Sally helps new businesses to grow

Sally Gorton, of Bang the Drum
Sally Gorton, of Bang the Drum

Pursuing enterprising ideas can be addictive and, fortunately for social media guru Sally Gorton, they can also be very successful.

Now Sally will be using her experience to help others as part of a new group of volunteer enterprise mentors in the Ribble Valley.

A series of unexpected circumstances led the Grimsargh mum-of-two to set up her “Bang The Drum” consulting business two years ago. Sally (35) was on maternity leave with her second child when the Manchester-based business she was working for announced her department was closing. With Isabel starting school, Sally took a year out to weigh up options.

“I didn’t want to go back after six months and didn’t want to have to look for another job as I had been working part-time, so it was time for a complete rethink,” she said.

“While I had my redundancy pay I took the opportunity to pursue something that maybe I wouldn’t have done.”

Having communications and PR experience, Sally developed Bang The Drum.

“I wanted to do things for small independent businesses to help them harness new technology – Facebook and Twitter and email marketing – so I started running coaching sessions to train people on a one-to-one basis or as a group.

“I now have clients in London, Manchester and Blackpool as well as many in the Ribble Valley and Preston area. At one stage I even had a client in Hong Kong, fortunately it wasn’t one-to-one coaching!”

She got to know about Enterprising People In Ribble Valley through parish councillor Eileen Murray and was asked by EPRV associate Rob Carder to help deliver social media workshops across the Ribble Valley.

“As a result of these workshops, I made loads of contacts and got businesses coming to me as clients,” she said.

“This has all helped my confidence. When I was working, I had confidence, but then having children and being made redundant made me feel vulnerable. Now I am always looking for new challenges.

“More and more people are facing redundancy but don’t want to get back on the treadmill and are setting up their own businesses. Micro businesses are flourishing but when you work for yourself and you come across a problem you have no-one to turn to for a solution. That is where the enterprise mentors will come in.

“Our capacity will not be to advise, but to help the person find a solution by considering all the options. All the mentors have different specialist abilities so we have access to a huge range of business skills.”

EPRV Associate Rob Carder said: “Although Sally has never actually been a client of ours, she has been involved with the project since quite early on. It has been really helpful to be able to lean on her expertise in our social media workshops.

“She is certainly more confident in herself and her business now. We were delighted when she agreed to join the volunteer enterprise mentor team – she brings a whole range of business skills and experience that many clients will find invaluable.”

If you have an idea for a project or a business and would like help to make it happen, contact Enterprising People Ribble Valley by emailing: hello@enterprisingpeople.org.uk