#SBS has increased School Speakers brand awareness to a wider audience, web traffic has increased, positive word of mouth, excellent network of like minded business people who offer beneficial services to us. Excellent work and really shows how social media is of business value - thank you to everyone.
Claire Young, 32, is the straight talking, no-nonsense business woman who is well known for reaching the final of series 4 of BBC1’s The Apprentice (2008) watched by over 11 million viewers.
Since then she has worked non-stop setting up numerous business ventures including www.schoolspeakers.co.uk and www.girlsoutloud.org.uk. She is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and enterprise to our younger generation and founded TeenBiz www.teenbiz.org.uk the UK’s first business start up scheme for under 18s. Claire works ‘hands on’ in schools (primary through to university age), and across multiple government organisations, helping students to raise aspirations, take off the blinkers and think big!
Claire supports the National Apprenticeship Service by heading up their Young Ambassador Network and works in partnership with the Peter Jones Foundation supporting Tenner Tycoon and Global Entrepreneurship Week. Recently she met with the Prime Minister for roundtable talks and has been invited to join the House of Lords Youth Unemployment taskforce. Claire has been nominated for the Queen's Enterprise Award 2011 and is also delighted to represent the UK in The European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors. She was delighted to accept a position in the Gazelle Group www.thegazellegroup.com developing entrepreneurship plans in college level education.
Claire is Honorary President of Young Chamber UK (www.youngchamber.com) a not-for-profit social enterprise organisation which is dedicated to ensuring that young people of all levels of ability and background are equipped with the skills needed to fulfil their aspirations and achieve their goals.
Now a successful young businesswoman she hopes that her story will motivate others to realise that with hard work, drive and determination anything is possible.
Get the basic set-up right
Ensure you have a good accountant and set up your company properly. Some people dive off with the exciting stuff like the website, logo etc and forget about the important basics.
Be realistic – businesses don’t boom overnight and you’ll need some patience to build an empire. There will be many hurdles, be robust, develop a thick skin and don’t quit! You need to create a brand and your reputation.
Create a brand
You need to be clear of your USP (unique selling point) and the core value of your business ethos i.e. dynamic, creative, loyal. Brainstorm and form a ‘word bubble’ –something usually jumps out – sometimes the brain just needs a bit of warming up!
Don’t be a scatter gun
You need to define your target consumer and enter their world with a marketing plan. What do they read? Where do they go? What social media do they use? Your brand needs to be in front of them. Talk to your consumers and do research, it may save you a lot of time and money. Self-promotion is critical to any entrepreneur, no matter what the industry is!
Cut your cloth to suit your budget
When starting out, watch your overheads as every penny you spend eats into profit. When I first started out I worked from home, then rented an office a year on when we were busy and growing. Work within your budget and remember any additional add-ons such as phones, amenities and rates. Working for yourself can be lonely at times so looking into sharing office space, there are often many schemes available – particularly for start up businesses.
Fail to plan, Plan to fail
Be realistic and brutally honest about your business plan! There is no point in cutting things out and ‘fudging’ the numbers – you are only misleading yourself. I work on the premise that it’s always better to under promise and over deliver. Include all costs, no matter how small, and be conservative with sales forecasts – that way you will avoid any issues or disappointments
10% COMMISSION PASSED TO ANYONE WHO REFERS A SCHOOL TO SCHOOL SPEAKERS & THEY BOOK