September 2018 saw our biggest Start-up Day yet, a day of free talks, workshops, tailored advice, speed mentoring and more, not just in London but throughout our National Network. Our flagship event is designed to help the thousands of people around the country who have a business idea, but aren‚Äôt sure how to turn the idea into a reality.
The day is about encouraging and empowering people from all walks of life to start and grow businesses. Six months on, we‚Äôve caught up with some of the people who attended or who were involved with the talks and events, about what the day meant for them‚Ä¶
Madeleine Barnes won the Start-up Day prize draw competition and since then has attended workshops including Networking for success and Online marketing masterclass. Madeleine attended the event as she wanted to find out more about marketing as she is in the process of further developing The Craniosacral Practice in Highbury, Richmond and soon in Barnes, which offers Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (CST), a gentle way of working with a light touch that interacts with deeply subtle rhythms and impulses in the body to assist with self-repair.
Madeleine came to the Business & IP Centre because she ‚Äúwas looking for some practical and alternative ideas for direction and strategy. I also love talking to people about CST and hearing their discoveries along their journeys, so any opportunity to meet people suits me. I came to the Business & IP Centre to explore strategy, ways to educate and to be amongst other people starting businesses, as other friends have for theirs.‚ÄĚ
Julie Boadilla, Reference Specialist at the Business & IP Centre since 2007 took part in the speed mentoring on the day, an opportunity for people to talk to specialists in particular businesses or areas, to help them answer some of their business queries. It‚Äôs also an opportunity to hear from the experts‚Äô experiences and learn from them.
Julie explains, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a great opportunity for people who are interested in starting a business. There is a specialist per table, made up of experts from within the Business & IP Centre reference team and our delivery partners, who can talk about their industry, or more general business topics, such as IP.‚ÄĚ
Madeleine had CST in her twenties for RSI and persistent headaches but it was a treatment with her six-month-old son that drew her in entirely. She'd had an interest in nutrition, Ayurveda and Homeopathy, for many years so it was an easy choice to develop her intrigue in CST and to embark on the three-year training course, achieving accreditation and becoming a practicing therapist, "the biggest present I've ever given myself!".
However, Madeleine continues to learn through the challenges of growing a business, ‚ÄúLife as a CST practitioner is unpredictable, but word spread. Some people come for five or six sessions to address an acute condition and others come for weekly constitutional sessions. Volunteering at a charity, helping people suffering from addiction, was an invaluable experience in the early days. I set up in Richmond at Neal's Yard which has grown and grown. I also occasionally do home visits which aren‚Äôt as easy for the practitioner but are enormously beneficial for people who are homebound. Having had hyperemesis gravidarum (the extreme sickness that also hospitalised HRH Duchess of Cambridge during pregnancy), I have known the loneliness of confinement. I am passionate to spread the word as I know how much CST can help!‚ÄĚ
Challenges haven't stopped Madeleine from being able to grow her business, ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs always more to do and further to go!‚ÄĚ which involves CPD, keeping in close touch with fellow CSTers (particularly helpful for referrals), seeing her own CSTer plus consulting with her supervisor on a regular basis, allowing her to grow her depth of understanding. It‚Äôs also involved finding her niche in a field where every client is different and has a different experience, and each practitioner brings their own unique touch, supporting clients past anxiety, low energy or chronic pain to live their lives to the full.
Anis Qizilbash, who delivered the talk on How to charge your worth, echoes the importance of the impact on your customer. ‚ÄúOne tip for people to charge their worth is, instead of looking at your expenses, costs, overheads and then coming up with a price, ask yourself, ‚Äėhow is your client‚Äôs life transformed after buying your product/service?‚Äô, or ‚Äėwhat difference does your product/service make in their life?‚Äô Continuing down this line of questioning gives you the confidence and certainty to charge more.‚ÄĚ
Anis is a delivery partner for the Business & IP Centre and runs monthly workshops on selling and mindfulness and started her business, Mindful Sales Training, after listening to start-ups and freelancers about their fear of selling and was inspired to help them. Her talk at Start-up Day aimed to give confidence to those who didn‚Äôt think they were the ‚Äėright type‚Äô of salesperson, but more generally, Anis highlighted the benefits of attending Start-up Day. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a rare opportunity to get inspiration, build a network, and receive actionable insight for you to take the leap to start that idea.‚ÄĚ
The day was packed with tips to take away with you, Anis‚Äô advice for entrepreneurs who are demotivated or lacking in confidence would be, ‚Äúavoid looking at social media because it usually makes you feel worse when you‚Äôre feeling so vulnerable. Instead, look back to how far you‚Äôve come; look forward to the lives you‚Äôll touch with your business; look within, remind yourself why you started your business or want to start a business.‚ÄĚ For Anis, the most rewarding part of her career is hearing the feedback and success stories from the people she‚Äôs helped. Stories like, ‚Äúafter hearing your talk I increased my rates by ¬£100‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúI made my first sale!‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúthanks to you I realised it was in me all along, not something I expected from a sales coach‚ÄĚ. ‚ÄúThese comments fuel me and makes me want to do more for more people.‚ÄĚ
Start-up Day will be back in 2019 - we'll announce when booking goes live later in the year.