Your Name and Age: Hannah Rowe, 44
Tell us about your family: 2 children (12 & 7)
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition? I was Marketing and PR Manager for a large social care firm, before that I worked in Financial Services marketing.
When did you launch? 2013
How did you get started? A lot of networking, a few favours from people I had met in my previous job, and a lucky break.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business? Not having to deal with corporate politics (I see it and can walk away from it); most of all, being able to be there for my children so they can do whatever extra-curricular activities they want to.
What’s the thing you least enjoy about running your own business? It can be very lonely sometimes, and you have to do everything – from the accounts, to the business development, to the IT (when your laptop goes wrong you can’t throw it at a technical geek and say ‘fix it!’).
What has worked well about your business? Growing it in sectors I am familiar with, and fairly locally.
What’s been your biggest business mistake? How did you deal with it? Not getting someone to sign a contractand then not being paid for a significant amount of work. I decided that the cost in both time and hassle of pursuing it wasn’t worth it, so I walked away.
How do you fit in work with the family?Is your partner supportive of your business? My husband has always been hugely supportive of what I do, he cannot help with the childcare during the week but I have a great network of friends and grandparents who help out. I also have amazingly understanding clients who try not to request meetings outside school hours.
Are you working towards a financial goal for your business? I already earn more than I did in my previous role, the goal now is to keep building it.
Would you ever give up your business to do somethingelse? Probably not. We all have days when we think we’ve had enough but then a client will ring or email to say ‘thank you’ and I remember why I do it! Every day is different, I’m never bored – one day I’m talking strategy, the next I’m discussing the health and safety implications of a wellie-boot throwing competition (yes that really happened).
Do you have an exit strategy? Not yet, I’m far too young to contemplate giving it up.
Have you had your ‘I’ve made it’ moment? I would like to start doing more media work .
Where do you hope to be in five years time? Still happy helping businesses promote themselves, still learning and making new contacts along the way! I’d like to do more pro-bono work too.
Hannah Rowe Consulting: Marketing, PR and Events: Based in the South West, Hannah helps businesses get the most out of their communications budget. She specialises in the care sector, hospitality, and the professions.