How To Get Started In Business

Starting your own business is a big decision that takes a lot of hard work and determination. There are so many unknowns and the possibility that something could go wrong, so why take the chance?

We recently surveyed a group of WiRE members and asked them why they decided to start their own business. Here’s what they said:

Sarah Shakespeare, Saloukee,

Why did you decide to start your own business?Sarah Shakespeare

“Being a pretty independent person with high aspirations always gave me hunger to strive for something more. At University, I didn’t ever think I wanted to start my own business but when I got out into the big wide world and worked so hard for so many other people, I realised that running my own business would be the only way to challenge myself in the millions of ways I do, every day…all in one job!”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started

“After graduating from my degree in Jewellery & Silversmithing I went about getting some ‘real-life’ experience in the fashion industry. I spent time working in Amsterdam, Paris and London, doing unpaid internships and working many very unglamorous jobs along the way to fund them. Then in 2008, I set up alone, founding Saloukee in a shared workshop in Birmingham’s historic jewellery quarter.”

Louise Welsby, Buy-From Shropshire,

Why did you decide to start your own business? 

“I wanted to have some control over how and when I worked so I could fit it around family. I was also incredibly inspirLouise Welsby, Buy From Shropshireed by the number of creative entrepreneurs working in the county, so, together with my dad, I decided to start upon our own entrepreneurial journey.”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“Buy-From started with a group of individuals all working creatively to support small businesses. I soon realised that together we would be a much stronger force, capable of providing a dynamic level of support to businesses. So, I gathered, motivated and launched! Buy-From Shropshire started as a result of a conversation between my dad and I as we are both passionate about supporting local businesses, particularly those who make their own products in the county. We embarked on a year of market research to see what was out there and discovered there wasn’t another business joining the dots between the visitor economy county wide and those incredible people running businesses in the county.”

Cleopatra Browne, Celtic Quest Coasteering Ltd,

Why did you decide to start your own business? Cleopatra Browne, Celtic Quest Coasteering Ltd

“Having worked in the outdoor industry for many years I saw a shortage of operators offering outdoor pursuits as a mainstream leisure activity. It was marketed to the adventure extreme adrenalin enthusiast. Many of the activities can be tailored to suit almost any participant. I saw the opportunity to specialise in Coasteering. Offering adventures to anyone over the age of 8!”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“Starting out as just one a woman and a van. I was able to take small groups and families of up to 8 people at a time. It quickly snowballed! We now facilitate coasteering activities for up to 100 people per day in the summer and operate all year round. I employ a team of 8 guides during peak season and have built a world class reputation for excellence in all sorts from the adventures themselves to customer service and marketing!”

Elaine Elaine Pritchard, Caittom Publishing LimitedPritchard, Caittom Publishing Limited,

Why did you decide to start your own business? 

To be in control of my own destiny.”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started.

After more than 30 years working full-time for newspaper publishing groups, the opportunity arose to take a good redundancy payment in 2010. I never considered applying for another job as I knew the time was right to set up my own business from home. My younger child was about to start secondary school and I liked the idea of being around for him more at the end of the day after years of long, unsocial hours.”

Cheryl Turner, Tao Business Solutions,

Why did you decide to start your own business? Cheryl Turner, Tao Business Solutions

“I moved to the Midlands in 2010 and couldn’t find a job! On 1st January 2012 I started Tao Business Solutions, initially as a Virtual Assistant (VA) but the demand for social media soon took over.”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“I attended my first networking breakfast in late 2011 and was terrified! However, I soon overcame my fears and with the support of Cannock WiRE and other local mixed breakfast networking groups, I soon had clients for my fledgling VA enterprise. I picked up my first social media client via LinkedIn and engaging on a discussion forum – proving that social media does work”

Sarah Lewis, Sarah Lewis EnterSarah Lewis, Sarah Lewis Enterprisesprises Ltd,

Why did you decide to start your own business? 

“I started my first business Lily’s Secret Vintage Tearoom in spring 2014, I started it as I had stumbled upon an opportunity and took the leap of faith from full time employment working in marketing and PR in the agricultural industry which I no longer enjoyed or fulfilled me.”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“I started with a blank canvas of a unit at a rural garden centre. I had my last months salary to spend on furnishing, decorating, marketing, insuring, setting up as self-employed, buying stock and kitting out the kitchen, phew! I learnt fast, went out and made connections, trawled the internet on how to run a small business on a shoestring, and put in long days, nights and plenty of blood, sweat and tears to give the business the best start and a fighting chance in a difficult climate.”

Lucy Newall-Ellis, Ravenspoint Marketing,

Why did you decide to start your own business? 

“I decided to take a big leap and leave Bristol (where I had lived and woLucy Newall-Lewis, Ravenspoint Marketingrked for the past 8 years) and leave my full time Brand Management role working for a large multi-national corporation and it was a huge decision. I wanted to set up on my own to see if the skills I had developed over the years could help and support other businesses and give me a different work/life experience.”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“I knew I wanted to branch out on my own and I initially created my business around offering marketing consultancy services for SMEs. This was the area of business I had been working in and felt most comfortable. However, to meet the needs of my potential clients I needed to expand my portfolio to include something tangible, and website design met those needs. Small businesses like to come away with something physical so I inject my marketing experience into the website design, customer experience, training and overall business journey.”

Lajina Leal, Lajina Masala,

Why did Lajina Leal, Lajina Masalayou decide to start your own business? 

“I wanted a career change from being an accountant.”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“I set up in Oct 2013 after I was made redundant from an Accountant’s role, my girlfriends have encouraged and supported me ever since.”




Kay Heald, Kay Heald HRKay Heald, Kay Heald HR,

Why did you decide to start your own business? 

“I always wanted to run my own business, so when my husband and I relocated to Shropshire, and I was unable to find a flexible part time job to fit in with my young family, I decided to create my own HR consultancy.”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“After attending several training sessions, including start-up workshops run by WiRE, I put together a simple business plan, kept my overheads to a minimum and set myself the target to break even within 6 months.”

Phyl Edmonds, Severn Intervention Services Ltd, phyl.edmonPhyl Edmonds, Severn Intervention Services

Why did you decide to start your own business? 

“I found that I was unable to secure employment post redundancy and after several knock backs I felt I had no choice but to try self-employment!”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“I initially had support from the Jobcentre and attended a short course on setting up a business. I recall taking the plunge and getting an office/practice so I didn’t have to work from home. This was both scary and exciting!”

Kay Dartnell, Wheely Wonderful Cycling,

Why did you decide to start your own business? Kay Dartnell, Wheely Wonderful Cycling

“I loved cycling and the freedom of cycle touring…It’s a very addictive way to holiday; different places to explore everyday at your own pace, and of course all that fresh air and exercise gives a great sense of achievement. We wanted to move away from our office bound jobs, out of London and make sure we were our own masters!”

Tell us a little bit about how you got started. 

“Lots of tourism research, and time spent cycling in areas that we loved and fancied setting up shop in… from Cornwall (too many hills, too far for the short break market and 30% unemployment if it all went wrong), to France (no teashops, pubs) and many others, before deciding on Shropshire; fabulous scenery, little traffic and lots to see and do (also good for the short break market). We started in a shed in our backyard in Ludlow…and then found our base, redundant farm buildings, which we were able to convert into our home and business base; Petchfield Farm”

We would love to know why you decided to set up and run your own business. If you would like to share how you got started in business, email  to submit your own guest blog.

For regular blog and news updates, subscribe to our WiRE mailing list!

Related Posts