A Lancashire woman who started her own business after more than 30 years as a PA has set ambitious growth targets after receiving support from Boost.
Mags Potter started Potters Business Support in 2017 to offer PA services including diary and document management, bookkeeping and travel planning to small businesses across the county.
Mags first heard about Boost’s Growth Support Programme at a networking event. After receiving Boost support she is now looking to secure extra resources to manage the increasing workload from her growing client base.
Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Boost’s fully funded Growth Support Programme is designed to support individuals and SMEs in Lancashire achieve their growth aspirations and be better equipped to deal with challenges in sales, marketing, finance, business planning and recruitment.
Mags said: “After working for nearly 30 years in an office-based job I wanted to gain more control over my choice of work and go it alone. But I had no idea where to start. I knew how to be a PA inside and out, but nothing about starting a business.
“Through the Boost programme I was introduced to Sue Denver who has helped me right from the start. She was able to offer advice to help me start, build and manage a viable business.”
Sue Denver, Boost advisor from Winning Pitch said: “Mags started trading towards the end of 2017. She has a wealth of experience in PA services and spent the first few months carefully researching the market and raising her profile through networking events across Lancashire.
“After starting the Boost programme she was then confident to really launch herself and focus fulltime on business. By January 2018 she was far exceeding her expectations for the demand for her PA services. Mags is continuously developing her business model and certainly now sees an opportunity for the business to grow.
Mags said: “I also received funded support and advice from Digital First, to redevelop my website and increase my online presence. This was a godsend for the business. I now pen my own blog posts – and understand the benefit of keywords for SEO – something I never thought would matter to me!
I also received help to prepare a three-year business plan and attended masterclasses to learn more about increasing business and sales. I get most of my business through networking, so attending the Boost networking masterclasses has been helpful for building my business.”
Andrew Leeming, Boost programme manager, Lancashire County Council said: “We’re working hard to grow Lancashire’s economy, which includes successful programmes such as Boost, which has already helped thousands of start-up businesses like Potters Business Support find the right advice and support to develop.
“We work in partnership with businesses to help them to find the support they need, and then continue to help them with their development. So, if you’re based in Lancashire, get in touch with Boost to start your growth conversation.”
Mags added: “The growing demand for my PA services now requires extra resources and I’m now in a position to consider my next move to grow the business. I plan to do this either by setting up a network of associates or operating an agency-based service. I am not sure which path to choose, but I know someone at Boost will certainly have the answer!”