Zoë Dew, Owner of Zoë Dew Consulting

Helping female founders to implement systems and processes to make their business work harder

When I launched my business in July last year, I had no savings behind me but a lot of grit and determination!

My dad and brother both run their own companies, so they were a massive source of inspiration when I was considering taking the plunge into self-employment. At the time I was working in a café as a way of resetting my brain after being abruptly fired from a job I loathed. I’d spent six months there and I knew on my first day of orientation that I’d made the wrong decision – accepting the sales manager job I’d been headhunted for by a big company. The previous decade was spent building my dream career – landing senior roles within the events industry at the biggest and most prestigious wedding venues in the local area. Aged 31 however, I felt washed up and, with the benefit of hindsight, on the verge of burnout.

The two months spent working in the café gave me the space I needed to invest some much-needed time into myself, as well as to really think about what my own business venture could look like. Six weeks after launching, I landed a massive client and the feeling was amazing! I still work with them today and the past 14 months has seen my company pivot. No longer focusing on one-to-one consulting for independently-owned wedding venues, which only myself and one other business had tapped into back then, I recognised that in order stay ahead of the steadily growing competition, the solution was to diversify.

Broadening my client base – successfully transferring my systems and processes to a fresh audience – is the best thing I ever did. Only this week, I’ve had my biggest intake of contracts to date.

My top tips for any business owner is to find a community of like-minded people – whether that’s on or offline – because self-employment can be lonely and it’s important to share knowledge and seek a fresh perspective. Also, don’t be afraid to be selfish! Invest time and money in yourself – learning to do something you’re going to enjoy for a prolonged period of time. For me, that’s the best path to follow for success and happiness.

Zoë Dew Consulting