What makes you spring out of bed in the morning?
The first thing I do every morning is check my messages and deal with those that arrived overnight. Often it’s those first communications that have big implications for the day ahead.
What does your normal day look like?
Before arriving at the office and all the way up to the start of the day’s lessons, I work with the trainers and our admin team to make sure everything is set for the day ahead. There’s always a flurry of activity before classes start. We can have up to five classes beginning at the same time in different venues across the Channel Islands. It’s only once they are in progress that I can turn to dealing with new bookings and projects that are coming in, with my colleague Steve.
Most days, I have to head off to a client’s for a meeting, to advise on a project or to provide some very tailored training. I always catch up with the office before the end of the day for an update to make sure we are on track with all our Client commitments.
How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve worked in private, public and charitable education for nearly two decades and so I’ve come to know the field and the main influencers pretty well. When you’re starting a business, it’s vital that you have a strong network and there’s no doubt that mine has helped me every step of the way.
The fact that I started working for myself on a part-time basis from the very beginning certainly helped make the transition to full time self-employment, a lot easier.
I also believe that being young helped because you have a lot less to lose in your twenties than in your forties. I think it would be harder to make the jump now, with responsibilities like a mortgage and family.
What couldn’t you live your life without?
The Internet. All of the systems at ALX are based in the cloud which means that I can access anything from anywhere, which is brilliant.
Which outsiders (professional services, investors, mentors, family etc.) have been most important to the success of your business?
Without doubt my husband. He has encouraged me from the outset and looks after most of the domestic responsibilities so that I can focus on the business. I’m also really grateful to those trainers who have been with us since the very beginning. Their loyalty has enabled us to have a core of stability. Our Company Secretary, Catherine Swemmer has also been a vital part of the business, helping us navigate the worlds of finance and compliance.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Losing a member of staff is always difficult but in a small team you notice it more acutely. Thankfully we’ve not had many staff changes over the years and when it has happened, the team has done a brilliant job learning new skills to cover any gaps.
What advice would you give to your younger self before embarking on your business journey?
Try not to worry about the future and have patience – it takes time to grow a business.
Website ALX Training