Mumpreneur profile: Claire Fryer and Lisa Vassallo of One to Three Marketing Solutions
Life before One to Three seems like a long time ago now! Immediately before we set up the business we were both working in a freelance capacity, fitting projects in around our children. Claire’s professional background lies within PR agencies and Lisa has a marketing background with blue-chip organisations.
It was over dinner and a glass of wine at the end of 2009 that the idea of combining our skills first came to mind and after an initial brainstorming session to see how our idea could become a reality there really was no stopping us. We both had a desire to work as much as possible within school hours – something we have achieved by being honest with our clients about our commitments and by setting realistic timescales for projects. School holidays are more of a challenge but with so many fantastic kids-clubs, supportive families and of course smart phones that mean we can keep in contact with clients no matter where we are, the juggling hasn’t been too tricky!
We used an e-newsletters to launch our company and also set up LinkedIn profiles to ensure we had a good presence on the web. We tried to get in to see people face-to-face wherever possible as we know the importance of technology but think that nothing replaces a good old-fashioned meeting to build relationships.
A friend and fellow business owner introduced us to the concept of business networking and we tried out several groups, deciding to join the Women in Business Network which has provided us with a steady stream of clients and a fantastic network of like-minded business women who are a great support and inspiration!
Our main methods of promotion are networking and social media – we have built up a great presence on Facebook and Twitter and blog regularly to share our news and views.
The transition for us from employee to business owner was very smooth as we were used to working with many different clients and working from home from our freelance days. Having each other to lean on was the biggest change – and the biggest benefit! We agreed on an “open and honest” approach to all of our business-matters and we can honestly say there has never been a falling out!
We have found that the biggest expectations put upon us come from…us! Taking a step back from the business we love so much is important and we ensure we have monthly planning meetings to do just that. We are blessed with fantastic clients who are a pleasure to work with.
In terms of funding our business we both had the basic tools needed for our line of work – a lap-top, decent broadband and a smart phone! Our decision to work from our respective homes meant we were able to start up with minimal overheads and our joint experience in building websites, brand identity and copywriting meant we were able to work on our own marketing quickly and cost effectively. Initial outgoings were for professional business cards, our web domain name and hosting and a little later down the line our investment in networking.
We LOVE what we do and have got so much out of taking the leap and setting up own business. It hasn’t been without hard work and many hours spent working for no money – all of our own marketing, planning, pitching for business is essentially unpaid. This all needs to be considered when thinking about going it alone but the success we have found is hugely satisfying and we can’t imagine doing anything else!