LUCKY WINNER!  The topics our winner will be able to choose from will be:
To enter, simply look out for the competition flyer (as shown below) being posted on our facebook page or Twitter.  You must follow 3 simple steps to be entered into the draw:

STEP ONE: When you see the post 'like' it if on facebook or 'favourite' on Twitter
STEP TWO: Share the post on facebook or Retweet on Twitter
STEP THREE: Email 'WIN' to hello@thewo.org.uk letting us know your name (if you have done steps one and two on facebook) or your Twitter ID so we can verify you have done all 3 steps.

You will need to have completed all 3 steps by 31st October 2015 at 5pm to be entered. A winner will be announced on Monday 2nd Nov.  Good Luck!




If you are interested in finding out more about our Ultimate Business Bundle visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk/businesstraining for more info.

*Please note, by emailing 'WIN' to hello@thewo.org.uk you are agreeing to your email address being added to The Women's Organisation's mailing list.  If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please follow the unsubscribe links in any of our mailouts, or email 'REMOVE' in response. For full terms and conditions of this competition contact our team.

Why Instagram for Business? Abi's Quick Tips


Instagram is becoming a favourite platform for our Engagement and Marketing Officer Abi Inglis. But why is it good for business marketing?  Watch this quick video for a few handy hints.

You can meet Abi and take advantage of her knowledge on the photo sharing tool on our 'Instagram for Business' course.

Want to book online?  Click here for Instagram course tickets for Monday 2nd November 10am-1pm

6 Steps to Successful Business Leadership

Starting your own business means from day one you are leading from the front.  At The Women's Organisation we recognise that women can make fantastic leaders and statistics show that businesses with women in leadership roles perform better! But what are the keys to getting the most out of your team and being a strong leader?

Here are some of our tips:


1. Have a Clear Strategy 



For others to follow you, they need to understand where you are headed.  Getting plans on paper in terms of business direction, marketing plan, cashflow forecast will really help your team to understand what you are trying to build and how you envisage getting there.  That old expression 'singing from the same hymn sheet' is crucial in business. Nothing more damaging to a business than staff who don't understand your brand or business needs.  They will quickly be portraying the wrong message to clients and prioritising the wrong tasks.  We offer training to help you develop a clear business plan, social media marketing strategy and finance systems, so get in touch if you need guidance. 

2. Employ People Better Than You 



We've been fortunate to have Edwina Dunn (Co-creator of Tesco Clubcard) visit us here at The Women's Organisation on a number of occasions and this is one of the more memorable pieces of advice she gave the women here. Sometimes we feel like we need to do everything ourselves, particularly when we have developed a business from being just us to gradually expanding to having a team.  Trusting other people to take as much care as us can be hard.  But it is important to realise there are people who are better at marketing, finance, operations, sales etc. than us.  Those are the people we want, not those you need to micro manage.  Allow good staff the freedom to make their mark. 

3. Encourage and Develop 




Richard Branson recently said "If you look after your staff, they will look after your customers" challenging the idea that a business should always put customers first. If you think about what he is saying it does make sense.  A happy workforce will reflect that to your customers and that will of course lead to them giving the best service to them. It's important to listen to your staff team, find ways to encourage and reward them.  It's amazing how far a bit of recognition can go. Listening to their training needs and responding prevents frustration and makes employees feel valued that you have invested time in their professional development.  Check out some of our training and development at www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk/businesstraining to see if any of our courses would be beneficial to your team.

4. Evaluate and Adapt 



The most successful entrepreneurs aren't scared of failure and don't settle for 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'.  They will keep learning and growing and making things better before they get to 'broke'.  You don't need to keep re-inventing the wheel, but investigating regularly if there are ways you can work smarter, keeping an eye on emerging markets will keep you ahead of your competitors.

5. Step Back to Step Forward 



Sometimes the best thing you can do for your business is to take some time out.  You can get so busy keeping everything going that you forget to lift your head up to see what is ahead.  Having a staff away day, or taking time away from the team to meet with a business coach or mentor can help you to look beyond the day to day and focus on the future. If you would benefit from a listening ear and sounding board for your business get in touch with our business advice team via 0151 706 8111

6. Promote Your Successes



Look for PR opportunities such as releasing a press statement when you reach certain business goals, or put yourself forward for business awards.  Getting a bit of recognition for your business achievements will not only remind customers why they should come to you, but it will encourage your team and yourself! Sometimes we need reminding that we are doing great things.  A positive leader will filter their positivity to a hard working team.


If these tips have made you realise that you could benefit from some guidance to build a clear strategy, or if you would like to take some time out to meet with a business coach to reflect and develop get in touch on 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk.  Our team can offer you a bespoke quote for one to one coaching based on your needs. If you are just looking to develop key skills for yourself or your team then check out our £25 courses at www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk/businesstraining 


Baltic Schmooze to Launch This Month in the Baltic Triangle

Creative / Industrious / Pioneering >> The Baltic Triangle ... home to Liverpool’s emerging cluster of creative & digital industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs. Schmooze is the Baltic’s new quarterly networking event which aims to join up the dots and bring the community together to foster collaboration and become a catalyst for business.  The Women's Organisation and 54 St James Street are proud to be part of the Baltic Triangle community and excited to support this event. 



The inaugural Schmooze takes place on Thursday 29th October 2015 5-8pm at The Baltic Social, Elevator Studios. 


Theme: Alternative Finance featuring guest speakers...

18:00-18.05 - Welcome! Mark Lawler (Chair, Baltic Triangle Area CIC)

18:05-18:20 - Annie O’Toole (Founding Director, JUXDIT)
  • International crowdfunding consultancy & creators of Europe's first marketplace for succesfully crowdfunded products. www.juxditagency.com
18:20-18:35 - Eileen Halligan (CEO, Central Liverpool Credit Union)  
  • A not-for-profit financial co-operative owned and run by and for its members. Our business loans are ideal for small businesses that have a need for financing to take their business to the next level.www.centralcu.co.uk
18:35-18:50 - Andy Davidson (Partner, Livewire Capital)  
18:50-19:00 - Leon Rossiter (Trustee, Awesome Foundation Liverpool)  
  • A fun way of giving £500, no-strings-attached mini-grants to cool projects that will make the world - and Liverpool - more Awesome! www.awesomefoundation.org

Free drink on arrival (while it lasts) so get there early or miss out!


Book tickets online now via eventbrite.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week with our Pioneering Women Digital Masterminds!

Join us this Global Entrepreneurship Week for 'Pioneering Women - a Business Digital Mastermind' with our panel of experts who will lead a discussion on how entrepreneurs can harness the power of the digital world to 'make things happen' for successful business development.

This session reflects and promotes key findings from recent research into the use of digital technologies undertaken by The Women’s Organisation and partners as part of the Erasmus+ DIGA project.  



Confirmed Panel Members include:

Nisha Katona - Founder 'Mowgli'

Before this culinary experience burst onto Bold Street people were buzzing with desire to try their "Indian home cooking, unplugged".  A strong digital marketing campaign started the wave and Nisha built the buzz into a thriving business. Find out how she did it and her tips for your business.

Ngunan Adamu - BBC Radio Merseyside Presenter
In the digital age it is essential for journalists to link into social media to keep ahead of the next breaking story. Ngunan will share her insight into how the media utilise social media to connect with their audience, find interesting content to feature, and just how businesses need to get in on the act and grab their attention.

Rebecca and Chelsea AKA Liverpool Girl Geeks

Liverpool Girl Geeks are on a mission to decrease the widening gender gap in the tech sector. Utilising all their inner digital geekisms they share their knowledge with women in Liverpool to encourage them to further their digital skills fear free. Find out what their top techy tips are.

Judith O'Brien - Owner Bold Online Marketing


With more than 10 years experience in the field of Digital and IT, Judith O'Brien is the definitive Digital Mastermind. Her latest venture Bold Online Marketing is a Digital Marketing Agency who support businesses in all aspects of online marketing from branding through developing a website and social media presence to understanding the dreaded world of SEO. What she doesn't know about digital isn't worth knowing!

WHEN: Wednesday 18th November 6pm-8.30pm
WHERE: The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB

Tickets to this event are free and open to any women who would like to join us to pick the brains of our digital panelists and network with other local businesses.
HOWEVER, if you would like to make a donation for your ticket to help to support The Women's Organisation's charitable work, helping to support the economic position of local disadvantaged women then do please select the donation ticket option when booking.  We would suggest a minimum donation of £5, but you may choose to donate more at your discretion.




DIGA Research Launch
The Women's Organisation are pleased to launch research findings from our 'DIGA' digital innovation project at this event.  Our team will be around to further dicuss research and more about our project development. For more about DIGA visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk/projects-and-partnerships/diga






We would like to thank Business Club Headline Sponsors Mitchell Charlesworth for helping to make this event possible.