Pink Link Ladies runs a number of networking events and conferences, including the well-known Enterprise Vision Awards (EVAs). Here, its founder and managing director, Coral Horn, shared her inspirational Lancashire woman in business story.
What does your business do?
We provide networking events and conferences where women can come together to connect, be supported, share knowledge and gain business. We also run masterclasses and help women access funded support to assist with knowledge development and an annual awards to recognise women’s achievements. We provide a private online community for members to connect and promote their business. We meet online and in person across the North West.
Why did you start your own business?
We wanted to take action after hearing so many businesswomen feel that the traditional networking did not meet their needs or offer an environment where they felt included and comfortable. As networking can generate new business enquiries and the opportunity to gain new contacts and services, I felt they were missing out and it would be detrimental to their business growth. After conducting a market survey to ascertain what they wanted, I launched Pink Link.
What has been your biggest business breakthrough?
I think to have been established for 13 years is testament to the services we provide and evidence of the need to support the women in business community. Not only surviving a pandemic but successfully pivoting to grow the business and extend the customer reach as well as being able to add valuable funded support services to the women. Every woman that has come through our network as a fledgling business and successfully grown as a result is always a breakthrough to us.
What has been your proudest achievement in your business?
The growth of the Enterprise Vision Awards to be recognised as the largest female business awards platform in the UK. Taking the step to bring the awards to the Winter Gardens, Blackpool was a turning point. It enabled the awards to grow in a venue that was prestigious and reflected the target audience and their aspirations and provided a fitting venue where they could celebrate and come together in style.
What is the most effective support or guidance you have received?
You take away snippets of advice from many of your peers in business. I always believe you should be open to continue learning as it will aid you and the growth of your business. I haven’t received ongoing support from any individual since I started, but met with many successful business people and always listen to their business stories. I would say that having the belief that you can achieve, take all feedback and learn and go for it, what’s the worst thing that can happen.
What keeps you going when things are tough?
Running your own business is not easy and you meet many challenges along the way. There have been times when it’s been really tough over the years, not just during the pandemic, although that was up there. Remembering to breath and look at alternative options to achieve the goal, speaking with your trusted colleagues to ask their opinion and more importantly listening. Staying calm and focused and not being afraid to ask for help. Having people around you that believe in what you do and want to be part of that is so important when the going gets tough.
What are your best 3 tips for maintaining your wellbeing?
I drink lots of water and keep myself hydrated and find going for a walk in nature helps to clear my head when there is a lot going on. I don’t have my emails on my mobile anymore, it used to distract me from my downtime and therefore I could not switch off completely. It’s important to try to maintain a balance of when you are in work mode and when you are at rest and investing time in you and your family and friends.
What advice would you give to a female entrepreneur starting a business?
I always say that the hardest bit has been done, taking that initial step and starting is often the scariest. Get out there and meet people in the business community, be involved, be seen and you will meet the people that will become your cheerleaders along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you can’t know everything and nobody expects you to. Seek those professionals that you need to assist your business; a good accountant or service providers that offer business support. Keep smiling and believing in yourself.
Would you like to see your business grow? So would we.
To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.