We speak to two local business leaders / women entrepreneurs to see how they have adapted over the past 2 years, the lessons learnt, and how they are setting the pace for 2022…
Denise Chilton – Professional Certified Coach and Leadership Development Specialist with over 10 years’ coaching experience.
As a career and leadership coach Denise Chilton had to adapt her business to ensure she could continue to deliver support through the pandemic.
‘I think like everybody else, the first few weeks of the pandemic. I went oh my goodness. I’m going to lose my business, and I think that was really because of the domino effect of clients cancelling work. I remember there was a point when I decided I need a plan to come out of the other end otherwise I wouldn’t survive.
Denise has been working virtually for the last twelve years, working with clients all over the world, with her furthest located in Bangladesh so, fortunately already had the means in place to transfer all her coaching online.
‘But what was interesting, was most of my face-to-face work was within the northwest pre pandemic and now as we return to working face to face again it is moving back to the way it was.’
As we went into the first lockdown Denise worked on an NHS Looking After You Too programme providing a safe space for primary care staff to talk through what they were going through on the front line with an experienced coach.
‘That was a great piece of work, which was a privilege to be asked to do.
I started to notice in business that people were feeling disconnected, and that managers and business owners were really struggling with managing performance virtually.
Denise began putting on sessions to allow teams in businesses to connect with each other in a virtual environment. It was an opportunity to put business as normal aside and help others to connect.
I actually took some time out to do some self-development, I did a diploma in team coaching, whilst, at the same time taking time for my own self-care not burning myself out so I’ve had a really positive experience of the pandemic.
I think there was something I learnt about the importance of connection during the last 2 years, and also about how we connect with each other. I think the consistent thing in business is that you must be agile and able to adapt to your market and look for new ways. Otherwise, we won’t survive.
You can get some real great results from working virtually you just have to connect in a different way.
Moving forward in 2022, Denise is using her new skills from the pandemic.
I know what really works well for me and I know where I can give my best. So I think what the pandemic has done even more, it’s really helped me refine my offer. For me it’s about doing meaningful work.
Setting my own pace and doing work that is really aligned to my values and where I think I add the most value, when I do that then I get a better balance because actually, I do all my other stuff as well. My activity and my lifestyle choices. So for me, it’s about getting the balance right and then I can fully show up for the people I work for.
Find out more about Denise Chilton’s Coaching on her website, here; Denise Chilton: Executive and Career Coaching
Bronzie UK Ltd – Bronzie is a luxury tanning & accessories brand founded in the summer of 2014 by beauty expert Leanne LeGuen
Bronzie offers a wide range of tanning accessories including a back and body mitt, and after-tanning jumpsuit, and as we come out the pandemic and BREXIT, Bronzie continues to go from strength to strength.
Two years on, people are getting back to planning holidays, and getting back out for tanning but the retailer game has changed, businesses have gone online, with websites and Instagram, and more predominantly Tiktok.
Bronzie is stepping into the social media aspect, with Tiktoks featuring real people tanning. You can see them here; Bronzie UK (@bronzieuk) TikTok | Watch Bronzie UK’s Newest TikTok Videos
Leanne said: ‘We’re in an industry where there’s such big brands out there, a continuous conversation we have is how do we compete with the big brands that have the big budgets? For me, it’s discovering what we have has a brand that they haven’t, it’s about a personal touch. For us it’s showing the realness of real people tanning.’
Bronzie is a small business who tries to keep costs down as much as they can. This, Leanne feels helped the business during the pandemic, she says; ‘It’s taught me how resilient we are, if we had 10/15 staff, I don’t know how I would’ve done, but I am thankful we’re small.’
Bronzie is continuing to grow and develop as they look forward to taking their brand global, branching out into the European and US market.
Leanne says, there’s so much you can do it’s just having the knowledge and the people around to help you.
Bronzie is Australian made, using Australian kakadu plums that work to stimulate collagen production and reduce fine lines & wrinkles, Cruelty Free and Rich in Antioxidants, you can find their full range on their website; Bronzie | Fake Tan, Tanning Mitts, After Tan Jumpsuits & Accessories – bronzieuk