Combining 25 years industry experience in PR and the desire to run her own business, Lara Besbrode found herself moving back to the UK after years living overseas to become more actively involved in the rise of social media. Setting up Social Sugar, the PR and Digital Agency has seen an increase in turnover and expanded it’s team since being established in 2016. 

Lara Besbrode, Managing Director of Social Sugar
Being a single parent to 3 children and finding herself as the sole bread winner to her family, Lara started looking at ways to get herself back in the UK job market but found herself not wanting to be tied down to employment or dedicated set hours due to childcare commitments. She turned these potential setbacks around and started to focus on the future she really wanted. 
“I’m proud that my personal life has not defined me and neither has my age and I have been able to build my business from nothing”
Focusing on building Social Sugar and looking for support to help grow, Lara received help from The Women’s Organisation through the Excelerate Labs programme. Programme Manager, Mike Marsden helped Lara to work on a strategy to start applying for agency and business awards, something which to date has been very useful for the business.

It’s been a busy year for Social Sugar who have recently joined the Central Manchester BNI and been nominated for ‘Social Media Presence of the Year’ by Downtown in Business: City of Manchester Business awards. Currently pitching for a lot of new exciting business accounts, they have already won PR for a national brand which helped them launch the PR department for their business. 

In the second year of trading, Social Sugar has gone from being based at a home office into its own larger office space and has been able to take on 2 permanent apprentices and currently employs 6 freelancers. Doubling their turnover in the first 2 years, Lara is now setting her sights on increasing this turnover by 25% for it’s third year.  
In the tough world of entrepreneurship, building a successful business can be challenging, something which Lara has set about overcoming “It is very competitive in the PR agency world, there will always be an agency or freelancer that can offer the same services as you at a cheaper rate. That’s why it’s important to find your unique selling point and make sure you shout about it loudly across your social media”
Social Sugar is a boutique agency and being able to match large agency results at a more affordable price for their clients is what makes them stand out from their competitors. “I take a personal interest in all my clients, offering them a direct hands on approach which they really appreciate” and when it comes to her key to success “I can honestly say that when you are trying to grow your business you have to be comfortable putting in the long hours as it can be hard work” 
Lara is looking at sharing her story at women’s events to help inspire future entrepreneurs and ensure them that starting a business from nothing can be possible.
“I have learnt that if you don’t ask, you don’t get! You need to be willing to ask for help and support. You may feel like you have all the answers but it’s never too late to learn, look at me – nearly 50 and running a business from scratch!”
Social Sugar have been nominated for a Downtown in Business: City of Manchester Business award for ‘Social Media Presence of the Year’ you can go and vote here!

If you would like to get in touch with Social Sugar you can find them online over on FacebookTwitter & on their Website

If you would like to benefit from the support Lara received under the Excelerate Labs programme then please contact: