What was your background before becoming an adviser and what industry experience do you have?
I’m Annie Weir and my business is Ivita Learning, which is a training company. My background before that was in catering management, I started to work for Asda and moved into general admin, then into personnel and training which I did for 10 years.
I left their to work with my husband in a training company he had set up and from that point onwards training was my main business activity which I really enjoyed.
Areas of specialism/interest
I’d say that planning is what I enjoy doing with clients. I love planning and I love helping my clients see the value of having a business plan to guide them through their first steps of running a business.
What do you most enjoy about the role?
What I enjoy most is the wide variety of businesses that I get to work with. And also the passion that my clients have for their many and varied ideas. Mostly though, I enjoy being able to help them and mentor and support people with their ideas at a very early stage. I like the pre-start work best!
Your biggest success to date as an adviser?
I really feel that my clients successes are my successes. It might sound a bit cliched but I really believe that.
Some examples would be helping someone get a business plan completed when they didn’t think they’d be able to, or helping them get funding for a project or business idea, when they make their first sale and they’re really excited and they share it with me I feel that excitement with them as well!
What have you learned being an adviser?
I think I’ve learnt how passionate people are about a whole range of areas of work, and how much that they’re prepared to give up and sacrifice and put in to making their ideas work.
I’ve also learnt to respect the small scale ideas for businesses that will simply make people happy or fulfilled, or fit in with their lifestyle.
What type of businesses have been able to support and what support did you offer?
To give a flavour of the range of businesses I’ve worked with in the last 18 months are gardeners; and garden designers; gourmet mushroom cultivators(!); therapists of different kinds and some offering therapies I had never even heard of; lots of people who make things like candles, jewellery, macramé; a classical composer; virtual and augmented realities software design.
3 interesting facts about you
- I’m very proud of having written a novel which was published in 2016 which is a psychological thriller based partly in Carlisle – and I’ve sold about 5,500 copies.
- I was born in Sri Lanka in a hospital in a coconut plantation.
- I’ve recently joined a community garden and I have a raised bed in a polytunnel and I’m growing vegetables.