Monthly Archives: February 2022

Side hustles – how to overcome the cost of living hikes (without putting your prices up or selling a kidney!)

As a business owner you can’t help but question how you will sustainably grow your business without putting your prices up as the cost of living goes up again and again.

I really feel for the public sector who don’t’ even have the option of pushing themselves harder to increase their income.

So with that in mind we asked our confidential mastermind group about their plans for making more money without having to work 24 hours a day. (Usually we wouldn’t share details of conversations on the Insiders because it’s a confidential place to talk business, life as a business owner and gain new business but we thought with their permission we would make an exception for this important subject) and we were interested to learn how many Insiders had created automated passive incomes and side hustles (not a term I’m keen on, makes me sound like a cowgirl!)

It’s a big passion of mine to create automated incomes and I’ve helped a lot of clients achieve this too, so that they can earn money while they are busy doing something else.

I love opening my bank account and discovering I’ve made money without doing anything – for me I have courses, books, affiliations, Hemp (random I know) and blog donations as my automated income. I thought it would be great to hear from our Insiders and shamelessly promote them and share what they’ve found to help them make more money and thus not have to put their prices up impacting on their customers too.

As Robyn Banks put it (no that’s not her job!) we have fingers in many pies, and it’s good to hear.

Robyn is the owner of Data protection specialists Adavista but when her and her husband are not running that business, they are making celebration cakes, hosting and building websites and helping Lions International with all their data protection needs.

Whose for cake?

To learn more, click here

Helen Watson’s day job is as a counsellor specialising psychotherapies, CBT and EMDR, not surprising that due to the pandemic and very real fears around the world Helen has never been so busy, with 2 busy practices in Maldon and Colchester, Helen also rents out rooms to therapists and small businesses in the area.

Helen told about her passion for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic “For me, I value the power of essential oils to support clients as part of a holistic approach to mental wellbeing, we also use some of the NYRO products like hand washes, hand sanitiser etc at both Colchester and Maldon consulting rooms.

We try and use products in the business that are ethical and eco-friendly because that’s important to us – and the blue bottles are just one of the ways we of do that plus potential to earn a little extra. (Though I’ve stopped offering hands-on treatments myself, there’s also ranges for beauty and massage therapists to use in their treatments so can be worth joining for various therapists.) To learn more about Helen and her businesses click here.

Jill Roberson is passionate about small businesses appreciating the value of being a green eco friendly company and often shares advice to the Insiders on how to achieve this. Her side hustle as a Tropic Skincare Ambassador not only brings in an income it also helps her team.

Jill told us “It’s very important to me that I work with ethical companies. Tropic freshly make their products in their own cosmetic kitchens near Croydon, using only plant and mineral based ingredients. It’s really important to me that they’re a carbon negative company and that every product helps provide primary education to children in remote parts of the world.” Check out Jills’ eco approach to skincare here. Jill even offers online pamper sessions for you and your friends – now that’s clever thinking!

For Karen Boughton the day job is all about VA services. Helping busy business owners find additional time and takin gall the jobs they hate, Karen said that she joined Tropic not to set up another business but because of the discounts she gets. Well saving money is another way you can keep more profit, right?

Clearly Tropic Skincare is a popular option for the side hustle since Claire Martine is an ambassador too.

“I have been a Leader with them for a year and a half, joined as an ambassador only 3 years ago.

I love all the decisions behind the brand that support its ethos to create a healthier, greener, more empowered world. Teamed with the proven efficacy of the products, I was happy to stand alongside a brand that not only promoted clean and natural products to my friends and customers with real models, but it’s wonderful to support so many charities effecting change and people’s lives globally. To be able to guide and inspire others in their Tropic journey is just the best

No targets, no minimum earning must, no pressure. The vibe is very supportive and high morale. I did it as my full-time venture until I completed my master’s degree, I now have a part time role alongside this.” We’ve seen this first-hand with Lisa Hardy often bringing other Tropic ambassadors to our events so that they could grow their businesses. It had no benefit to Lisa but it’s about spreading the business love right?

For Daliah Hopcroft, when Dahlia’s is not teaching people how to love telesales or phoning on behalf of business owners who hate it is a Forever Living consultant. Daliah told us “I first discovered Forever when I was unwell with an infection on my leg and a friend suggested using Propolis cream and I was blown away with the results and I’ve used them on myself and my family ever since. Their products harness the amazing benefits of Aloe Vera to improve health and wellness. They also have an award sinning skincare that I’m in love with too.

Tracey Fordham meanwhile may be known for her absolutely incredible Victorian inspired cake creations but her passion for holidays is now bringing in money too. “I’ve travelled around the world, and love helping people get the very best holiday on whatever size budget they have. It’s been really tough through the pandemic but rewarding to know that our customers were well protected. Working with Not Just Travel has been an amazing experience for me. I feel like I’m holiday with my clients every day!” Click here to check out some beautiful holidays.

May be an image of palm trees and pool
Who wouldn’t want to talk holidays all day?

Sally Anderson Wai maybe a journalist of many years with a good few years working at the BBC, but when Sally is not writing copy, blogs or social media content for clients Sally also owns a dog walking, day care and holiday cat feeding services in North Essex.

“I adore animals and it means I can spend my spare time loving other people’s pets. It’s a great job and I often get inspiration for my PR and copywriting clients when I’ doing it too!”

Helen Tovey is a life coach that specialises in helping people with body confidence “It was a natural addition for me to join Synergy and build a team – the products are award winning, and my customers tell me they feel it helps with their immune system, boosting energy levels and many other benefits. I know we talk on the Insiders about legal ways to promote products like these and it’s great to share so many stories from customers. It’s lovely to help others be physically well and love the bodies they are in!” Check out Helen’s day job here.

Paul Boorman is the owner of White Label Detroit Pizza – it may sound bizarre, but they specialise in moorish pizzas that are as good (no better) than takeaway, but you cook them at home. Paul sells raw Pizza across Essex, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk (and they are growing fast – well who wants to wait 2 hours for a takeaway to turn up?) but when Paul is not making Pizza, he is a consultant to the leisure and tourism industry and delivers fine dining in your own home. It doesn’t come cheap but since Paul is one of the top chefs in the UK, it’s an experience you never forget. Try not to saliva over your tech as you look at these pics of Pauls food! You can see if WLDP deliver to your area here. We think Paul would travel anywhere to give you the gourmet chef experience as long as you are playing for the fuel/flight/boat to get him there. Learn more here.

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If these ideas have whetted your appetite for a side hustle join us on the Insiders to learn more and discuss what you could do to boost your income.

We are a friendly group of business owners of all sizes and industries coming together to support each other through tough times and exciting ones, challenges and growth. No subject is off limit the only rules I insist on are;

1. Don’t mention a business/product/service if you have not personally used it.

2. Don’t share links to your site/social media/landing page unless you are looking for confidential feedback and advice on how to make them work better. This we actively encourage and Insiders are always happy to share ideas and advice.

3. Don’t DM Insiders with advice and ideas, keep it in the confidential Facebook page then everyone benefits from your knowledge and can come to you for advice, and you gain new business. We see conversations from 2018 pop up with new comments as people use the FB group as a source of information and ideas for their business.

If you would like to join us, we’d love that, please feel free to share this article with your friends and social media world and let’s keep talking on the Insiders. As the Founder of The Business Womans Network and a coach I’ve helped over 10,000 businesses to grow. They range from pre-start up through to very large global business. Your business is my passion, it always has been, and it always will be so the more you get involved in the Insiders the more I and those amazing business owners can help you too.

It’s why all Insiders can sell my courses and keep 50% of the profit too. It’s another way to bring in an income with very little effort and when you work so hard in the day job, it’s good to get a helping hand right?

Learn more about the business, confidence writing and communication courses here

And just for the record, we actively encourage our members to put their prices up when it’s right to do so and over on the Insiders we help you work out how to put your prices up and ensure people are happy to pay them. Use the magnifying glass on the confidential mastermind group to access the advice on that.

  • February 26, 2022

The chef, the therapist and accountant – success in a pandemic (with a warning for your business!)

According to the FSB there was a 6.5% decrease in the number of small businesses in the UK in 2021. And while the UK rates the second best in Europe for business survival at 5 years, it is still at a pitiful 45% with on average 1 in 5 businesses failing.

Going it alone can be exciting and rewarding but it can just as easily be demoralising and cost you your life savings and even your health and home.

The pandemic had a catastrophic impact on small business in the UK, but Chef Paul Boorman, Therapist Helen Watson and Accountant Isobel Chaplin are all shining examples that sustainable growth and success are possible even in a pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Anne Thomas Photography

Isobel Chaplin set up her own accounting practice just before the pandemic and within 2 years has become a multi award wining business owner (already winning another award in 2022), and has just taken on her first member of staff, Isobel said “My ambition was to step away from making money for someone else and be in charge of my own destination whilst supporting other small businesses, I was concerned about how to learn everything I would need to do this but I’ve been very happy in my own self-employment journey.”

Paul Boorman, a Top UK MasterChef has worked for some of the top destinations in Essex and The UK and took a diversion into the White Label Detroit Pizza company. By creating inch thick toppings on unique ‘bake-at-home’ pizzas delivered to customers across the county, fans have been indulging in them by their 1000’s throughout the pandemic. “I didn’t expect to be opening multiple shops for pizza sales in a pandemic, but we are now in Colchester and Maldon, taking on staff and looking at new venues. The interest in the unique Detroit style pizza has fuelled an Essex-wide pizza base craze we weren’t expecting.”

Helen Watson not only grew her psychotherapy practice in the pandemic, Helen took on new premises and is now helping other therapists too “I’ve always had a base in two towns in Essex to be accessible to clients and whilst the first lockdown was a challenge, adapting to working with clients online during that time not only meant I could continue to work with my clients but  actually turned out to be a useful way of widening my reach. The ability to continue with in-person therapies though has been a vital part of my business and although I worried it was poor timing in a pandemic to invest, I have found that having my own premises has helped my business grow to its best profits since I started trading and 2022 is looking exceptionally attractive for further growth.”

So, what does the Chef, the therapist and the accountant have in common? The Business Woman’s Network, set up by coach and author Mandie Holgate in 2009 is an organisation that supports the growth of business owners. Formerly aimed at women in business its reputation means that business men turn to the BWN for support and ideas too.

Mandie said “At the start of the pandemic I asked our members what they needed to survive the pandemic and its aftermath and the response was huge. Many had no trade at all, and we helped them create online businesses and others wanted to know how they could grow and sustain growth regardless of what the pandemic threw at them. Through my own coaching, the experts we bring to the group and the expertise of the business owners in our mastermind group we find that everyone has supported each other and there have been a lot of success stories.”

Mandie added “Moving into 2022 we are hosting free networking and business growth events for our members. Our members are across the UK, with a growing number of expats based around the world, we want to be there for them for these fast changing times.”

Despite the worrying news on the success rate of businesses, a study by UHY, the international accountancy network, shows that there were 726,000 new businesses created in the UK in 2020 compared to just over 636,000 in 2019.

And in March 2021 more new businesses were created than in any other month since records began in 1989. (Data from HRMC).

The big concern for small business looking to grow.

Mandie said “An issue we’ve seen increasingly in the last 12 months is that business owners have invested between £5 and £8000 on support and training to grow their business with little to no results. The industry is not regulated, and business owners often turn to social media to ask for help, which is often a place of outdated, poor, or sometimes even illegal advice that costs businesses thousands but with no return on their investment. That is why our mastermind group is confidential to ensure you know the quality of experts you are accessing will be accountable to what they say. Something often lacking from social media and it’s part of why we see so many success stories. We have deliberately kept the cost very low so that no matter where you are on your business journey our support is accessible to you. We really want to see more business success across our region in 2022.”

As we move into a year of uncertainty for small business it is reassuring to see businesses in our region are riding the pandemic wave to bring new jobs, opportunities businesses to the county.

The BWN is a multi-award-winning organisation recognised by government, the Bank of England and enterprise for its work supporting SME’s in the UK.

Mandie Holgate is a multi-award winning global speaker, author and coach, writing 2 highly acclaimed books Fight the fear and Taking Control Of Your Mind. Her clients include the NHS, Virgin Care and WH Smiths. Mandie specialises in coaching business teams and business owners. This year her husband has had a stroke, open heart surgery, a blood clot and multiple surgeries for Thyroid surgery, yet her own business has also grown and supported more UK based businesses than in any other year since its launch in 2009, showcasing those obstacles and adversity does not define your success or resilience.

The BWN Insiders is £10 per month and accessible to all professionals, charities and business owners.,new%20business%20creation%20league%20table.
  • February 16, 2022

Disability Confident and Your Business

Here we share the latest news from Disability Confident. It is free to join and you could make a real difference.
If you do get involved please do tag the DC team and us in a post on social media. You can access all of our social media at the top of the page – thank you!

Disability Confident – Members’ News  February 2022
This is best viewed in your web browser, please click here.   This edition includes… RNIB Visibly Better Employer Quality standard     Getting WorkFit for World Down’s Syndrome Day     Microlink hosting Digital Accessibility events for businesses     Way to Work – an introduction for employers     To hear for life, listen with care – World Hearing Day     Access to Work Mental Health Support Service     3 steps to Level 3 – becoming a Disability Confident Leader     Things to remember – check and renew your registration, promote your disability confidence     Time is running out to have your say     RNIB Visibly Better Employer Quality standard

According to RNIB only one in four people with sight loss of working age are in employment. Currently 11,000 people with sight loss in the UK are actively seeking work. RNIB is offering employers the opportunity to work with them, to become a better and more inclusive employer for people with sight loss.   
RNIB is encouraging Disability Confident employers like you to find out how their new Visibly Better Employer Quality standard will complement and enhance the steps you have already taken to improve your recruitment practices for people with sight loss.    Check out the RNIB website today, to find out more.

Getting WorkFit for World Down’s Syndrome Day World Down’s Syndrome Day on 21 March 2022 aims to raise global awareness of Down’s syndrome. You can find out more about the day in the UK and how your organisation can get involved through the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA).   

The DSA supports people who have Down’s syndrome into work through WorkFit, delivering successful supported employment by finding the right role for the right candidate, with the right level of support.   
A range of support is provided for employers, delivered by an assigned Employment Development Officer to ensure consistency and strong partnerships. This support includes bespoke training about Down’s syndrome including how candidates can be supported in the workplace, and a range of resources and advice. All support is free and lasts for the lifetime of the placement.  WorkFit recently featured on BBC1’s The One Show (from 2 minutes in) and BBC News. You can hear from people who have Down’s syndrome and their employers on the WorkFit YouTube channel, and you can even hear Sting sing about why you should get involved in The Hiring Chain
To find out more email or call 0333 1212300.   

Microlink hosting Digital Accessibility events for businesses Disability Confident Leader, Microlink, is hosting events in February and March on digital accessibility.   In February’s webinar, Dr Neil Rogers, Microlink’s digital accessibility expert, will explain what we mean by digital accessibility, the business benefits and how to ‘think accessibility’ from the start. He will also be looking at how to ensure your website is accessible and why your documents (such as pdfs, PowerPoint slides and Word / Excel files) need to be accessible for all in 2022 and beyond. Dr Rogers will also be hosting a workshop / clinic on 1 March where you can ask for advice on the accessibility challenges you’re facing. Sign up today. Image removed by sender. Tuesday 22 February 2022 @2pm – Digital Accessibility Webinar with Dr Neil Rogers, head of digital accessibility at Microlink. Register here: Webinar 
Tuesday 1 March 2022 @2pm – Digital Accessibility workshop/clinic with Dr Neil Rogers, head of digital accessibility at Microlink. Register here: Clinic 
For more information about Digital Accessibility support from Microlink, check out this Animation or go to for more free resources about being Disability Confident.    

Way to Work – an introduction for employers
Way to Work is a new partnership between government and employers to get 500,000 jobseekers into work by the end of June 2022.   This partnership will help fill record numbers of vacancies, supporting job-ready people into the labour market and helping them progress into a career. 
If you’re looking to fill a vacancy, Jobcentre Plus will offer you a named employer adviser in your local jobcentre (or a dedicated national account manager if you’re a national employer) and access to a range of recruitment services.    Having Disability Confident employers involved will help to ensure jobseekers, including those with disabilities, have the opportunity to access roles with businesses that value diversity and inclusion.    Find out more about Way to Work and how you can take part.

To hear for life, listen with care – World Hearing Day   It’s the World Health Organisation’s World Hearing Day on 3 March 2022. The focus of this year’s event is the importance of safe listening to maintain good hearing throughout your life. The campaign website has more details about events on the day and how you can take part, and further information about safe listening. 
You can get advice and guidance on noise at work on the Health and Safety Executive’s website. There is also a new free download on controlling noise at work regulations. The RNID also have information for employers on being deaf aware at work and how to support colleagues with hearing loss.  Image removed by sender. Access to Work Mental Health Support Service   Image removed by sender. If your employees are struggling with a mental health condition which affects them at work, they can access confidential advice and support as part of the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service. Find out more by visiting:   Able Futures:

Able Futures is running a mental health webinar in March. Anyone can join and you can book through the following link: Friday 18 March @2pmThe importance of sleep on mental health at work. Remploy also run free webinars where you can learn more about the service and how it can benefit your business. The next sessions can be booked here: Thursday 3 March @12pm and Wednesday 30 March @12pm.   3 steps to Level 3 – becoming a Disability Confident Leader If you’ve completed the employer self-assessment and are a Disability Confident Employer (Level 2), you will be thinking about what you need to do to reach the scheme’s top level – Leader.   
You are only three steps from the summit. These are: challenge; leadership; and reporting. Each of these build on the work you’ve already done.   Challenge means you have your self-assessment validated by another organisation, and you confirm that you are employing disabled people.      Leadership means describing the activities you are undertaking that show leadership in disability employment, such as, sharing good practice with other employers or hosting Disability Confident-related events.      And finally, reporting is about the action you’re taking to record and report on disability, mental health and wellbeing in the workplace (following guidance in the Voluntary Reporting Framework).     Image removed by sender. When you have completed these three steps, you’ll need to complete a form on the Disability Confident website to request to become a Disability Confident Leader.  
There is further guidance available on or you can take a look at the video on becoming a Disability Confident Leader.    Things to remember – check and renew your registration, promote your disability confidence

Not sure when your Disability Confident accreditation is due to expire?
It’s easy to do a quick check. Your expiry date is on the certificate issued when you joined or when you progressed to the next level. Or you can email the team at if you’re not sure. You can also advise of any changes to your contact details at the same email address.  

When it’s time to renew your membership, guidance on what you need to do is available on the Disability Confident website.     And whether you’re renewing your membership of the scheme or have just joined, don’t forget to tell the world that you are committed to being an inclusive employer. Use your Disability Confident badge in your recruitment information, and your business and customer communications. If you need a badge in a different format, please email your request to  

Time is running out to have your say The Cabinet Office’s consultation on workforce reporting on disability for large employers is open until 25 March. Go to theconsultation website if you want to respond.   Image removed by sender.   Disability Confident: guidance for levels 1,2 and 3   Moving through the Disability Confident levels – videos   Report changes to your Disability Confident details   Renew your Disability Confident status  
  • February 16, 2022

Time to panic over Meta/Facebook pulling out of Europe?

Those rumours on Facebook, are they true? What does it mean for your small business?

Here at the BWN, our INsiders benefit from some top experts on business. Here Insider Robyn Banks (Yes really her name) shares advice on the latest rumours on Facebook/Meta pulling out of Europe and what you need to know as a business owner.

Robyn Banks owns Adavista, a company specialising in ensuring you get the law right around data protection and freedom of information. The cost to small businesses of getting this wrong can be fines starting from £400. Every business (with few exceptions despite what you might read on social media) needs to be registered for example with the ICO. Not sure on what you are doing? On our confidential mastermind and networking group, you can ask Robyn anything and you get a discount to work with Robyn too. Not an Insider yet? Join here.

You may have seen lots of articles, even through Facebook, about Meta (Facebook’s parent company) pulling out of Europe.  As an expert in this industry here’s my thoughts on this;

Why would they?  This market is worth a lot of money to them.  There have also posted about Mark Zuckerberg losing a lot of money because people are turning away from Facebook.  May be this is a marketing ploy?

 Why are they “considering “if the market is worth a lot of money? 

Well, this has historical roots! Facebook – as well as Google – have fallen foul of many Information Commissioners across Europe over the years that has resulted in a lot of money in fines! They thought that, as big conglomerates, they could just walk over individuals and their privacy rights!  But you should remember that Facebook was never intended to be a “private” medium.. it was supposed to be a digital place to meet people and connect with others – you can’t do that if its only “closed” groups or private!

In an attempt to get round the data protection/privacy rules, Facebook originally set up its storage facility in the Republic of Ireland – ie in the EU.  But the “rules” state that, as a US company, they must abide by EU law in an EU country.  So when they kept getting huge fines, they moved everything to California.

California is one of the few US States to have a form of data protection legislation, but federally, the US does NOT have data protection legislation to protect the rights of individuals.  This is why the “EU/US Privacy Shield” was put in place – an agreement with the US Department of Commerce to protect our rights when dealing with US based companies.  This agreement was designated “illegal” and not-fit-for-purpose by the European courts in 2020. BUT if the US entity was not governed by the US Department of Commerce  – and many are not! – then it didn’t apply anyway!   This meant that the US organisation have to have an Agreement in place with the country concerned using the “Standard Contractual Clauses” drawn up by the EU authorities.  This is still the case and there are new Clauses just issued.

All this still applies to the UK after Brexit because our data protection rules have not changed in concept from the EU rules.  In fact they have drawn up an “Adequacy Decision” between UK and EU countries because we have the same level of protection on individuals’ rights and freedoms. 

What’s next?   – well, its simple!  Facebook/Meta just need to obey the rules!  They can draw up new agreements with European companies they market to (for adverts etc which is how they make their money) using the new Clauses. They need to think about data storage and the individual’s right to delete data. 

And perhaps they should think about employing me??!

The important thing to remember that you don’t need to panic, as an Insider I will always ensure you are up to date on the law and any changes that you may need to make. Not sure if you’ve got it right? I’m happy to have a chat either on the confidential mastermind group or via my website.

  • February 10, 2022