We sat down with the latest North Tyneside Business of the Month, Elly Roper of Seriously Mint to find out a little bit more about the business.
What does your business do / offer?
I am a market strategist and professional nag… seriously! I work with freelancers and small business owners to develop a marketing plan that works for them. If you’re a social butterfly, we explore networking opportunities. If your business is photogenic, a social marketing strategy is just the thing. Then we meet weekly to enact the plan. There will be homework for both of us, and within a few months you should be able to see real results. And during the process, you will learn some valuable marketing skills you can apply over and over again.
What made you set up on your own?
Working in marketing is famously not very family friendly. With two little girls at home, ages 5 and 6, I started to feel like I was missing out. I decided to give freelancing a go for a few months, pretty certain I would end up back in a full-time marketing role before the summer was up. But instead, things took off, and I couldn’t be happier. Now I have the life I want, spending loads of time with my kids while doing work that actually makes a difference in real peoples lives.
What have you found the biggest challenge to date?
Though it’s not nice to talk about, but the answer is… money. I left my job on a bit of a whim with no start up capital or even savings to fall back on. These first few months have been difficult, but knowing that I’m doing the right thing for my family and that my business is growing keeps me going. I sometimes think how a steady income would feel really comforting, but I wouldn’t give up this little business I’ve grown for a bit of peace of mind.
What do you find most rewarding about running your business?
A quintessential part of my personal marketing strategy is networking and getting out into the community to meet business owners. I absolutely love meeting new people and getting to know them and their businesses, their struggles and successes, and trying to be of service to them in whatever capacity I can – whether that is introducing them to someone in my network or bringing them onboard as a client. When I was working in an office, it was the same faces every day, but now I never know who I’m going to bump into on a day!
What makes North Tyneside a good place to run a business?
First of all, the support I’ve gotten from The Business Factory has made a massive difference to my business. As I discussed being worried about money, I had a one-on-one session with The Business Factory accountant extraordinaire Gavin Spencer who set me on the right track straight away. I’ve taken nearly every course they offer, each time being met with the most welcoming and helpful team. The networking events run by The Business Factory and NT Business Forum have given me invaluable connections to other local businesses, which is so important when working alone – you need to have a network of people to bounce ideas off. And finally, I do love to be beside the seaside! North Tyneside, with its scrawling beaches and quirky cafes, is a really special place to call home.
What one piece of advice would you offer to somebody looking to set out in business?
Network all you can! Even if it scares you, get out and meet other business owners… it’ll ramp up your business exponentially. And when you network, remember the number one rule – give give give. Give your wisdom, give your connections, give your time and attention. Make sure your interactions are genuine and try your best to find a connection or way to help anyone you talk to. You’ll realise after a VERY short period of time, that people want to give back – and what they may offer you could astound you!
You can find out more about Seriously Mint here.
Want to nominate yourself or others for North Tyneside Start Up Business of the Month? Here’s how…
Businesses who are within their first year of trading* can apply to be considered for Start Up Business of the Month by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org telling us why you think you should win.
Examples of great reasons a business could win are:
- increased turnover
- new employee/s
- winning a new contract
- taking on new premises
- community support
- running a successful event or
- delivering excellent customer service
*Businesses over 1 year old are invited to join North Tyneside Business Forum and apply for the annual North Tyneside Business Awards.
You can find out the date of the next Business of the Month right here – look for CREATING CONNECTIONS events.