Business Support

Susan Crooks

What was your background before becoming an adviser and what industry experience do you have?

I started off in hospitality and retail, then moved into administration and became a qualified lead auditor and I do quality auditing to ISO9001 standard. I became a project manager in 2019.

Since 2011 I’ve been in business with my husband and we started our own company, I do quality auditing, consultancy and business support.

Areas of specialism/interest

I specialise in quality auditing but I tend to do general business support. I speak to clients who don’t really know what they’re looking for and just want general support, so I do a bit of everything.

Why did you become a business adviser? How long have you been an adviser/self employed?

I’ve been self-employed since 2011 and I became an adviser in 2015. Having setting up my own business and being involved in many different industries over the years, I think I have a good general idea of business.

I like meeting new people and speaking to people and I think motivation is a main factor for starting a new business for people, so I gave it a go and it seems to be working out!

What do you most enjoy about the role?

I think what I enjoy most is going into an existing business and troubleshooting any issues they may have. I find that I’m the most passionate about that aspect of it, I like fixing problems so if you give me a problem to solve I’m absolute in my element.

I particularly enjoyed the Catalyst programme that Cumbria Chamber used to run as although there wasn’t that much time to spend with clients, going in and having a focus and only having a short time period of coming up with solutions to their problems was really intense but really inspiring.

And with new businesses it’s always exciting seeing someone’s confidence grow.

What was your biggest success to date?

Everyone I’ve helped start a business, and everyone who’s taken on one of my suggestions of improvements is classed as a success to me.

What have you learned being an adviser?

Probably about the wealth of diverse businesses out there. I never expected to enjoy it as much as I do!

What type of businesses have been able to support and what support did you offer?

All kinds really, I’ve supported a lot of female-led businesses in particular. From flower farming to manufacturing. I like to offer a rounded but structured method of business support ady asking questions you can get to the heart of what the business wants to achieve.

3 interesting facts about you

  • I enjoy sewing and dressmaking and do all my own soft furnishings. My Gran taught me years ago and I’m still using her sewing machine from he 1970’s!
  • I love fell walking and completed a fell walking challenge a few years ago for Macmillan.
  • I love music and just starting singing in a rock choir a few months ago which I really enjoy.