Got a marketing problem?
I can help you
Call me on
07751212662
lisa@acorn-marketing.co.uk

Archive for the ‘Acorn Marketing Cumbria’ Category

The Power Of Thank You

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Growing up, it was a built-in tradition that after every birthday and Christmas, I sat down with my best fountain pen to handwrite a thank you letter to family members and friends who had kindly bought me presents. It’s a tradition I keep up with my child, though I do still currently write the letter/card and the finishing touches are added in colourful crayons!

A thank you goes a long way, equally in business. Not just at Christmas time but maybe after a successful project has been finished or a new office opened. A thank you to staff after an exceptionally busy period where everyone has dug deep and worked hard as a team.
So, as we have two national anniversaries this month which celebrate baked goods, why not say a little thank you to your friend, colleagues, staff or your family.

National Doughnut Week!

The 11th of May heralds the start of National Doughnut Week and a sugar coated jam doughnut is still viewed as a treat in our household. Why not pop into your local bakery on the way to work or in your lunch hour and pick up a few of these jammy delights to share? Maybe stop in on a friend or relative for a cuppa and bring a doughnut for each of you to enjoy.

National Biscuit Day!

As we approach the end of the month, we encounter National Biscuit Day on Wednesday 29th May. Last year’s YouGov survey revealed that the chocolate digestive was Britain’s favourite biscuit with a plain digestive coming in second. This winner may spark a huge debate in the office – bring in a packet or two, enough for your team or department, and discuss it over a tea break.

Expressing gratitude in the work environment, whether highlighting specifics in a team meeting or privately sending a quick thank you email does boost morale and increases productivity. We all appreciate when our efforts have been noticed, even if it is part of our job role. A boss or team leader who acknowledges the hard work and dedication of colleagues, will create a ripple effect through team structures, which will in turn benefit everyone.

Our true friends are extremely valuable and do not ask for anything in return, however, telling them how appreciated they are – either with simple words, a note, an offer of babysitting, sharing a coffee (or a glass or two of wine) or the aforementioned doughnuts and biscuits will deepen the bond between you.

Gratitude is a wonderful thing.

It can build mental strength and make you more resilient. A simple – honest – mention of those two little words can have such a positive effect in all environments in which it is uttered. In whatever you do today be mindful to say ‘Thank You’ to those who deserve it – however big or small their endeavours, from holding a door open to handing you change from a purchase.

It’s Stress Awareness Month – Here’s how we react

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

April is stress awareness month – something we can all attest to as stresses do get on top of us whilst we juggle the various aspects of our life. Making sure we get ‘me’ time each day to decompress and relax is easier said than done if we have a busy routine and people – however big or small – relying on us.

Exercise will always help to create those happy endorphins which in turn can boost our mood and reduce stress. Whether it’s getting out in the fresh air for a run in the great outdoors or heading to the gym for a workout class or a swim, these activities will release happy hormones to surge around our bodies and combat any stressful worries.

The Acorn Marketing team all have their own preferred ways of relaxing and taking some time for themselves after busy working days.

We all enjoy the benefits of yoga and Pilates. Some of us take time to focus at home with daily movements at the beginning of each day, others head to a weekly class and switch off both phone and mind to outside influences and just enjoy being in those 60 minutes to workout, breathe deeply, stretch and prepare our bodies for the week ahead. You can find great tutorials online – even short routines to do at your desk.

I find baking to be quite cathartic, switching off to follow a recipe and working methodically. Tidying up whilst my creation is rising in the oven (I’m sure Bake Off contestants don’t have to do their own washing up though!). The big reveal when your cake/pie/bread comes out of the oven and stands to cool on the counter – is always rewarding. I will be honest though; a disastrous bake does negate the relaxing effect achieved during the stirring/whisking process.

Work can be the biggest causes of stress for people so to try to combat this, try and ensure you step away from your desk at lunch. Go for a walk or sit somewhere aside from your desk to eat, just to change the scenery and give your brain a rest from your work space.

Jogging is also a definite means to de-stress. Step into your trainers and head outside (I prefer on a dry day!) either solo or with a friend or two, to appreciate your surroundings – especially in this beautiful Spring season with so many new flowers and trees in bloom. We don’t run so fast that we can’t hold a conversation so it’s easy to keep fit and put the world to rights (always multi-tasking). It’s now a ritual in our diaries.

Sometimes the simplest of pleasures can help us unwind and sitting in your favourite chair with a good book and a glass of wine or a mug of hot chocolate, to immerse yourself in the pages, is just what we all need.

Tiny changes might also help keep calm – if the queues at supermarket checkouts get your blood pressure rising, order online for home delivery. If the thought of going to the gym with lots of other people exercising is a little intimidating and you start to feel the s-word, there are many online classes or DVDs to complete in the comfort of your own home and at a time that suits you. Whether it’s an energetic HIIT workout or calming yoga, pick the best one for you.

A great first step to make today would be to remove your phone as a distraction from your evening routine. Don’t check work emails in the evening – they can wait until the morning. Any updates on social media can be caught up on in the morning too. This will help your brain switch off, relax and hopefully aid a deep and stress-free sleep, making you ready to deal with whatever the next day brings.

Breathing can also aid us in relaxation. Taking a deep breath in for a count of 5, holding for a count of 6 and breathing out for a count of 7 will help restore calm.

So during stress awareness month, find your feel good factor (or factors), do things for you and remove those stressful triggers from your life to avoid tensions and to help you relax and look after yourself.

Inspirational Books For Marketing & Business

Monday, March 4th, 2019

As World Book Day fast approaches on 7th March, it’s mostly known as the day when children attending nursery or school are welcome to dress up as their favourite book characters. This can result in such a wide array of choices, it’s fantastic, albeit a little stressful if you are the parent having to create the costume. Now as adults, we might not embrace this day with such gusto, but we wanted to share our top must-read marketing books. No need to create your own costume!

Creative Superpowers: Equip Yourself For The Age of Creativity – Edited by Laura Jordan Bambach, Mark Earls, Daniele Fiandaca & Scott Morrison.

This book aims to help readers succeed in the fast-paced world today. Everything is broken down into four key learnings: making, teaching, hacking and thieving. The combined brain power of the authors delivers tips to re-learn qualities from our childhoods that we might have forgotten – or not thought to embrace in our business worlds. Remaining curious, fearless and finding ways to adapt to all challenges will see us benefit in the working environment. This book will inspire you to tackle problems in different ways, unleash new ways of thinking and delivering success.

Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller.

Storytelling has become the backbone of many recent marketing books. Donald Miller approaches this topic by adding his well-proven 7-step StoryBrand guidance. All good storytelling needs a compelling structure – a problem, assistance arrives, a plan is made, action is taken, disaster is eluded and it culminates in success. By applying this configuration to business cases, this book resounds with marketers. Aligning these ideas in a fresh way really enthrals you and the learnings are easily transferrable to recruiting and corporate identity. Also included are helpful instructions and templates.

The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life by Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey.

This book takes a scientific approach to the world of social media in order to explain how social networks replicate biological life.In our current social media age, ideas and concepts morph through hashtags, videos and photos, fed by emotionally driven people. These networks mirror roles of biology, growing due to being fed by the millions of people interacting with them. Luckett & Casey engage the metaphor of cellular biology to further aid our understanding of social media and how we can learn from progress in organisms as to what steps we should take to remain at pace with the fast-growing social media landscape. The easily relatable case studies using memes and events that have played a part in recent history drives this viewpoint home.
This really is a vital guide for marketers wanting to understand the digital world,not solely to comprehend the workings of social media, but to relate it to life today and to make it work positively for us.

Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You  by John Hall.

Building trust, being consistent and engaging likability are all actions that aid recall in customers minds. John Hall explains that being the first brand, company or person to spring into people’s heads will ensure you are positioned for success. By enlightening readers with a step-by-step guide, Hall explains that cultivating habits and strategies in order to engage your audience with help to create and strengthen relationships with them. Relationship building is the cornerstone to remaining front and centre in the minds of target customers, which is turn aids growth and sales. Advice Hall gives on using digital content to truly enhance your target audience’s lives, is easy to comprehend, and the understanding that making sure you are the first thing to spring to mind will drive success and engagement and loyalty, makes complete sense.

So many professions are required to continually learn and update their skills in order to maintain their licences – Doctors, lawyers, engineers – to name a few. Within the fast-paced marketing world it certainly helps to ensure you continue to learn and educate yourself, ensuring you are the best marketer you can be. Add these marketing books to your reading list now.

New lease of life for the Beep Fund as it celebrates 25 years

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

The Beep Fund Ltd, which has been running since 1994, has undergone a transformation, with new branding, improved marketing and social media.
The charity now covers a wider geographic area across Cumbria and has more volunteer doctors. To mark its 25th anniversary, it is on the lookout for volunteers to help spread the word about the charity now and in the future.

When the charity began, only doctors from the Birbeck Medical Group, Penrith, were involved and they covered a fifteen-mile radius of Penrith. Now there are 10 volunteer doctors on the team who cover most of Cumbria, including the north and west of the county as well as south west Scotland and occasionally south Lakeland.

The Beep Doctors are all unpaid and are on call 24/7. They attend serious incidents in the county including road traffic collisions, farming accidents or other life-threatening medical emergencies, as well as major Incidents.
Paramedics are very well trained and able to deal with the vast majority of emergencies that they are called to. However, there are some critical medical interventions they are not able to perform, and having a consultant level doctor at the scene of an incident means more advanced procedures can be accomplished, and a casualty stabilised before they are transported to hospital. Over the years, the Beep team have saved numerous lives and have become an integral part of the emergency services.
To mark the 25-year milestone, the Beep Fund has had a makeover. This includes a refreshed, more modern logo, creation of social media pages and a new website coming soon. Beep’s supporters will be attending more events across the county this year to raise awareness of the vital work of the charity. As part of the new initiative, they are looking for more volunteers to join the team to attend events and help with fundraising efforts.

Dr Theo Weston MBE, who launched the initiative, commented: “We are so proud of how far the charity has come, but we’re moving into a new era with more doctors giving up their time to be on call attending emergencies and covering a wider geographic area in Cumbria. Our new look reflects the changes we have made in the charity, but now it is time to shout about what we do. Not only will this help raise awareness of the Beep Fund Ltd, but also help us raise vital funds to sustain the charity in the future.”
Everyone who is part of the Beep Fund is unpaid, but there are ongoing costs for continuous doctor training, the updating of protective clothing and medical equipment, and maintaining the specialist vehicle. It is essential that the charity continues to raise funds to support this.
As part of their renewed marketing efforts, the Beep Fund doctors, trustees and other supporters will be attending several events across Cumbria; however, they are on the lookout for more volunteers to help them.
“We are only a small team, but we cover a large area, so we are reaching out to anyone who has some spare time that could help us attend events across the county, organise fundraising events for us or become an advocate for what we do. We’re looking for people from all across Cumbria to be part of the team,” said Dr Weston

If you live in Workington, Carlisle, Longtown, Brampton or anywhere in North Cumbria, get in touch with the Beep Fund on beepfund@gmail.com to find out more about how you can be part of the team and help raise awareness of this lifesaving charity.

Engaging Your Email Database

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Think about when you receive marketing emails, which ones have caught your attention, had you discussing them with colleagues and impressed you the most? Based on the assumption that your business has an email database that is up-to-date following the General Data Protection Regulations which came into force in May 2018, here are our top tips to ensure you’re getting the most from this popular and effective marketing channel.

Who Are You?
First things first, when your email arrives in the recipients’ inbox you need to ensure the sender’s name and email address is a true reflection of your company. If someone does not know or recognise the sender, they may not open the message at all.

Subject Header
Choosing the right subject line is also key. The best ones are short, punchy, engaging and relevant to the content. Most email software platforms have the ability to test different headers on smaller sections of your database, so you can see which works best. Then send the best performing one to the remainder of your email list.

Personalisation
Generic emails sent to a company’s entire database are no longer sufficient. Personalisation is a must, so ensure when potential customers sign up for your database that you collect useful data which you can use in your communications. Address your recipient by name and write to them from ‘you’, signing off with a name to personalise the message further. This can improve open rates, engagement rates and click-through.

Segmenting
We all prefer to be seen as an individual rather than a customer or number on a list. By tailoring your messages to the needs of your customers you will find they respond better.
Segment your email database to deliver the best results for you. This may be to divide by geographical location, age, sex or previous purchase history. You may have different information or offers depending where in the country (or world!) your customers live.
Keep your email database up-to-date and organised by removing inactive users who don’t open your messages and delete any undeliverable email addresses.

Mobile Optimisation
This is your biggest consideration as the majority of emails nowadays are read on mobile so ensure your message can be clearly read, as you’ve intended, and nothing is being cut off. By using responsive design (that works on a mobile), you will be able to ensure your content is mobile-friendly and easily readable.

Images/Content
Imagery is proven to engage with readers more than just text so ensure you are including pictures, GIFs and videos to accentuate your content. However, don’t overload the message with images as some email providers may not show all imagery by default and some may be automatically blocked. Ensure you have a good balance of text and imagery, so your message is still delivered, should there be an issue with the images.

Consistency
A basic consideration but worth mentioning – do ensure your email branding is consistent to the design and tone of your company. You need to use the same colours, logos, images, fonts and voice across your email, website and social platforms. This makes you easily recognisable and helps to generate brand understanding and trust.

Links – website/social
Your emails will always include links for your readers, whether it directs them to your website homepage, to a specific product page, a blog post or an offer. Help them to arrive swiftly where you want them to go and always ensure your links work correctly. You will lose trust if you direct people wrongly or include a broken link.
Also, be sure to include links to your social media accounts in your email via the simple social icons to encourage people on your database to follow and support your activity across social platforms.

CTA (Call to Action)
Do be clear about what you want your email to achieve. When someone opens your email, what do you want them to do? Read your new blog post? Complete a questionnaire? View new products or take up an offer? Be certain the correct information is clearly visible, so readers take the action you want.

Option to Opt-out (Unsubscribe)
Check that your emails include the option for recipients to manage their subscription with you. That includes the option to unsubscribe. Your database figures may decline a little, but you will know that the people who are engaging and receiving your marketing messages want to hear from you.

Perfect Timing
Be sure to test different delivery days and times to see when it is most effective. Your email should ideally arrive when people are online, so it might be during a weekday commute slot or at lunchtime. You will learn from your data when the highest open rates occur and can tailor future mailers from this information.

Finally, don’t overlook the absolute basics either – send a test email to ensure you see how your message looks on all platforms, to make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and to check all links within the message work and direct the user to the correct page.

We wish you many successful email marketing campaigns!

Imposter Syndrome in small businesses

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

I had a pretty rubbish week at the end of January.  I won’t go into all the gory details, but it reminded me of an article I’d read in the past about ‘Imposter Syndrome’.  The article said that “Research from AXA PPP healthcare reveals that one in five SME owners suffer from Imposter Syndrome – the fear of being exposed in your job as a fraud, inadequate or a failure despite evidence proving you’re successful and capable.”

That week I felt just like this and it made me wonder how many other small business owners feel like this too?  What brought this about was a nasty email from an (now ex) client, slating the work that I did for them, my costs (which are extremely competitive I will have you know) and my knowledge.  It was an email that came completely out of the blue and just knocked me for six.  Communication had been good, feedback had been excellent and I’d really helped them (so they told me).  So, to get an email contrary to that was really upsetting.

I consider myself a very professional businessperson.  I treat others how I would expect to be treated myself, am honest and loyal to my clients.  I studied hard at university and continue to study with my CPD, I’ve gained over twenty years’ experience, am a Chartered Marketer with great clients and testimonials and have won several awards.  Yet, I still sometimes feel like I have Imposter Syndrome. Receiving an email like that, or a bad comment about you/your work or meeting a tricky client can really knock you down.

I never imagined that I’d run a business – I didn’t have a clue where to start, but was thrown into this situation when I was made redundant and I just got on with it.  In that respect I have to pinch myself sometimes that I’m coming up to my eight year anniversary.  There is no way I’d be doing what I’m doing eight years down the line if I wasn’t any good.

Findings in the report suggested over half of SME owners affected (52%) admit that low self-esteem led them to feeling like an imposter, with four in ten (42%) comparing themselves with others and over one in four (27%) doubting their decisions.  

So, my message to anyone out there who might feel like they have Imposter Syndrome is to just go for it.  You are good at what you do; otherwise, you would not be in the situation you are in.  Believe in yourself and others will too.  You are unique and the service or product you offer is unique to you and you should be proud of it.  You don’t need to compare yourself to others, be confident in your strengths and what you do.

Finally don’t ever feel like you’re on your own, there are so many other small business owners out there, so get out and meet them, go for a coffee with someone you trust and build a supportive network around you.  A good talking to can often sort you out (as my husband regularly does!)

So, I’m back on it this week!  Bring it on!

 

 

 

Ref:  https://www.businessleader.co.uk

 

Juggling act

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Running a business and being a mum really is a juggling act!  I’ve spent the day writing social media plans for next month, whilst I’ve got a roast in the oven and washing on the line.

For many years my business was my baby, I put my heart and soul into it.  It was my life.  But, since I became a mum (and step mum) things have changed.  I now have two babies to look after!  Most days I manage to do some form of work, but I’m often checking emails whilst building a jigsaw or reading a book to my little girl.

However, despite it being a juggling act I actually get the best of both worlds.  I can be at home and have precious time with my daughter, but then run a successful business as well.  So, how do I do it…

  • Be organised

My biggest tip is being organised.  There is no way I could do what I do if I was not super organised.  I have lists for each client and what we need to do, plans for social media, plans for advertising, plans for future plans.  I then have a weekly list of everything I need to get done that week with priorities, I even then have a notepad, where I write down what I need to do each day.  I know it sounds a lot, but when you’re juggling ten or so clients at a time, you need to write everything down and plan everything.

I also then have lists at home, shopping lists and lists of what we’re going to eat each day for tea.  I have a work calendar and also a family calendar, so everyone knows what they are doing and when.  My little one is only two and a half, so I think this planning is only going to stand me in good stead when she starts school!

  • Communicate

It is also really important to communicate well.  Not only does it help you to be organised, but it ensures my clients (and family) are happy.  I have a rule that I will always answer emails in 24 hours, or even just acknowledge people if I can’t give them an answer right away.  I also pick up the phone.  We often fire out emails when we’re busy and I’m guilty of that, but if I have something tricky to explain about a piece of work, or if I need a question answering urgently I use the good old telephone to sort things out – an art, which seems to be getting lost these days!

  • Support

Probably the key to my success is the support I have from family – particularly my Mam and mother in law.  Between us, we share the childcare.  If I have an important meeting to attend, I know one of these great women will jump into action, swap shifts and be there to help.  April goes to Pre-school in November, so I will have even more time to get things done!

  • Give yourself a break

I recently let things get on top of me.  I didn’t know whether I was coming or going and felt like I was doing a million and one jobs all the time with no respite.  It seemed like I put everyone at the top of the list apart from me!  I discovered a book called The Self Care revolution, which is fantastic and really gives you a handle on how to manage things, coping mechanisms, stress and how to ‘give yourself a break’.  I think we’re all too hard on ourselves to be perfect at everything whether that is work, motherhood, looks, ageing, weight loss and some times, we just need to take a step back and realise that actually we’re good at what we do.  We may not be perfect at everything, but we’re doing our best!

I now make sure I take some time out for me, cinema, spa days and a daily dose of Yoga.  Have a read…it could help you too!

  • Enjoy it 

The biggest thing is that I love my job.  I enjoy meeting clients, forming relationships, doing marketing and seeing projects come to fruition.  I also love being a Mummy (as most mothers do) and although I say I’m juggling, it’s not really juggling as it’s just life!  It’s what I do and I love it.  I get the best of both words, being a Mum whilst running a successful business.

If you are thinking of starting your own business and you’re a mum, I’d say go for it.  Yes, it will be hard, yes, there will be times when you want to go back to 9-5, but the rewards far outweigh the negatives.  There is no looking back!

Lisa gets a hat-trick!

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Well, I only went and did it again…I got a hat-trick in the Enterprise Vision Awards.  I wasn’t sure whether to enter or not this year as I’d won twice before and thought I was perhaps pushing my luck.   However, my business has changed so much over the past few years I felt like I had a lot to tell!

This year, the main difference was that I was shortlisted in the Professional Services category – not Sole Trader category.  I was up against a firm of solicitors, HR company, recruitment firm etc.  Once you’re shortlisted you have to go through to a judging panel “Dragons Den” style.  You would think I wouldn’t be nervous after doing it twice before, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.   In the past, I’ve talked about me as a person and the passion I put into my business, but this time around it was all about my business, why it was different and why my service offering stood out from the crowd.

This year the event at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool was even more special as Jili Allen, who does a lot of my design work was shortlisted, as well as my cousin’s wife and another colleague, so we all sat together.  I really did not expect to win this year as it was a tough category, so you can imagine when they called out my name I really was gobsmacked.  I know I say it every year, but it always comes as such a shock.  I was so happy as it is a fantastic recognition for all my hard work and effort I put into my business being successful.

Other awards

I am always banging on to clients about the importance of entering awards.  The PR you gain from just being shortlisted is brilliant, even if you don’t go on to win!  Recently my client Hunter Hall School; a primary school in Penrith has been shortlisted for several accolades.  Firstly they were shortlisted for best Marketing Campaign in the CN Group Golden Apple Awards.  Unfortunately, on this occassion, they did not win this award, but the coverage they got in local papers and our own self-promotion on social media was great.

They have also been shortlisted for two TES education awards – again in best Marketing campaign (fingers crossed!) and State School Partnership award, for their cross-country events they run for other local primary schools.  I am heading down to a glitzy awards ceremony in London in February, so I will keep you posted.

Keep an eye out for any local awards in your area, any industry awards that you can apply for – you have nothing to lose and could get a whole lot of free publicity as a result!

Being a working Mum

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Last year (October 2015) my business was turned upside down when I brought my beautiful baby girl, April Eleanor Rose into the world.  April was born 10 weeks early, so as you can imagine I’d not prepared for this.  I was in the midst of organising the Penrith Winter Festival and a plethora of Christmas campaigns for clients.  I had no option but to stop working when the doctors told me I was seriously ill.

I had to delegate delegate delegate!  I am a very organised person and very committed to my business, so it was a massive shock to the system.  One of the midwives could tell I was a bit stressed, so brought me some paper and a pen, so I could write lists and get everything out of my mind, so I could rest.  My clients were all fantastic and I think everyone appreciated the situation.  At the end of the day your health and welfare is more important than work!

2 weeks after I was admitted to hospital April was born and spent the next 8 weeks in NeoNatal and special care.  During that time I checked emails and did bits and bobs of work just to ensure things were still ticking over.  It was a good distraction and took my mind off how poorly April was, however she was my priority at that point.

However, running your own business means that I didn’t get maternity leave like other mums and come February had to start thinking about doing work again.  I had changed my business model in 2015, so instead of working for many clients at once, I could concentrate on a handful of clients…this has proved to be a wise move.

Running a business and being a Mum to April is probably one of the hardest things I’ve done.  I now have to rely on my Mam and Mother in Law to look after April while I work.  However, I’ve gone from doing 50-60 hours a week to 15-20 hours a week.  I also have to work more evenings and weekends.  One of the core values of Acorn Marketing is that if I say I will do something I do it and do it well.  I feel passionate about ensuring my clients are still happy with the work I do and try not to let having a baby affect the work I do for them.

working-mum Lisa Jackson Acorn Marketing Cumbria

Trying to work at my desk

1 year down the line, I’d say I’m still learning a lot about running a business with a baby.  There are times I wanted to give it all up and become a neonatal nurse, or get a “proper” job, but Acorn Marketing was my first “baby”.  I’ve worked so hard over the years to grow my business and wasn’t ready to let it go.  I make my business work for me and it can be flexible to fit around time with April.  I get the best of both worlds – being a stay at home mum, yet a working one.  I think the term you would use is #Mumpreneur!

I’ve had to learn to entertain April whilst checking emails, keep her quiet whilst I make calls or live on very little sleep…without falling asleep at my desk!  People used to say “you can work while she sleeps”, but it’s only now a year down the line that she will sleep in the day, so that never worked!  And frankly if she did sleep I would want to sleep, crash in a corner in exhaustion or prepare tea, or clean the house!

Going forward I would like to build the business up again gradually, so once April goes to school I can put everything back into it and move things forward.  At the end of the day, I love what I do and am passionate about the clients I have.  I’m not going to retrain as a nurse and once you’ve been self employed it’s hard to think about going back to work in an office, for someone else.

So, although the past year has been tough; particularly dealing with having a premature baby, it has been another huge learning curve – one I’m sure will make me stronger and a better business woman!

Lisa scoops 2 EVA awards

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Amidst the crazy year I’ve had, having a baby and running a business, I was proud to announce that I won an Enterprise Vision Award for the second year in a row!  I was once again shortlisted as Sole Trader of the Year in the Enterprise Vision Awards.  I won this category last year and it was a fantastic event that I decided to enter again.

Last year I was 26 weeks pregnant, so I didn’t get to celebrate properly when I won.  However, this year I was going to enjoy myself and it was also the first time I had left my baby over night.

I didn’t think I would win two years in a row and had convinced myself that I wouldn’t.  When my name was announced to say I was overwhelmed and emotional was an understatement.  I had to then give a speech to 600 people and I froze.  I could not get the words out and just burst out crying.  Luckily the audience were amazing and just cheered me on.  Last year I was cool and composed.  I deserved the award, but this year I felt like I deserved it so much more.  I have been through a really tough year having a baby 10 weeks premature (read more here), but despite everything I still managed to run a business and keep things going.  This year’s award felt like recognition for that.

Lisa Jackson wins second enterprise vision award

Lisa Jackson wins second enterprise vision award

Lots of champagne was consumed, dancing was done and a trip to the casino too!  We had a great night and really let our hair down.  Not only did we leave April, but it gave us the opportunity to reflect a bit about what we’ve been through the past year.

The awards recognise women in business in the North West and I feel so proud and privileged to have won this prestigious award once again – up against some stiff competition from other fantastic businesses.