I’m originally from Penrith and moved away from Cumbria when I was 18, to study Fashion Promotion at the University of Central Lancashire, in Preston. I have worked in several marketing roles across the UK in a diverse range of industries, promoting anything from men’s elasticated trousers to firework displays, Beatles music to Bugs. I once even worked on the set of Coronation Street!
Life threw me a huge curve ball when I was made redundant in 2010, which inspired me to start my own marketing consultancy back home in Cumbria.
When I was made redundant, it came out of the blue. There was no consultation period, no notice to work and no redundancy package. What made it worse was that I had only been in the job for 6 weeks. At the time it was awful, and I just didn’t know what direction to take or what my future would hold. At the time I was living in Liverpool and the only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted to move back to Cumbria.
I started my job hunt in Cumbria but found that there were no positions vacant in marketing at the time. I’m not one to rest on my laurels, so I set about contacting local companies to see what opportunities were available and found that many needed assistance with outsourced marketing work.
I took this as a bit of a lightbulb moment. I’d never thought about running a business before; it was just never an option that had been explained to me at school or that I’d ever really thought about, but what did I have to lose?
Only 47% of businesses in Cumbria survive past the five-year mark according to the Cumbria Observatory*, so I am continuing to buck the trend and grow my consultancy business further. I became a Chartered Marketer in 2012 and have worked with hundreds of organisations since starting my business, from sole traders, start-ups and charities to FTSE 250 companies, but I am on a mission to help even more small business owners across the UK.
When I started Acorn Marketing, my core aim was to help small businesses understand marketing tactics that I had learnt whilst working in the industry. As my business has grown, so too have the types of clients that I work with. However, I am still passionate about helping the start-ups, sole traders and micro businesses across the UK. I know what it is like to be a small business owner, juggling all the roles yourself, with the frustrations of running a business, but trying to understand how to do your marketing, social media, accounts, IT, admin, often with a limited budget. So, I am still very passionate about helping those businesses who do not have a lot of support, to understand marketing and social media and thrive.
As a result, I have developed a series of monthly online Mini Marketing Masterclasses, designed to give small business owners an insight into marketing and social media and the opportunity to have a marketing expert on hand for support and guidance through my Facebook group ‘Marketing Made Easy with Lisa’ which has members from across the UK and even Italy and the USA.
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Acorn Marketing, I will also be launching the ‘Marketing Mastery Programme’ which is for those business owners who are serious about developing their marketing to support their business growth.
I want to help business owners go from feeling overwhelmed with their marketing to being more confident, understanding exactly what they need to do and see results.
The programme will run over 8 weeks and cover modules such as Marketing Strategy, Planning, Social Media, Branding, Public Relations, Email Marketing, Websites and SEO and Evaluation; giving businesses all the tools they need to really get to grips with marketing and make it work for their business. The course begins on the 17th of June.
Being made redundant ten years ago really has been the pivotal turning point in my career. Without this turn of events, I may have never discovered that starting a business was an option. For anyone who may be facing redundancy during these difficult times or thinking about starting their own business, I have these words of advice for you…
There is no doubt that being made redundant is hard, but it is also a time to see it as a new opportunity. I never expected I would be doing what I do now, and I love it. I encourage anyone thinking about starting their own business to jump in with both feet, be confident and make your own destiny. It really has been the best thing that ever happened to me!
Mini Marketing Masterclass information and The Marketing Mastery programme can be found at www.acorn-marketing.co.uk/courses
My Spellbinding Social Media Challenge begins on 24th May for three days. Sign up here.