Why did you sign up to the Women and Broadband Programme?
I am a professional photographer and graphic designer and my business had been going well for a couple of years before I applied for the Swift programme, but I felt that there were real gaps in my knowledge. I knew my craft inside and out but running my own business needed other skills that I didn’t have, such as an understanding of finance, book-keeping, marketing, getting the most out of social media.
How have you benefitted personally?
The Swift programme is very practical and hands-on, which I appreciated as that was what I was looking for. I attended every module I could and have heaps of notes from each. On a practical level I am now more organised about how I run my business day to day. My fellow Swifters have also become a supportive networking group. The master classes in building your personal brand and developing your perfect pitch were two of the best of the whole programme for me.
The programme also helped me in subtle ways that I am only now starting to realise. It has changed my mind-set and given me a different perspective. I am more directed and clearer about where I am heading. I think the clearest way I can explain the effect of Swift on my business is that I look at what I do not only from a creative but now also from a business point of view.
What happened next or what are you planning to do next?
From working with the Swift business coach, I have decided to focus my work on architecture, renovation and interior design projects, although I will continue my broad range of photographic subject matter. This has meant that I have been in more direct contact with the building trades: architecture, engineering, interior design and construction. Exciting new projects have come up as a direct consequence of being on the Swift programme, which I know will lead on to even more. I feel very lucky to have been on the course and hope that they continue to get funding to enable them to run the programme for many years to come. I know I would not be as clear and as confident in what I am doing and where I am heading if it weren't for Swift. It was an invaluable experience for me.
It’s been important for me to have been able to benefit from the fibre infrastructure development in East Sussex. Good broadband is indispensable for my business, especially since I need to upload photos onto my website on a regular basis.