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For International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating our female clients and coaches and finding out more about them.

Alison Gilbert runs a proofreading business. She was one of the first clients to come onto the EnterprisingYou programme and has worked with me, Clare Braithwaite, as her Business Coach. I caught up with Alison to chat about how she’s been coping during the last year and how EnterprisingYou has helped her business.

So, tell me about your business, Alison.

Pre-Covid, I retrained as a Proofreader and set up my own business. I had worked in education for 17 years and worked both jobs initially whilst getting experience in proofreading. My proofreading jobs began to increase and the day we went into the first lockdown I quit my teaching job!

Why did you approach EnterprisingYou? What help were you looking for?

I had the proofreading training and was building up my experience, but I had no idea how to run a business, so I approached Enterprising You for support. I was hoping for support with business planning, tax forms and marketing.

How did Covid impact your business?

Some aspects of proofreading slowed down during Covid. But my specialism was education and because of Covid schools were teaching children at home and there was a boom in online learning. So Covid actually helped my business get off the ground, as I was busier than ever proofreading online learning modules. All my experience in education was an asset and I was in demand.

What did you do to come overcome the challenges of this past year?

I worked flexibly to support my clients to help with the boom in work. I was dedicated to meet ever changing and short notice deadlines. I built lasting relationships with clients through the difficult times.

What Alison doesn’t mention here is that she’s been home schooling her children during the first and this latest lockdown! It’s been tough managing the balance of this and her business.

What help did your business coach provide? How did you work together?

My business coach Clare was fantastic. She guided me through the aspects of business which were all new to me. She asked the right questions to direct me to target my specialism and market my business to find my ideal clients. She supported me to complete my business plan and got me thinking about costs and long-term goals. She checked in regularly and encouraged me that I was on the right path.

What other help did you receive from EnterprisingYou?

I thoroughly benefitted from access to training. I chose one-to-one training, which was custom made to my business. The trainers talked me through how to use social media to market my business, how to develop a marketing strategy and how to write engaging content. They reviewed the content of my website, social media and blog giving constructive feedback and setting goals for how to move forward my marketing. It has made a massive difference and made me more confident to market my business.

How has the EnterprisingYou support helped you for the future? What are your plans?

Through the support of EnterprisingYou, I have gone from a business novice to a successful business professional. I have marketed my business to my ideal clients, built up my client base and established myself as a professional member of The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. My plans are to develop my skills through further training to enhance my business.

A note from Business Coach, Clare Braithwaite…

Alison has really shone during her time on EnterprisingYou. Her story shows the benefits of finding a clear niche for your business. She’s identified this target market while doing the work on her business and marketing plan and this has helped her go from strength to strength. She’s now got a great reputation with her clients and is getting loads of repeat work. The ideal scenario.

She grasped EnterprisingYou with both hands and has made the most of it. The training that she selected was ideal for her and helped her improve her marketing. We worked together to make sure she embedded the training into all areas of her business and she’s now reaping the benefits. I’ve loved having Alison as a client and seeing how she’s progressed. We’ve had lots of fun too.

If you’re thinking about coming onto EnterprisingYou, then chat to a Business Coach about how we can help your business. You get a personalised plan to help you develop your business, your way!

If you’d like to contact Alison:


EnterprisingYou provide fully funded support to the self-employed and gig economy workers across Greater Manchester. If you would like to find out more about EnterprisingYou, register online, email or call 0161 667 6900 to speak to one of our business coaches. 

More information about the EnterprisingYou programme can be found here


Categories: Our service, News

About the author

Clare Braithwaite

Clare Braithwaite

Business Coach at the Growth Company

Clare has over 20 years of experience in the corporate world, working as a marketer on major brands, leading and coaching teams. Her biggest career claim to fame is modernising Snap, Crackle & Pop in a Rice Krispies redesign and getting them into jeans! Clare has a passion to help people who are stuck in a rut whether in business or life and help them to have successful businesses and happier, more balanced lives.