Angelique Sansome is passionate about advertising and helping businesses to communicate effectively with their customers.
She worked as a Business Development Manager for a large blue-chip company but, like many in the corporate rat race, was unhappy and unfulfilled.
“I needed a change of direction,” she said. “I had no work-life balance and was under a lot of pressure. I felt miserable.”
She broke free to start her own business in July 2019.
Real Deal Me is a magazine published six times a year containing advertisements and advertorials for businesses in North Cumbria.
A print run of 10,000 copies is delivered to selected homes in Carlisle, Penrith and Brampton and is available to pick up at more than 30 outlets such as supermarkets and convenience stores.
Although Angelique understood advertising inside out – having worked for CFM Radio and News International – her experience of running a business was limited to owning three pubs, which required a totally different skill set.
A close friend suggested that she contact Cumbria Business Growth Hub and we enrolled her on the Business Start-Up Support (BSUS) programme.
The package of free support includes a three-day course on starting a business, one-to-one meetings with a business adviser, training, help with a business plan and membership of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.
Angelique said: “My Growth Hub adviser, Phil Guest, is so knowledgeable. I feel he has become more of a friend now.
“He understands the struggles that small businesses go through.
“He pointed me in the right direction, helped me create spreadsheets, advised on processes to make things easier for me to manage and helped me to design marketing material, which has been admired by others.”
She also attended a marketing workshop run by Jackie Harris of Brightspark Marketing, included as part of the BSUS package.
“I found it very helpful with lots of great ideas that I could use to improve my business,” Angelique added.
“Everyone I have dealt with at the Growth Hub has been very supportive and able to signpost me to the correct channel.
“I only have positive thoughts about what the Growth Hub offers. The service has been invaluable for me. It’s reassuring to know that you have someone to turn to when you need advice or guidance.”
Like almost every other business, Real Deal Me was badly hit by lockdown.
Angelique had just launched the Real Deal Me Business Guide – published twice a year for the B2B market – but because of Covid this is being rolled into the main publication, for the time being at least.
Beyond the pandemic, the future looks bright and Real Deal Me is gearing up for a busy Christmas helping businesses to reconnect with their customers.
Find out how Cumbria Business Growth Hub can help your business.
Call us today on 0844 257 84 50.
The funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Sellafield Ltd., Carlisle City Council, South Lakeland District Council, Penrith Industrial BID and Cumbria LEP. The Growth Hub is receiving up to £2,528,767 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The BSUS project is receiving up to £1,112,686 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, click here.