Louise Towler, LT Consulting

LT Consulting is a web design agency started by Louise Towler in 2003. They provide web site design and development, ongoing maintenance and email marketing services to businesses, schools and other marketing and design agencies. All web sites are responsive, which means they will work functionally and visually on any device, whether PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

“My original motivation for starting the business was to be in control of my personal finances using the technical knowledge I had built up over a number of years. In the early days, working from home, I needed to ensure that my commitment to the business fitted in with my home life as a mother with young school age children.

After attending an NLP Practitioner course run by EdgeNLP, I soon realised that the only thing holding me back was myself and things are going to happen in running my own business, some good, some not so good and not to allow myself to be pushed around by external factors that are outside of my control. Instead, the important thing to do is to control how I react in the best way possible, to deal with them and move on.

One of the triggers to my business growing was joining the business networking group, BNI. Before I was introduced to BNI, I had no idea that there were local networking groups committed to working together to grow their respective companies. This has given me the confidence to promote my business to others and to feel part of the local business community, a key factor in our success.

It was not long before I also realised that working from home was not enabling me to expand my business, which I definitely wanted to do. So, I moved into my first office and took on a member of staff for administrative help 4 to 5 hours per week.  Moving into an office allowed me to focus on the business, not just in terms of delivery, but also in being seen as more professional by my clients. My fantastic accountants Rickaby & Co advised me on converting from a sole trader to a limited company and VAT registration, which also gave us more credibility with larger clients.

A couple of years later, a friend introduced me to Entrepreneur’s Circle, an organisation that helps small businesses grow, which taught me to focus “on” my business as well as working “in” it. This means I now focus on business development, sales and marketing, in addition to supporting our clients. This also gave me some insights into how to scale up the business. I always knew the value of my own time and realised if I could recruit, train and develop others to do the same as me, we could increase our revenues, as there would now be more of us to provide the website development and online marketing services. I now focus on overseeing the work of my staff and business development rather than developing websites myself.

This brings me to another major trigger in the development of my business, GrowthAccelerator, a partnership between the Government and some of the UK’s leading, private sector growth specialists. I worked with a Growth Coach for about 6 months to formulate my Vision and growth plans. During this period I was encouraged to setup my sales figures and related costs into a Profit & Loss forecast for the future, creating marketing plans, staff development plans and formalising my business processes.

When I had a temporary loss of a member of staff with very short notice at the start of 2014, I immediately reviewed my plans and this gave me the confidence to recruit another member of staff straight away.  It was in my P&L forecast to recruit additional staff but I was able to bring this forward by six months because I could model the cost and cash-flow implications.  Since this period my business has gained momentum with both business development and in providing our services to new and existing clients and I now have four employees.

To conclude, LT Consulting has grown as a result of hard work, really hard work, focussing on customer service and working “on” as well as “in” the business, looking after our staff and reacting in the right way to external factors. We are now looking forward to our next phase of growth and the challenges that will certainly come our way.”

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