Rhiannon Abbott – Tatsfield

Getting involved in Surrey WISE 

I didn’t discover the real reason for joining the Surrey WISE programme until I sat down at my first meeting.

It’s a great scheme – aimed at building women’s confidence in using digital technology to start or grow their business – and that’s why I applied. I run The Epsom Bakehouse from home, teaching bread making classes and baking sourdough breads to sell on the local Farmers Market. Low start-up costs and more freedom and flexibility in developing the business attracted me to work from home. However, without the passing trade of a town centre shopfront, I had to consider carefully how I communicated with and engaged potential customers. I had therefore begun to use both Twitter (@epsombakehouse) and a Facebook page to showcase my classes and bakes.

However, I know I can do more and make better use of my budding networks and contacts online. I want to learn, create, connect, and to understand the best ways to do this online. I’m particularly interested in sharing my knowledge through blog writing, making use of a wider variety of social networks and improving the basic website I already have. Joining Surrey WISE is a fabulous opportunity to help me do this. It was with enthusiasm therefore that I set off to my first group meeting, with our coach Jackie Barrie.

We were soon settled in with a warming drink (not forgetting the chocolate biscuits!). As attendees introduced themselves, the wealth of skills, experience and backgrounds in the room became apparent. And I realised that this was the real reason for joining Surrey WISE. Yes, we will gain crucial skills in online networking and promotion for our businesses. But the networking connections that this programme is already making between businesses, and the women behind them, will be just as valuable. I left my first meeting inspired and encouraged, both to use what I learn in my own business, and to learn from and support others in the Surrey WISE group in doing similar. Here’s to the next 5 weeks and beyond, I look forward to seeing what we all achieve!

Rhiannon Abbott

The Epsom Bakehouse

Website: www.theepsombakehouse.co.uk

Twitter: @epsombakehouse

Email: info@theepsombakehouse.co.uk