Small Business Showcase: Louise Bell!

Louise, the founder of Bell4Business, responded to my request for small business owners to showcase themselves and their businesses on my blog to provide insight, advice and inspiration for others who are starting up/thinking of starting up their own small businesses – including me!
The idea originally formed because I was fascinated by people’s stories and reasons for setting up their own businesses and I wanted to learn as much as I could in order to educate myself for the benefit of my own business.
I wanted to find a way to ask the questions I wanted the answers to but I realised that if I was interested surely others were interested in the answers too! In addition, I wanted the businesses willing to share their stories to get something in return so I devised the ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series which will give each small business featured promotion across social media. Win-win for everyone!
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The same 10 questions were posed to all small businesses via questionnaire – here are Louise’s replies:
1) How would you summarise the service(s)/product(s) your business offers?
Bell4Business is a one stop shop for all outsourced office support services.
2) How long have you been a small business owner?
2.5 years owning Bell4Business but 14 years in total.
3) What inspired you to set up your business?
Initially looking to develop my own business, to provide better flexibility and work life balance.
4) What platforms/strategies do you use to promote your business?
We use networking, social media, local press and general word of mouth.
5) What do you consider your greatest business achievement so far?
 I’ve been nominated for numerous awards over the years and I’m extremely proud of my reputation within the business community.
6) What do you consider your greatest business challenges?
Achieving the perfect work/life balance. It’s all too easy to allow a business to become all consuming, it’s important to regulary take stock and manange your business, not the other way round.
7) What resources/training have been most beneficial to your business so far?
We have employeed apprentices, which are a great asset to the business, and I’ve undertaken funded NVQ and PTLLS qualifications.
8) What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Really think about the service/product you are offering and the niche that makes you different. Plan advertising on a small budget but do lots, such as networking to start off with. People buy people time after time.
9) What are your future plans for your business?
We are looking to take on further clients and hopefully in the coming two years will purchase our first business premises.
10) Are there any other small businesses you would like to give a shout out to who have been an inspiration/support to you?
Denise Artly of ENRG and Bruce Massie of Chamber of Commerce, in Hull. Both have been very supportive to me and my businesses and I know they always go the extra mile for all the businesses they are involved with.
Any other comments?
Thank you.
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My ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series will be published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – previous showcases can be read herehere,  hereherehere and here and here.
If you would like to feature your small business too, please email me at penningandplanning@gmail.com.
Claire
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