This week on my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring Hannah who set-up and created her own business; Hannah Rowe Consulting. I have loved reading this interview and featuring Hannah on my blog, especially with her motto – “go hard or go home”, I love this, and I think that I come from a similar ilk. Hannah’s story is one that many of us can relate to, where we’ve tried to make a career work around children, then deciding that working for yourself freelancing is the best option.
Her story tells of PR and marketing success, making it work around family life whilst successfully maintaining a core group of clients. Hannah you rock!
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I’m a mum of two (age 13 and 8) living in Somerset. I’ve worked in Marketing for over 20 years (Chartered 2004) after University, working for a number of large corporations in financial services. I expanded my role into PR in my last large corporate role, which was for a large social care company.
I set up a freelance Marketing and PR business in 2013 and now work for approximately 15 companies doing communications work. It varies from company to company – some want me to do everything, from marketing to event planning and social media, and for others it’s just their PR. I specialise in social care but also work for a couple of leisure companies who I’ve met along the way, and an engineering firm too! No two days are ever the same, which is what makes it interesting.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
There were several factors. The main one was that at the time our children were 6 and 1, and I was working full time 30 miles from home whilst my husband was a company director and frequently worked away. We took the decision that it would be best for the family if I went freelance. The second factor was that I come from a long line of self-employed people and had always wanted to do it – I often saw our freelance photographer come in and out of the office and envied him his lifestyle and the fact that he could walk away from company politics. Finally, having been in the role for 9 years I needed a new challenge. I think that became apparent when someone from the HR Department came in with a crisis, and I pulled out a statement we’d done previously for a similar issue.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
It got a lot easier when my second child went to school, and obviously they are now older. They do appreciate what I do, and the fact that my work enables us to have nice holidays, do after school activities, etc.
That said, there are still many times when I end up working late into the evening. But the children know that I am in the house and they can come to me for help if they need me.
Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?
I have now reached the stage where clients seek me out, I don’t go looking for them, and that’s a big success! I can also pick and choose who I work for.
I have a core group of clients who I have worked with for years, who recommend me to other people, invite me to events, and are always asking me to do new projects for them. So I’d say that’s a big success!