Overall, my experience has been amazing. I didn’t think that I would be getting this level of help and it’s been so in depth and eye-opening that I now feel confident to take my company forward and [that I now have] the tools and the knowledge for it to be a success and it’s just up to me to make it work.
COMMERCIAL & DOMESTIC CLEAN ING
Angie started Firstline Cleaning Services to provide both domestic and commercial cleaning services in London in a company that had a fair, employee friendly environment.
She got involved with the Inclusive Entrepreneurship Programme through a different start-up project who shared this opportunity with her, and she thought it would be great to have the extra support. She also felt that the offer was exactly what she needed to turn her labour of love into a more savvy business.
The 1-to-1 consultancy was especially beneficial in terms of creating an actual structure within the company as she started it with her two brothers so there were no strict roles amongst them. When working on the business plan and looking at the company structure with the consultant, they really valued the recommendation to have definitive roles within the family so that they could all take on more direct responsibility instead of all just offering general support.
The other aspect that she focussed on in the consultancy sessions was looking at the financial projections to see how much they were earning throughout the year and how much they could earn going forward, which gave her confidence to manage it by herself and know what she is supposed to be doing after the support ends.
Despite not being directly involved with the programme, the support has also had a great impact on her brothers as it gave them individual roles to take forward, with one brother now focussing on finance and payroll while the other has become the creative mastermind of the business. This has given them both responsibility and a freedom to lead their role how they see best. It has also given Angie the support to concentrate on strategy, talking to clients and deal with areas of the company that have been ignored, such as creating process maps and handbooks which didn’t previously take much precedent but were still very important for customer engagement.
Angie took full advantage of all activities offered on the programme and attended all of the masterclasses as well as presenting one of the ALS.
She really appreciated how the masterclasses were taught as she was able to ask questions and get insight from the other entrepreneurs to see what ideas they had which could inspire her.
“I think that [the ALS] was the best thing because although you feel like your company and idea is being put under the microscope by other people, you’re definitely being put in a position where people are asking you questions that make you think and develop ideas that you didn’t have. I think that it was the most insightful thing… I would 100% recommend.”
Angie has so far spent the grant on the items that she applied for in her application, including industrial cleaning machinery and tools, and is in the process of using the rest of the money for marketing, advertising and a storage facility.
Angie found that a key success to the programme was the use of consultants and trainers from BAME backgrounds who were highly skilled and accomplished. This was highly inspirational to her as they are living proof that starting a successful business can be done and that “it’s not just white counterparts who can get ahead in life if [she puts] in the hard work and finds the right guidance for it.”
Business Skills Guides
Download the ARE Business Skills Guide to Business Planning.
Written by business consultant Tutu Adebiyi, this short guide tells you what to you need to think about when you’re planning your new business.