When accountant and mother, Donna Haslewood, wanted to find a way to balance her career and childcare commitments, she found a great place to seek advice was enterpriseGY, Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s free business support service.
After becoming an AAT-qualified accountant, Donna struggled to find a suitable part-time accountancy job in the area which would enable her to spend enough time at home with her three-year-old daughter Sophie.
Following meetings with enterpriseGY to discuss the viability of setting up her own businesses, she established Haslewood Accountancy, which she now runs from her home office in Gorleston-on-Sea.
Haslewood Accountancy offers accountancy and bookkeeping services to sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, in addition to business administration support for small and medium-sized businesses.
“The part time jobs in accountancy are rarer locally and when you’ve got children it’s a bit harder to do that commute to Norwich and back every day,” said Donna, 31, who has a second child due in July.
“Having my own business is great because it means I’m still keeping up-to-date with my skills and qualifications, whilst being a mother as well. I can balance things more flexibly.”
In addition to advice on the viability of her business idea, the enterpriseGY business advisors also provided her with free, tailored help on various key aspects of running a new venture, including business planning, marketing and advertising.
Since launching the business in October 2015, Donna has secured her first two clients by attending the monthly Enterprise Club networking meetings, run by enterpriseGY. She now works two days a week and continues to keep in touch with the business advisors.
“It’s handy with enterpriseGY because they are there for you,” said Donna. “Regardless of your business enquiry, they can help you out or point you in the right direction. And I like the fact you can have one-to-ones to suit you, to bounce your ideas off them confidentially and get impartial feedback.”