Success Stories

Another Get Started business thrives

Posted in Start | Grow

A Blackpool gift shop has expanded its premises, two years after Blackpool Council helped it to get started.

La Shak, which is based in The Garden Place on Cropper Road, now boasts nearly four times the floor space to sell her range of gifts, scarves, bags and candles.

Linda Adams began her journey to entrepreneurship by selling crafts and gifts at church hall fairs, but with little success.

However, thanks to expert support from Blackpool Council’s Get Started service, she learnt the value of product and pricing, as well as the need to communicate with customers.

Linda’s gift shop has now expanded its floor space at the garden centre, with a special Santa’s grotto installed for the Christmas season.

As well as improving her own stall, Linda also now networks to gain valuable referrals and grow her business.

An example of how to develop is to embrace challenges that take you outside your comfort zone, and in one case she volunteered to join Blackpool Council’s group last year to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday. She threw herself into the project and was a huge success as Portia in the Merchant of Venice.

Linda said: “The Get Started team keep in touch offering support and The Shakespeare experience was great fun, and I made lots of friends as well as key business contacts, and am eagerly awaiting the 2016 production of Romeo & Juliet that Get Started is putting on.”

“Building a business can be hairy at times however wonderful customers make it all worthwhile and at this time of year with Father Christmas returning to his beautiful grotto it just feels magical”

Linda’s success story is just one of 1,000 businesses that have been started up thanks to help from Get Started over the last eight years.

Last year, the team helped 90 people learn to become their own bosses, as well as giving them the expertise and tips to make sure that their company can thrive in Blackpool.

Cllr Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “La Shak is a great example of how we’re helping people to become their own boss.

“The expert advice that those fledgling businesses receive is really helpful and means that they can continue to trade and grow.

“88% of the businesses that Get Started has helped in the last two years are still operating and in some cases, doing very well indeed. That’s because businesses can still benefit from our expert advice and support even after they are up and running.”

To find out if you could become your own boss, contact Get Started on 477147 or search www.blackpool.gov.uk/getstarted