Meet Our Tribe: Lorraine Wilson
At Tribe, we often get asked about our members: who they are, what they do, and how their skills can help you grow your business. So, in this blog series, we’ll be interviewing our Premium Members so you can learn a little more about them and what they offer.
Next up, Lorraine Wilson from ASAPay.
Tell us a little about your business.
ASAPay helps businesses take card payments; from online payments, payments on the phone, face-to-face payments, we have a solution for everyone. I can find the best deal for someone’s business. I work with businesses of any size, from start-ups who don’t accept card payments to larger businesses who already accept card payments but are looking for a better deal.
What were you doing before you started your business?
Before ASAPay, I worked for Macmillan Cancer Support. Prior to that, I worked for the NHS for quite a few years. At Macmillan, I was working as a Project Officer in the York Administration Office, but I think I’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, really. I was self employed a few years ago when my children were little, running an eBay business when eBay was just getting started. I did this for about seven years and then the eBay market became quite saturated which caused me to stop. I ended up doing what people expected of me and worked full time, but I always felt that need to go back and be self employed.
What does a typical business day look like?
I get called the Networking Queen as I do a lot of networking! I probably do networking events two to three times a week but some weeks I might do five networking events. It just depends, really. For example, this morning I went to a networking event, then grabbed some lunch, walked to meet a client and then walked to the office to write quotes for businesses I’ve spoken to. Everyday is different and that’s what I love about it. Everyday is full of variety and I never get that Sunday night feeling anymore. I get excited when it's Monday again.
What is your favourite thing about running your own business?
I like that I don’t have to be in the office for 9 o’clock on a Monday morning and get told off because I’m one minute late for work. I also enjoy not having to be around office politics anymore and I really like the variety that comes with running your own business.
What’s the biggest challenge?
Well, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I didn’t really know what the word ‘cashflow’ meant until I set up in business. I did a business degree and we talked a lot about cash flow, but I didn’t really understand it until I was self employed. What I found is that when you’re employed by a company and you have a day each month that you’re paid - say you get paid on the 28th of the month and most of your bills are paid on the first - that’s brilliant because you know what you’ve got for the rest of the month. When you’re self employed however, you get drips of money coming in each day, week or month. I’ve found it helpful to negotiate with all your providers, whether it’s business providers or different companies that you’re paying bills to, and find a way to stagger your bills throughout the month.
What made you decide to join our Tribe?
Well, because I’m used to working in an office, I really didn’t want to work from home because I like being around people. When I worked in an office, I enjoyed interacting with various people and I wanted to make sure I didn’t isolate myself by working solely from home. By working at Tribe, I get to focus on my business. There are no distractions like there are at home, so I think you get the best of both worlds; the social parts you get when you’re employed by a company but also time to focus.
Do you have any advice for individuals who may be thinking of starting their own business?
Honestly, just do it. A few years ago, we [my husband and I] had an idea. It was a good idea, but a lot of things happened and we got distracted. We felt we needed a steady income at the time. The business was called Rumble Tummy and it was basically Just Eat. My husband started contacting takeaways and it was before the internet was a big thing - it was about the year 2000. And now, Just Eat, I believe is worth millions of pounds! So the moral of the story is, if you have an idea, go for it. People will try to put you off and tell you that it's crazy and to follow the norm, but just do it because if you don’t, someone else will and you don’t want to live with that regret.
New members always welcome!
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