A MUM from Portchester has started a successful mobile hairdressing business with dedicated input from WSX Enterprise.
Sharon Nicklin had split from her husband and was out of work and on benefits when she went to a workshop for people eligible for the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
Chas Morrison, a WSX Enterprise mentor, provided advice and then worked with her on a business plan that was checked and approved by a NEAS assessor.
Since launching Mobile Styles in September 2013, Sharon has built up an expanding client base.
The campaign has involved leaflet drops in her neighbourhood, word of mouth referrals and achieving recommendations on local Facebook discussion groups.
Sharon, 41, who lives in Portchester with her three teenage children, had worked in salons since she left school but did not have any previous experience of setting up or running a business.
Sharon said: ‘There were about eight people at the workshop all talking about clever business ideas. I was feeling quite low and I just said I wanted to be a hairdresser and my own boss but I felt terrified about it to start with.
‘Chas has been brilliant. He reassured me, calmed me down and explained what needed to happen in really simple terms. I am really good at the practical side of hairdressing but I didn’t have a clue how to turn it into a business.’
Chas, who has been an advisor to small and medium-sized businesses since 1990, said: ‘Sharon had a difficult time with her private life and lacked confidence, although she is very self-assured as a hairdresser and as a mum.
‘My tasks were to get her believing in her business and make her aware that running a business is not rocket science. We started by breaking down the various requirements into smaller steps.
‘She has learned to research her market, set sensible prices, analyse her sales performance, make sure her books and tax affairs are in order, and plan for growth against targets and timescales.’
WSX Enterprise is a not-for-profit company in Fareham delivering a wide range of business support and entrepreneur services including start-up loans, business mentoring, innovation support and business design. Most services are delivered free or heavily subsidised with government and European funding.
For more information, contact 01329 223242 or visit wsxenterprise.co.uk.