2 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Vicky Matthews and Caroline Gowing founded franchised PA network Pink Spaghetti in Cheshire in 2009 from their kitchen tables. The company provides virtual assistant services for small businesses and has 53 nationwide franchisees. In February 2021, Pink Spaghetti won top franchise (under £2m turnover) at the Best Franchise Awards.
What would you like to share to encourage other women to start their own company?
Vicky: “When I took voluntary redundancy from a high-street bank after the birth of my second child, I vowed no-one I ever employed would suffer the same inflexible and negative experience I’d endured since becoming a mum. Now I employ 10 very happy part-time staff, all of whom work around their busy family commitments. The flexibility we needed in our own lives has proved a major pull for Pink Spaghetti franchisees, almost all of whom have children and tell tales of unaccommodating employers forcing them out of the workplace. When women start their own businesses, they can create opportunities to employ other women that take into account the realities of their busy lives”.
What are both of your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
- Don’t procrastinate when starting a business. You can prepare for months or years, but nothing will teach you as much as actually starting.
- Go with your gut feeling in all areas of business, it is rarely wrong
- Don’t be afraid to ask successful business owners for advice – they have all started something new and are usually more than happy to help.
- Charge what you are worth.
- Learn from your mistakes and be prepared to make changes. Don’t be afraid to change course or stop doing something that isn’t working.
Who are the women who inspire each of you the most?
Catherine Sandland is the ultimate person to deliver a message and she oozes confidence and support. (Caroline)
The Queen for her professionalism and commitment (Caroline)
My Pink Spaghetti business partner Vicky Matthews (Caroline)
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. I admire how she has combined her family life with work and her role in advancing women into senior roles into politics (Vicky)
My business partner Caroline Gowing (Vicky)
What are your favourite sayings/inspirational quotes
Caroline: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning” is a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day first. Often attributed to Mark Twain, the saying really picked up traction when it became the title of a 2001 bestseller by Brian Tracy.
It’s a motto to live and work by; it resonates, because we all have tasks that we hate and are prone to avoiding. If you eat the frog as your first task of the day, it clears your head and puts a spring in your step. It’s done! It’s uphill all the way from then on.
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