Creative BizDev

29th September 2016

Founder: Ali Golds

Ali Golds set up her first home business in 2000 in a bid to strike the best balance possible between her professional life and her role as a single parent. Sixteen years later, she is the founder of five businesses, the most recent of which helps business owners get started and get results.

Ali Golds set up her first home business in 2000 in a bid to strike the best balance possible between her professional life and her role as a single parent. Sixteen years later, she is the founder of five businesses, the most recent of which helps business owners get started and get results.

I have an absolute passion for starting businesses

“I have an absolute passion for starting businesses”, says Ali, “it’s almost an addiction!” Her most recent business offers coaching and consultancy services to businesses at all stages of their development.

Ali recalls how, before making her transition to the home business real, she was growing frustrated with the stresses of childcare – rushing home from work to pick up her son and forced to spend long stretches of time away from him. “I was determined to keep working – that’s when I knew that starting a home business was the right thing for me. I had experience as a business developer so I knew I was capable of taking nothing and turning it into something special.”

She has since started five home businesses and cultivated a CV that includes stints working with government departments, UK-based firms and overseas success stories.

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Although she knew her business development consultancy service looked promising on paper, she couldn’t be certain that it would be financially sustainable. Her worries have proved unfounded: over the past five years, she has delivered coaching and consultancy services to everyone from start-ups to multi-million-pound organisations. Along the way, she has developed a reputation for helping businesses identify and locate their own unique selling point, and then how best to make money out of it.

As well as getting new businesses off the ground, Ali provides longer-term support to ensure the business keeps on flourishing. She offers several different coaching programmes, including ‘StartUP’, a free four-week course designed to break down the practicalities of planning a new business, and the twelve-week ‘Make More Money’ programme.

Five years ago, she also began to work with start-ups based in colleges and universities. In this role, she encourages students to consider working for themselves and helps colleges and universities embed enterprise into their teaching.

be prepared to listen and learn

Despite years of experience, Ali says she is still learning, “It doesn’t matter how long you’ve run a business; you can never say you know everything because things change all the time. The only way you will be able to grow something special is to be prepared to listen and learn.”

She admits that working from home can be isolating. To overcome this, she makes sure she speaks to people every day, either face-to-face or by video calling, and she has also sought out an unofficial mentor who she goes to for advice and support.

Whilst acknowledging the challenges, Ali sings the praises of home businesses. She was pleasantly surprised to find that her clients also loved the setup – with many expressing envy and admiration. “More and more people are realising that the nine-to-five grind is not for them. By working from home, you dictate your own life and set your own goals. It’s not about the office, it’s about you!”

She is brimming with advice for those dreaming of their own home business. She stresses the importance of claiming workspaces around the home and always having faith in your ability, “If you don’t believe you can do it then no one will trust you. Find people who will reassure you, identify mentors and meet new people. There is always more that can be done.”

She shows no signs of slowing down and the future for Creative BizDev looks bright. As well as adding a fourth coaching programme to the existing schemes, she is creating an updated edition of her book, ‘How to Be Your Own Boss as a Single Mum’. As her youngest child prepares to leave for university in September, Ali has left nobody in any doubt that this ambition can become a reality.

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