Kathy Ennis is an experienced entrepreneur, mentor and trainer. Kathy has a mission to help motivated business owners transform good ideas into a profitable business. Whether you are just starting out, or are ready to grow, Kathy is all about taking action in your business, so you achieve the success you deserve.
The theme for these interviews is “Make It Happen” how did you start your Make It Happen business journey?
I started my first business while I was working full time. At that point I didn’t see it as a business; I saw it as a glorified hobby that – perhaps – could make me some money.
I made loads of mistakes and was pretty naïve in my approach. In fact, I did everything I tell my clients not to do!
I was lucky when I started, because I was working full time. This meant I had a regular salary coming in. it also meant, I didn’t take the time to really understand what running a business actually entails. So, when I left full time employment I was a bit blasé – until there was no more money left and I had to do something to start making my business ‘work’
Once I got to grips with the ins and outs of business, my business started to grow and become more successful. So much so, other business owners would ask me to share my ‘secrets’ (tell you a secret, there aren’t any!) After a while of just having coffee with people and ‘spilling the beans’ I realised that this could be the new direction for my own business – so now that’s what I do; I Mentor start-up and growth businesses, specialising in working with micro, female-led businesses.
LittlePiggy – how did you come up with that brand and what does it stand for?
LittlePiggy was a shower moment!
For many years I traded using my own name – Kathy Ennis – but, about two years ago I started to feel I needed a change; things had moved on in my business and using my name didn’t feel ‘fit for purpose’ anymore.
While the need for a change was running around in my head I had lots of thoughts about what the new name, or business concept, could be. I wanted something that wasn’t specifically tied to me; something abstract, but memorable.
Well, as I said, I was in the shower one morning thinking about what my clients want from me, and it struck me – they want to be ‘ready for market’ – at that point the ‘This Little Piggy’ nursery rhyme came into my head. And my new business name was ‘born’.
- This Little Piggy Went to Market – this is where we start, working to get the business ‘Off to Market’
- This Little Piggy Stayed at Home – I work a lot with micro, ‘bedroom’ businesses, people working their business around their home life
- This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef – as a confirmed vegetarian (!) this one is about making money in the business through implementing solid systems and processes
- This Little Piggy Had None – the complete opposite of the Roast Beef piggy; a business person who probably works really hard, but is just not connecting all the dots so doesn’t get to the money-making stage
- This Little Piggy Went Wee, Wee, Wee All the Way Home – those business owners that have cracked it, but just need that ongoing help and support to keep them on the right track
You mention that you have had a few hiccups on the way, what has been your biggest challenge and what did you learn from it?
There were quite a few things, but they can all be summarised as not knowing business. By this I mean:
- Not understanding the need to plan and then how to implement that plan
- Not asking for business, but assuming people knew I was looking for business
- Spending too much money and then spending too little money
- Not setting budgets
- Not creating systems, processes and automations
All the things I get my clients to do now!
Facebook’s ‘She Means Business’ initiative how did you get involved?What did it mean for you personally and for us as your tribe?
In the UK, the #SheMeansBusiness programme is run for Facebook by Enterprise Nation. I have been a member of Enterprise Nation for a long time as well as being a regular speaker at their events, so I was really chuffed when they asked me to be part of the original team, in 2017, to deliver the programme. Last yar there were eight of us; this year there are 20 of us. We deliver the programme through a whole variety of methods – online and offline. If people are interested in discovering more, or using some of the online resources they can just go to https://shemeansbusiness.fb.com/uk/
‘Me Inc’ – tell me what that means for you and the challenges you see, particularly for Women?
This is really funny, because the thing that moved my business out of image consultancy to personal branding (then into strategic business branding and marketing) was an article Tom Peters wrote for Fast Company called The Brand Called You (https://www.fastcompany.com/28905/brand-called-you). You can read about the impact it had on me in my business here https://littlepiggy.ltd/#story
In brand terms we talk about Authentcity – and this is the concept I believe most people have problems with. It’s easy to say the word, but it’s difficult to understand (and own) what it really means to us as individuals. Women are more inclined to lessen their capabilities and achievements. With my female clients I sometimes have to work harder to get them to the success point as they have confidence issues that get in the way
You rocked our Marketing and Social Media learning with your talk at the 2018 International Women’s Day conference. Turning the tables… what did you learn from the day?
No matter where you are in the world the issues are the same. Yes, it is more difficult in some parts of the world for women to start a business; yes red-tape can get in the way. But the fundamentals of having an idea that appeals to a particular group of people who are wiling to pay for it; getting your message out; systems and processes – all that stuff is universal
Business Book you are currently reading, or favourite Business Book and number 1 thing you have learnt?
I’m not a massive book reader these days as I prefer blogs – Forbes, Inc., Enterpreneur, Social media Examiner – and the BBC News App. However, there are a few books that I return to again and again:
Two by Malcom Gladwell – Blink and Outliers (both brilliant!) – and Robert Craven’s Grow Your Service Frim as it’s so straightforward and helpful
Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
In business, rejection is never personal.
We have to remember our customers have a choice so f they say ‘no’ (which can be a ‘maybe) it’s not us, personally, they are rejecting.
I am waving my ‘Make it Happen’ wand giving you 1 wish for your business, what are you daydreaming about?
To get my new E-Book – The Five and a Half Steps to a Brilliant Brand – out there. I’ve been sitting on the text for ages and am determined to get it on to Kindle before the Autumn
The success of my Facebook Group, The JFDI Club – it’s not a free group (£7.80 per month) although people can have a month’s free trial. It’s a tutorial Group – so I send a lot of time creating resources and teaching members how to do things (hence the not free), If people are interested in joining they can take a look here https://littlepiggy.ltd/the-jfdi-club/. I’m running a four week programme through August about marketing campaign planning.
Last thing you had a coffee business date and what you were able to do to help someone’s business?
It was a lovely discussion with a few women after they attended one of my training course last week. We had a good discussion about their websites and making them more fit for purpose through making some easy, minimal changes.
What next for Kathy?
I will be moving house as soon as I can find something suitable in the area of Norfolk I want to move to. It will be interesting and challenging making new contacts and embedding myself in the business world in that area. Bit like many of the women in Costa Women who upped sticks and moved to Spain.
How can connect with you and find out more about Marketing for our business?
My contact details are:
Check out The JFDI Club – https://littlepiggy.ltd/the-jfdi-club
You can get copies of my book – The Big Social Media Marketing Organiser – from Amazon at http://bit.ly/KEsocialmediaorganiser