Kent female entrepreneurs inspire local businesswomen with their stories

Friday 29th of September marked another successful Make It Your Business Tunbridge Wells event of 2023. Businesswomen from all across Kent gathered for the occasion to share their motivating business stories and advice. Teresa Wickham, Director of Convent Garden Market Authority, the largest Flower, Fruit, and Veggie Wholesale Market in London, served as the keynote speaker for the event, which was hosted and planned by our very own Siobhan Stirling. The top takeaways and key insights from Teresa and our amazing panellists are shared below.

Never be afraid to ask for help

Teresa Wickham spoke with Make It Your Business attendees about managing and developing complex areas of business, primarily in the food, agribusiness and the retail sector.

A great tip she shared with the room is: “I put my success down to three things: passion, networking and mentors. Passion in what your doing is very important, networking helps build credibility and drives you forward, mentors are there for guidance – never be afraid to ask for help!”

She also said: “There is always an element of luck involved in business but it is all down to how you treat that luck, make sure your creating opportunities for yourself.”

Networking is a must!

Lucy Emes, the founder of Smartist Social Media, a business which helps a range of SME’s stand out from the crowd online, shares her tips and ideas for success.

“Networking is a huge part of building a client base, make sure you get yourself out there. It can be daunting at first but making business connections will really help your business excel,” says Lucy.

She urges the room to: “Remember that you can’t always do everything yourself and that’s okay. Reach out to freelancers when you need extra support. I also took on a work experience placement which I learnt a lot from!”

Empower your employees

Jane Bennett has worked as a solicitor for 25 years and for the last 11 of those, she has been building a niche specialist firm acting for vulnerable clients. Her business, JE Bennett Law, helps clients have lost mental capacity to manage their own affairs. She shares her business advice with the room:

“Make sure you empower your staff, it’s so important. I always wanted to run a business where my employees felt trusted and supported. After working with some people in the past who were the opposite, I knew for my business to be successful, I must do that. Treat your employees well and they will return the favour!

“Running a business is hard work and that is okay to say. Allow yourself to share the difficulties and problems you’re facing with people,” says Jane.

Treat your clients how you would want to be treated

Lynne Gadsden, an award winning Chartered Financial Planner and director of Grovewood Wealth Management lets us in on her secret for success:

“Show your clients you care. I truly believe the reason why the business has been a success is due to the care my husband and I show. Treat your clients how you would like to be treated and remember little gestures go a long way. During the pandemic, we called all of our clients to see how they were, something as simple as that can go a long way.”

The key takeaways from Make It Your Business Tunbridge Wells

  1. First and foremost, you must have a passion for what you are doing
  2. Strive to create the right work/life balance – reach out for support through networking and mentors
  3. Care for your clients and your staff – build trust and support
  4. Turn adversity into a positive

Another successful Make It Your Business Tunbridge Wells event fulfilled! Thank you to The Finance Hub for hosting the largest group of attendees so far for this event. We loved hearing the inspiring stories and business advice from our local female entrepreneurs – bring on the next one!

Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sharp Minds Communications offers brand development, digital marketing, offline marketing, and public relations to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Greater London.

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