Lauren O'Neill runs Mirame, a mobile beauty room and has been self-employed since July 2011. She recently went along to one of the regular elevator networking events, organised by Youth Business Scotland and supported by RBS Group, in Edinburgh where she learned about Smarta Business Builder.
"I didn't anticipate signing up for anything that evening, but when I heard about the Smarta Business Builder I realised I had to. Not only can I get a website and email, but it helps me to see my finances in easy-to-read graphs and charts, which makes it easier to understand everything," says O'Neill. "It even has a space for my ever developing business plan and lets me know what stage I'm at and also any areas that I have not yet used but that my business would benefit from."
Elevator is a free networking club open to anyone aged 18-30, catering for like-minded young people who are looking to share knowledge, make new contacts and be inspired to start or grow their own business. RBS support for the events is just one of the many ways that RBS supports Youth Business Scotland.
"RBS Group has worked closely with Princes Trust Youth Business Scotland for 23 years. We are very proud of our strong relationship with Youth Business Scotland and recognise the role we have to play, investing in communities across Scotland to make a long-term difference," says Gordon Merrylees, RBS Regional Managing Director. "We are especially committed to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses achieve their ambitions."
The young entrepreneur has received support and advice from the Business Gateway, a part of Scottish enterprise. "It has helped me to shape my business plan and guided me through various early drafts and provided some relevant examples of other plans," she explains.
When O'Neill signed up for Smarta Business Builder, she was automatically entered into the draw to win an iPad and she was delighted to walk away with the main prize. "The iPad can help me run my business; it's portable and I can access Smarta Business Builder through it. I manage my website, and check my emails - I can also easily access my business Facebook page, which helps me to network and promote my business."
On track to continue to building and improving her beauty business, O'Neill encourages others to follow her path. "I am very grateful to everybody involved and for all the support I am still receiving," she says. "I would highly recommend everyone and anyone who is thinking about starting their own business to use both Smarta Business Builder and the Business Gateway."
Smarta Business Builder, is an easy-to-use online package, giving small businesses all the essentials they need to run their business, including accounting software, email, website builder, legal documents and business planning tools, from £20 per month. For more information visit www.smarta.com/businessbuilder