Hannah Liversidge is the business owner of Amethyst PA, an agency providing marketing support to business owners. In this interview she reveals how she came up with the idea behind her business, encountering failures and celebrating business success.
What is the story behind Amethyst PA?
I was looking after my father’s roofing company for several years, as his office admin, marketing and labourer, whilst also networking for him at a local BNI group. Then, one night, at about midnight I had an epiphany! Within an hour, I had come up with the name, the services I could offer, and even the 60 second pitch. It’s now almost 5 years down the line and I’ve learned so much.
How did you come up with the name?
I was a premmie baby, and my birth stone was meant to be amethyst, which apparently helps with stress and sleep – which are 2 things I help my clients with. Also the strap-line “keeping you ahead of schedule” was coined by my business-savvy mum (who is now also a part of the team!).
What prompted you to want to start your own business?
I guess for me it was that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my working life, and that I had been around entrepreneurial people through my parents, and also through networking for him, seeing how others had taken their businesses and had success helped me to realise I didn’t have to get a “real” job.
What failures did you encounter and when? How did these happen? How did you deal with these?
I encounter “failures” often, but my biggest was when I took the plunge and decided to buy a house with my partner (we celebrate 4 years in December), and started to have worries about money and mortgages. Thanks to this worrying I began to only think with a money-mindset, which lost me a wonderful client who I adored working with. Thanks to this, I learned to always keep my mind focused on what I want to achieve, not the money. I of course ensure invoices are paid within their time-frame, but my ethos is about helping my clients, and the people I help always pay on time, because I am not stressing them.
My Dad always helped me to see that a “failure” is something we can learn from, and an honest apology goes a long way. I learn from these failures and they help me to build my business more each time. Often they are the best learning curves, over a success!
What would you say your biggest success in business has been up to date and why?
Right at the beginning of my business, I was managing social media for my father’s company, as well as my own, and I got head hunted by a client! This was 5 years ago, and I still look after the social media for their clients. I would say keeping clients who have been with me throughout my business journey is a great success, and a testament to how I help them. I have 3 clients who have been with me for 5 years, with most of my others having been with me for at least a year.
How do you set goals for your business?
Ha! For me goals are pretty simple, and I’ve been quite rubbish in this area – I want happiness. My goal is to work with people I really enjoy helping, and that believe in the help I can give them. Corny I know, but I am not a money-motivated person, it’s about how I feel and how my clients feel when I am helping them.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Go for it! Take the risk and get started, make sure your idea has legs, and ensure you are passionate about what you are doing. Truly ask yourself if you would be happy doing this throughout the day, every day, and going through the ups and downs. I’d also suggest getting dropbox, Google Drive or something similar to backup all of your documents, so if the worst happens, you have it all in one easy to access place!
Also, get a coach or a mentor, or a supportive person in your world, to help you overcome the rollercoaster that comes with being a business owner.
Always ensure you have a mobile hotspot on your phone – my business is mainly online, as many businesses are nowadays, so you need a backup should your internet let you down!
Is there a particular public figure who inspires you, if so why?
My Mum. She is an inspiration every day to positive mental attitude, go-get ‘em belief and just a down right superstar.
How do you keep your work/life balance as a business owner?
I am very lucky, I have a partner who has a “proper” job, so when he gets home, that’s the end of my day. I also ensure I have strict meetings with myself, so I can walk the dog, go to the gym, or just chill-out. It’s really important to do this, as otherwise your life will be kept in the office. I suggest making sure you have a room for your office, so you can close the door at the end of the day, rather than always going past it. At the beginning of moving into this house I worked in the living room, which meant I always saw my workspace, even when we were having downtime in the evening. It was not helpful!
Click here to find out more about Amethyst PA
Connect with Hannah on LinkedIn