aspen girl magazine

Category: Alex Lloyd Interviews

Celebrating Business Women along the Nene Valley

Whilst browsing Facebook this week I came across this extract from a 1950’s home economics book. Scarily the 1950’s are not that long ago!

women in business

2018 sees celebrations of 100 years of womens suffrage – 100 years since some British women were first guaranteed the right to vote. The Representation of the People Act was made in February 1918, eventually paving the way for universal women’s suffrage in the country.

This year has been an exciting year for us here at Nene Local, as we’ve taken on Alex lloyd from Prince William School in Oundle to help with his work experience.  Each week he’s been writing articles on local business people.

As our own celebration – Today we’re sharing all the business women’s stories he has written, click the link to read their story;

Elizabeth Wright – Admin and More

Mary Coulson – Mary Coulson Studios

Caroline Prout – Inspired to Change Hypnotherapy

Alison Sethna – Little Seeds Antenatal Classes

Rhona Rowland – VSH Law

Dani Spence – Wellingborough Wills

Helen Smith – Crescita HR & OD

Lesley Clarke – Lesley Clarke Style Advisor

Julie Futcher – The Sales Manager

The Sales Manager: Taking the Fear Out of Sales

Nene local sat down with Julie Futcher, owner of The Sales Manager, a company dedicated to helping people overcome the fear of selling their products to customers whether it be face to face or over the phone.

The Sales Manager Ltd currently has two divisions, Sales training and Telemarketing with a third, Sales Recruitment, to be launched later this year. They specialise in helping business owners increase revenue by helping them to overcome their fear of sales and/or improve their sales skills.  For larger businesses, training can be carried out in-house with follow up sessions available to help embed training.  If the thought of making business development calls is too much then the Telemarketing Team can help with packages from as little as one hour per week.

the sales manager

“How can you expect someone to succeed when they haven’t been given proper training?”

Having created the business three years ago, and with a substantial 23 years of recruitment sales experience beforehand, Julie is well qualified to help.  She wanted to help small businesses understand that sales isn’t about being aggressive but about building relationships, trust and understanding customer problems. She wanted to train them on how to achieve that and win more business.  For larger business she wanted to help and support the business owner, who may not have a sales background,  get the most from their sales team.   Julie told me “Throughout my career, I have seen businesses recruit in-experienced sales people and expect them to hit the ground running.  How can you expect someone to succeed when they haven’t been given proper training?”  Julie believes that if you provide the right training and support, sales people, who have a hunger to succeed, will!

Julie has found that some clients fear the word ‘sales’. They feel like they must conform to the stereotypes of salespeople by being pushy and ‘in your face’ and to sell the product without any regard to the customer’s needs. People also shy away from the idea of cold calling. Julie reinforces the idea that to be a successful salesperson you need to be able to develop a relationship with and understand the client.  Julie said “In today’s world, the best salespeople listen to a customers needs and present a solution to the problem.  I strongly believe that Sales Departments should be renamed to Problem Resolution Departments as this is an extremely important skills to have in sales”.

Workshops are run regularly for people who need  would like to learn how to sell or improve their sales skills. Prices range from £85 to £250.  For medium to large companies, on-site training is available and for more information on this or the Telemarketing service, contact:


the sales manager

The Sales Manager

01604 532004

Facebook: @TheSalesManager

Twitter: @ScaredofSales


Nene Local speaks to Lesley Clarke Style Advisor

Alex Lloyd reports…

Fashion is a very inconsistent field. Celebrities encourage new styles to come and go almost every week, and people scramble in their masses to wear what the ‘cool’ people wear. How many of us follow the fashion trends regardless of what really suits us? It’s not easy to define your individual style, much easier to be guided by the media – what we see on the TV, Instagram, and in magazines. Nene Local spoke to Style Advisor, Lesley Clarke, about how she helps people find their personal style, what colours suit them and gives people more confidence in their image.

Lesley had worked in fashion retail for many years, a very profit driven industry, which is after consumers money. It’s not concerned if a garment really suits you or about how well it will go with what you’ve already got in your wardrobe. The buzz a lot of us get when making a new purchase is often short lived and so is the life of some of our garments – some not even seeing the light of day (Lesley said you’d be surprised about the number of clothes people have in their wardrobes with the original tags on!). We are all at times tempted to buy on a whim but what Lesley wanted to do is influence this process and help people make better purchasing choices – ones that would work better for their personalities, lifestyles and budgets – so that what they ended up buying would be loved, worn lots and last the test of time. That started her on a journey; first studying a psychology degree through the Open University and then training through the Federation of Image Consultants, before setting up her own business 5 years ago.

Style Advisor – What Really Happens…?

Lesley helps prevent expensive mistakes,  giving advice which suits the client’s individual needs so that they can allow their personality and individualism to be reflected in the clothes they wear. To ensure a focused consultation Lesley encourages them to chat with her on the phone before any appointment. It’s all about being able to buy the right clothes and to save her clients time, money and stress in the long run.

style advisor | nene local

Finding out what colours best suit my face

The entire process only takes a few hours; however, I got a short 15-minute taster of what Colour Analysis is all about. Lesley goes to the client’s house so that they are comfortable and have all their clothes to hand. She starts off with a questionnaire to find out about their current style and colour preference. She then looks at skin tone, hair and eye colour and matches them up with different colours.  Next the client looks at a mirror whilst she matches the colours and asks for their own opinion too.

At the end of the process, she guides the client through what colours best suit them so that they can be more confident when buying clothes and develop a more co-ordinated wardrobe. Each client is given a swatch of colours, which is a great tool to use when shopping.

After my mini session, we discovered that my best colours came out as ‘cool deep summer’, so my neutrals will be charcoal grey, a lot of blue and perhaps not so much black! Lesley explained that as we age our skin-tone fades and our hair changes colour, so I need to make the most of wearing black, my favourite ‘go to’ colour now! I was surprised to know that I could also wear pinks and lavenders – taking me out of my comfort zone but Lesley was quick to tell me I didn’t have to wear all the colours in the swatch!

style advisor | nene local

The different colour schemes

Style Advisor – What Did I Think….?

Coming into this, I had no idea what Lesley could say to me that was new. I was always into a dark colour scheme, for example, I had no idea that purple made my face look a lot brighter and warmer. It was a very fascinating and unique experience to me and I can see how it could help a lot of people who are maybe less confident than myself in their colour choices.


For more information:

Lesley Clarke Style Advisor

Tel: 07969 516390



Human Resources from Helen Smith, Owner of Crescita HR & OD

Human Resources are a vital part of any company.

Human Resources deal with the hiring, administration and training of staff, which includes writing policies and procedures and supporting the managers with the discipline of the staff.  Additionally, they make a valuable contribution to the overall strategic development of the company in terms of workforce planning. Crescita HR & OD provides these services to smaller businesses who perhaps don’t need an internal HR resource but who are looking to get this support from an outsourced service. Crescita HR & OD also work as an additional resource to some larger companies, specifically in dealing with larger projects and investigations where impartiality is required.

About the Owner

Helen Smith always wanted to be in HR. She had seen a lot of the job at an early age, as her grandad was a union convener and was one of her inspirations to go into this line of work. Individuals can get an entry level post in human resources with GCSE level education, but most organisations expect you to join the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, especially if you want to progress. The ideal client for an outsourced HR company would be a company with up to approximately 250 employees, above that level and they would probably want to think about their own focused HR department.

When working in HR, you need to be able to have difficult conversations with people. When dealing with redundancies, for example, you must remain impartial and remember that it is a decision which has been taken which is necessary for the company; companies are required to seek alternatives to redundancy wherever possible, but when reaching that final decision it is the post and not the individual that is becoming redundant.  Help is always made available to those affected by redundancy from HR as it is recognised that redundancy can have a significant impact on the individual and their family.  Helen added that it can be difficult when family or friends ask for help, because objectivity is very important in HR.

The job can be demanding and rewarding and there are always going to be surprises when working with people. There are never going to be set outcomes, as people and their responses to situations are unpredictable. Some people don’t always behave as they should, which is why there’s always a need for HR to carry out investigations.

About Crescita

Some of the services provided by Crescita HR & OD include: disciplinary/grievance investigations, HR policy review/ development, job design/analysis and much more.

For more information

Crescita HR & OD

Call Helen on 07947 012893

Crescita HR& OD | 11 Normandy Close | Kempston | Bedfordshire| MK42 8TE

crescita | nene local | human resources