Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi, I'm Loren Nally and founder of The Website School - dedicated to training small business owners and their teams on the key elements of running a business online, be it email marketing, SEO, analytics, websites and more. I teach the 'WHAT, the 'WHY, and importantly, the 'HOW. It can be hard for small businesses sometimes, when funds are limited and business owners have to do everything themselves. Finding the right answers and guidance amongst all the advice available online is tough and it's hard to know who to believe and trust. I pride myself on being a totally honest voice, able to quash myths and help businesses focus on what's right for them and then teach them exactly what to do down to which button to press. Practical education that'll help them build strong foundations on which to grow.
What inspired you to start your business?
I've always been involved in the digital industry - initially for big corporates like Homebase and Avon Cosmetics. But, it was tough - I had no time for my family and the demands from work were high. I left the corporate world and set up a website targeted at bargain seeking mums. Essentially, it was a blog and affiliate site - I got free products to review and commission for sales I generated and it was picking up but I wasn't enjoying it.
Then my daughter got poorly in 2012. Like really poorly. She needed a bone marrow transplant urgently. Her 5 year old brother was a match and we spent the next 3 months in isolation in Bristol Children's Hospital with a further 6 months isolation at home. There was a moment when I was next to my sleeping daughter in hospital, laptop at my fingertips, updating blogs on the website when I realised that life was too short to do something I didn't love. So I quit. Just stopped right there and then.
From that moment came a business I still run today called SunnyDayMarketing - focused on the 'done for you' side of digital products. I went back to what I enjoyed and was good at - creating, designing, building things for other people rather than myself.
During my years in SunnyDayMarketing, I discovered that many small business owners lacked the knowledge, skills and confidence to really take control of key elements of their business. These tasks that for start up businesses with little funding need to be done by themselves. Seeing an opportunity to share the 20+ years of experience I had built up, I created The Website School where I enjoy every moment of teaching, training and educating business owners in all manner of online topics. I get a massive kick out of seeing business owners learn new skills, and grow and develop in ways they didn't think possible.
Describe your typical day
I tend to work a regular 9-5 (ish) now. My children are still at school but old enough to walk themselves. I work at home in a fab office, have online meetings or use my enormous garden room for group training until around 3:30. I always stop when my children come home from school. It's lovely to be there for them when they come home - something I couldn't do when I worked full time in the corporate world and I'm very grateful for it. Then the children go off to do homework and I get back to my desk until around 5 but have the logistics of afterschool clubs etc. to deal with too of course, but I'm able to flex around them. I understand that a lot of my clients also need to flex around school etc. and I'm happy to be able to flex for them too.
Name three words that describe success for you
Name three business tips that you would give to yourself if you were first starting out
How do you juggle work & play?
It's all about flex. Whilst I work at home, I'm able to put the washing machine on or have dinner cooking. Sometimes, I even co-work with my son after school - I'll work on my stuff, he'll be next to me doing his homework. It's kinda nice too. I'll always try and meet clients face to face if I can as working alone at home means you lose that regular contact with other people. I'll always down tools (and social media) at the weekend - that's family time and it's important.
What would be your plan B?
I'm very creative so it would have to be along those lines. Maybe something in product design - I'd like to think I could develop some physical products that would support and enhance both my clients and other business owners. Mmmmm, actually that's a good idea! Watch this space!
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