Tell us about your business and when and why you set it up?
I had been working as a Business Development and Relationship Manager at the University of Reading for ten years, where I supported industry/academic collaboration on strategic, commercially valuable projects, securing innovation/R&D funding wherever possible. Then during my maternity leave, I saw a Facebook advert for Digital Mums, which trains mothers to become freelance social media managers. I completed the training in 2015, and over the next year, spent time working with clients and gaining experience.
In 2016, I decided to combine my business development, project management, funding and social media experience and create a consultancy focused on helping small businesses to grow, as making a difference to them is where my passion lies. So I left Reading in early 2017 to concentrate fully on Isanda Consulting.
What words of wisdom can you give to another Business Girl that is just starting out?
Focus on your strengths and your passions; plan well and continually review your plans; and be brave!
How do you achieve work/life balance?
I am definitely super-organised and my diary and kitchen calendar are vital in keeping myself, my work and my family organised. I am a firm believer in that you should work to live though, and family will always come first, but that’s not to say I don’t love my job! This belief is also why I chose the name Isanda – a combination of my, my daughter and my husband’s names.
What has been the most memorable moment in your business journey so far?
One of my clients managed to secure an interview with a major celebrity, and doing the social media for the launch of that interview was exhilarating; but a second was meeting Maidenhead Business Girl members after my Twitter presentation at the May meet up. It was a pleasure to meet so many inspirational local business women, and they reinforced the fact that working for myself had been the right decision.
What are your plans for your business in the future?
I am hoping that Isanda Consulting continues to grow, and I am able to support more local businesses in achieving their growth aspirations; and I am also exploring the potential for developing a local social media training programme for small businesses with a fellow Digital Mum!
Tell us one fact about you that we might not know about?
Although I’m now rather rusty, I can speak French and Russian, and have seen every ballet in the Mariinsky Theatre (St Petersburg) repertoire!
Who inspires you the most?
My Mum – she has been a single parent pretty much since I was born; is the hardest working person I know; and is the most wonderful Mum that I could ever wish for or aspire to be.
Digital Mums: www.digitalmums.com
Isanda Consulting: www.isanda-consulting.co.uk