by karen on March 21, 2014

I am thrilled to have been featured as a ‘parent entrepreneur’ on the Work for Mums website. This is testament to have far my marketing, social media and market research business has come in the last three years, the challenges which have been overcome and the new opportunities which have opened up. Here are some extracts from the interview I gave to Suzannah Butcher, the founder of

Q: What is your Business called and when did you start it?
A: Wisdom Marketing & Research, founded in 2012. It offers a range of marketing services to other businesses, including marketing strategy and planning, social media support, blog/article/newsletter writing and market research. My brand ‘Karen Wisdom Social Media’, is the one I use for my social media management and training work.

Q: Your background must have given you the idea of running your own business, but was it hard to make those first steps?
A: Unlike many entrepreneurs, I hadn’t originally intended to start my own business, but was motivated to do so soon after being made redundant in 2011. Starting out as a freelancer, I very quickly became fed up with knocking on the doors of London agencies, who gave me false promises of freelance work, and so I decided to get in the driving seat to set up a business and to secure more of a regular income.

During that period, I attended several business start up courses, re-evaluated my skills set and focused on what services I could offer to other businesses to generate a reliable income. I created a brand name and logo, a web presence and a business card, and launched myself back out there. I targeted small and medium sized businesses in my local area, where I spotted a gap in the market for such services.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far?
A:. Starting a marketing business in the midst of the recession, when related budgets were being cut. But if you can survive that, you can survive anything!

Q: What have been the best and worst moments since you started your business in 2012?
A: Best moments:
1.  Booking and delivering my first 1-2-1 social media training session with a business owner, who wanted to learn how to use Facebook and Twitter effectively to promote their business
2. Being asked, as an expert speaker in my field, to give educational talks on marketing and social media at business events (and receiving hugely positive feedback from the audiences).

Worst ones:
1. At first, I stumbled with my confidence, going out to networking events with my new business card as ‘me’, rather than as a representative of someone else’s business.
2. Also, after enjoying a regular monthly salary for over 25 years, the ‘feast or famine’ nature of being self-employed is something it’s taken me a while to get used to. Fortunately it’s mostly a case of ‘feast’ these days.

Q: If you could go back in time, would you change anything?
A:. I would have been quicker off the mark in going networking, even at the start up point (which hadn’t occurred to me at the time). Through regular business networking, I have gained invaluable advice and made some brilliant collaborative connections, as well as getting new clients.

Q: What 3 words would you use to describe your ‘business’ self?
A: Resilient, passionate, adaptable.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone else wanting to start a business?
A:  (1) Make sure you are passionate about what you do/sell, as it will boost your chances of success.

(2) Try to learn some basics about running a business by taking a relevant business start up course (some run by start up organisations are free). We can’t all be experts at everything business-related, but it definitely helps to get advice before you get started, and to help shape your business ideas and operations. For me, the the financial aspects were the most important, but others will take away different things.

(3) Go business networking – to meet contacts, to build business relationships and to learn tips and tricks. Remember it’s not just about the people in the room, it’s their connections you can tap into too. Ask how other business owners have overcome challenges, what worked best for them etc, and listen to their advice. If you are new to networking, you will be surprised at how much support exists from the small business community.

Click here to read the full interview on the Work for Mums website.

If you have a marketing or social media challenge, please contact us to discuss how we could help you.

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