Entrepreneurs need to support each other to ensure they are not isolated, says St Albans Businesses leader says
Entrepreneurs starting their own money-making enterprises in St Albans need greater support to ensure they don't become isolated and lonely, a business group leader has said.
The city has become a place where new businesses have thrived in recent years, with St Albans man Tom Pellereau winning the BBC television series The Apprentice and Luisa Zissman, also from the city, becoming a runner-up on the show.
Both have gone on to build successful businesses, while the Woo Hoo Achievement Awards held by the St Albans Businesses group last month also demonstrated a series of entreprenurial success stories.
However St Albans Businesses founder Sue Wybrow - who herself started Popdance in 2010 to provide dance activities for young and old people alike - said: “When you first start, you’ve got to do everything yourself - you’re it.
“Finance, marketing - every aspect, you’ve got to deal with that yourself until you have a budget where you can delegate.”
Ms Wybrow herself has said that “what started as a hobby, led to a long-term job resignation and a massive learning curve on how to run a business”.
As a result, she said people are having to learn about the mechanics and technicalities of running a business, even though their expertise lies in other fields.
One of the biggest challenges is that many people running new businesses have no choice but to self-finance - meaning that they have to keep a close eye on the profits and be prepared to alter activities that aren’t making money.
“When you’re running your own business you do start to doubt yourself,” she said.
“A lot of people running their own businesses tend to get isolated if they’re working from home.
“There’ll be ups and downs and you have days that are harder than others. To know that you’re not on your own makes a massive difference.”
As a result Ms Wybrow has set up St Albans Businesses to try and ensure people have a forum where they can discuss and share ideas, as well as any problems they might be facing.