A week in the life of... A Big Ideas Wales business advisor

Five people on a Teams call

Meet Toni Godolphin, one of Big Ideas Wales’ expert business advisors. Our Business Advisors help help you turn your business idea into reality with practical guidance and inspiration to get you the knowledge, skills and confidence to start your own business. Most, like Toni, have experience of starting and running their own business too, and many still run a business as a ‘side-hustle’ while they apply their skills to helping the next generation.  While there’s no such thing as a ‘typical week’ for an advisor, here’s a flavour of what Toni gets up to in her role. Contact Big Ideas Wales to find out how you can work with an advisor to take your business idea to the next level:-

Big Ideas Wales… A week of support

Being a business advisor for Big Ideas Wales… it’s the perfect job for me, I get to talk lots, every day! Not only do I get to support people with business queries, like; how do I start a business? What’s a business plan? Do I have to pay tax? I also get to help those who may be struggling with their self-confidence, or are worried about the money side.  It is so rewarding to think I may have helped a young person change their future with a little bit of support and encouragement.

When I was asked to do a week of my life with Big Ideas Wales, I thought where do I start, no two weeks are ever the same. So here we go, a week on an adventure with me….

Monday – Quick catch up with the team this morning, always nice to see everyone, working from home is great, but sometimes I do miss the office chat about what we got up to on the weekend.  We also get to find out what everyone is up to this week and make sure everyone is happy with the week ahead. 

The rest of the day, is a chance to catch up on paperwork, chat with a couple of clients and support a young man who is applying for the Young Persons Start-up grant.  He is at the stage of finalising what he needs to purchase the get the business off the ground, with business plan and forecast in the bag, it’s just the application to complete and submit to Big Ideas Wales. This part of the role is very rewarding, as I know it’s going to be real at this stage and once he gets approval there will be no stopping him.

Tuesday – Went to Coleg Cambria, Wrexham to speak with some floristry students who are considering self-employment when they complete the course.  These sessions are probably one of my favourite parts of my job, not only do I get to speak with young people, but I get to support them in the coming months develop their business idea.  I also bagged myself a lovely bouqet of flowers, that the students design and sell from their florist shop within the college, such good value for money and open to the public if you are ever in the area.

After lunch I popped into the Wrexham Enterprise Hub and set up office there for the afternoon, popped on my headphones and called my scheduled 2pm client, looking to start a photography business.  We chatted through her marketing ideas and how she will promote herself and the business, she has already had enquiries just from friends and family recommending her, so she’s going to have a great start to her business.

The Hub is a great space for business owners looking for some office space, or if you work from home but just fancy a bit of company one day, you can rent a desk.  It also has free coffee on tap so what’s not to like! I am always happy to meet clients at the hub, great space to sit and chat.

Wednesday – A trip to Aberystwyth… it’s Aberystwyth Careers Week and Wednesday is enterprise day, these events are always so well attended by students, looking for a side-hustle idea to earn money whilst still studying or looking to be self-employed in the next few months when they complete their degree.  Wow, did I speak to some really interesting people, such a diverse range of business ideas, my brain is always buzzing after a morning at the University.

The afternoon was a trip to Penparcau, Aberystwyth to support the Big Ideas Wales on Tour event, my amazing colleague Llinos is hosting todays event and has got a room full of eager young people looking to start a business.  I gave a brief presentation on selling on Etsy, which I have become an expert in over the past few years, with selling my own handcrafted items on the platform. Of course I had to stay for the pizza and networking after, it would be rude not to!!

Thursday – today starts with an online webinar that I am delivering “Is self employment for me”.  This workshop is the first of a set of 12 rolling workshops we deliver across the team. Take a look at all the 12 session we run, something might be of interest to you (https://businesswales.gov.wales/bigideas/big-ideas-wales-project-start), Today I had 4 join me today from all over Wales and some really interesting business ideas.

Next, an afternoon of financial forecasts. Financial forecast and getting to grips with business sales and expenses is not always an easy process and it can sometimes be the make or break of a potential business. If the figures aren’t adding up, it’s not going to be a successful business, but if it’s all stacking up the right way then this time next year they could be millionaires!

Friday – Back to back clients, nothing better to make a Friday fly.  Dog groomer, hairdresser, childminder and a joiner! Finished off by completing this blog! I think I will sleep tonight, but glass of wine first! Who knows what next week will bring.