Why did you sign up to the women and broadband programme (Swift)?
I signed up for the Swift Project because I had recently relocated to East Sussex. I knew that I wanted to launch my business (FITTY Training Products Limited – FITTY UK), but having never started a business before I was keen to expand my entrepreneurship knowledge and IT skills.
The Swift project offered such a great range of courses, I was immediately captivated and keen to participate in as many as I could. One of my main weaknesses before Swift was in using social media for business; I knew that this was a great marketing tool that I had to get to grips with. I used Microsoft in my previous career, but working as a Personal Trainer for over 3 years meant that my IT skills needed refreshing and I knew I had to advance them to progress my business. Website design and e-commerce were all essential for me to learn as I knew that FITTY UK would have a website and online store to sell the products to customers. I also wanted to expand my PowerPoint knowledge as I knew that I would be required to do presentations for business meetings and pitches for funding opportunities.
How have you benefitted personally?
From taking part in the Swift Project I learnt so many new skills, and my confidence has flourished. My computer skills have really improved - I use Excel for my company accounts, stock control, costs, margins and to track my consumer and business orders. I now complete regular VAT returns online. I put together a 12 slide PowerPoint presentation for a grant application and this was made easier due to the training I had received.
I use social media as a key marketing tool and am confidently able to sell the business products to FITTY UK followers. I regularly update my website and make improvements, and also receive orders from customers online at www.fittyuk.com. I have filmed and uploaded product demo videos to my website through YouTube and recently filmed my story for Mental Health Awareness Week, which I really enjoyed, and now I have a love for the camera that I previously dreaded!
What happened next or what are you planning to do next?
Since I completed the Swift Project course, I:
- now supply 18 golf clubs
- supply several fitness establishments and I have received my third order from INTERSPORT East Grinstead
- get regular online orders and great feedback
- have been on the radio
- have written press releases and featured in Talk Business magazine
- successfully secured business funding
Without being able to benefit from the broadband fibre infrastructure development in East Sussex, I would not have been able to successfully set up my business. I use broadband for the majority of my business activities including: creating and updating my website, social media advertising and updates, research, ordering products from wholesalers, completing online VAT returns, searching and emailing new customers.
Without an efficient service these critical business activities would take a long time and significantly delay my business progress.