After having her second child, Hayley Patterson found it impossible to manage the work hours she had been given and was forced to leave. This left the Liverpool resident looking for other avenues that allowed for more flexibility around her family. She found this flexibility in self-employment.
Blessed with a creative streak and prior experience in floristry, Hayley decided to combine floral arrangements with a cart hire for parties and events. ‘I started by posting a few pictures on my Facebook and Instagram. I got really good feedback and as interest started to grow I started up a business page on Facebook and Twitter.’
In the early stages of starting up Hayley’s Flowers and Cart Hire, Hayley spotted an advert for free business start-up support for women in Merseyside with The Women’s Organisation. After getting in touch, she started meeting with a business advisor and booked herself onto free workshops including basic bookkeeping and tax and national insurance.
‘My advisor Jo was brilliant. It was great to have someone to help me look at things from a different point of view and talk about them. She helped me with the different aspects of setting up a business, especially the business plan, which helped me a lot. The workshops were also really good.’
‘When I first set up my business, I felt nervous and unsure but with the response I have had from people and the help from The Women’s Organisation, it has helped me be more confident and move forward.’
Hayley is very pleased with the benefits going self-employed has provided. Her business is based from home meaning that there are no overheads and no commute to work. Despite her commenting that it can get a bit hectic, it works for her because it allows for quality time with her children.
‘Being a mum of two young children makes it hard to juggle both sometimes, as I do work most weekends and evenings, but I am lucky that my friends and family are all so supportive in what I am doing.’
Things are going really well and the business is quickly growing in popularity. What makes Hayley’s Flowers and Cart Hire unique is the new addition of an ice cream car available for hire. Decorated in a walls ice cream theme, it serves Cornetto ice cream which has made it very popular.
‘The best thing about running your own business is the sense of pride and achievement you have in doing something you love doing and seeing the customer happy. I would recommend it to anyone who is really passionate about what they do.’
If you would like more time to spend with your family whilst earning an income doing something you enjoy, contact The Women’s Organisation for free start-up advice and support on 0151 706 8111 / firstname.lastname@example.org
By Beckie Kinsella