Claire Mountain of Mountain Celebrations won Business Woman of the Year at this year's awards. We caught up with her after, here's what she had to say:
1.) How did it feel to win a Caerphilly Business Forum Award?
It felt amazing, I was so pleased we won a highly commended award last year, so this topped it off, being a woman in business is tough, especially when you don’t have an academic business back ground. So, winning for me is like winning for all woman who wish to achieve.
2.) How did you find the experience of the Awards night?
It’s always a great night, I do feel this year that the coverage and photographer was a not up to scratch, he sought of stuck to the middle tables, however it was busy as always great food and a fantastic atmosphere.
3.) How do you strive to make a difference in the Caerphilly business market?
Our business is within the funeral and wedding industry, we give so many families in Caerphilly the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones in the way they chose. or to marry at a place of their choice, we are a recognised local business, our branding can be trusted, and we support the local people and other business, such as funeral directors, florist, printers, the castle…. We always recommend to our clients to keep it local… it’s so important that as a local business you support others.
4.) What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Our goals for the next 12 months are to, continue to grow in a healthy way, we are looking to take on more staff, and engage more local venues onto our books so that we can help and assist them to grown. We are also looking at selling our brand as a franchise, our training is recognised not just locally but worldwide, so that that train with us will be able to continue and buy into the brand. Our training is now recognised by the NOCN (National Open College Network) we aim in the next few months to become an official training centre for the NOCN.
5.) What is the biggest lesson you have learned in the last 12 months of your business?
Lesson’s learned, don’t get shocked by anything, being an employer is always a challenge, networking, has proved to be better than any hard copy advertising, and word of mouth, it’s important to keep your business and its brand clean and well run, respected amongst other business is important.
6.) What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you believe in it do it, take the chance, be brave, be strong, always ask for help you will never succeed unless you try and fight for success. Nobody is going to hand it to you on a plate it takes sacrifice, hard work, long hours and all of your money… but the rewards when success comes are amazing. There are so many people who will say it’s a risk, it’s not worth the effort, well if you start with that in mind you will never succeed.
You get one chance in this life, and it’s up to you so go for it and the more people tell you no it won’t work use that as inspiration to prove them wrong.