I am better prepared for growth

Tell me about your business

I run a natural skin care business. I started selling clay face masks online after losing my job early in the pandemic. Things took off, and accidentally turned into a business.

Now we have additional products, all natural and are building our sales and online presence. Everything is handmade from natural ingredients, with waterless formulas. Our hero product is our British Pink Clay Mask, where the user receives a jar of powder clay, a mask oil, bowl, spoon and spatula. All they need to do is mix the ingredients together with water to mix the perfect mask.

What challenges were you facing as an SME?

Because of the way I fell into owning my business, I wanted to understand what it takes to run a successful business. Although my business was in a good place, I wanted to know how to take things to the next level and be prepared for when we got there.

I am keen to make PERL more than a lifestyle business and want to grow it to a place where it is a recognisable brand. Because I don’t have any formal business or leadership training, I wanted to ensure I have as much knowledge as possible to support the growth.

How did the Help to Grow: Management programme at the University of Hertfordshire help?

I am certainly better prepared for growth now. Despite having self-taught all I know about what it takes to run a successful business, I didn’t have the deep understanding of theory that I do now.

There was a mix of online and in person sessions, which meant I could fit the course around the business despite it being a busy time of year for me.  I also made a wealth of notes to look back on!

What did you find particularly helpful?

First was realising that I am not alone – there are lots of other people facing similar challenges with operations, marketing, and financials.  The case study discussions were great as we were able to delve deeper into specific issues and see how businesses have dealt with them.

Secondly, the accountability of the sessions was useful and ensured I kept on top of the relevant reading.  I also found it useful revisiting topics I hadn’t covered in a while with added knowledge.

Finally, the support from University of Hertfordshire Business School has been great. It’s been a pleasure getting to know people from within the University as well as the opportunities for training and support from the business school.

What would you say to another business considering Help to Grow?

I feel ready for what the future holds now armed with the knowledge of the programme. I’m excited to know I am ready for growth, and you can be too.

Find out how we can help you grow your SME business

Help to Grow: Management