When did you establish Mortgages 4 Plymouth?
“Mortgages4Plymouth as a brand was established in 2000.”
What led you to want to start up your own business?
“When I joined a financial services network in 1980 called Hambro Life, (this later became Allied Dunbar), I had no choice, I had to be self-employed and this was a huge learning curve. I enjoyed the freedom to develop my own style and work when I wanted to work.”
Have you experienced any bias working in the industry?
“During the 1980s women were not seen as Financial Advisers. I was advising on Pensions, Investments. Mortgages ad Assurances. I remember a conference held in Wembley Stadium with approximately 3,000 delegates in attendance, all men, other than perhaps 10 women, how times have changed.”
What are the biggest challenges you have faced as a female business owner in a male dominant industry?
“Being taken seriously as a woman and often being overlooked as credible, was an issue. Being based in Plymouth has been a disadvantage at times. People would assume a London based broker to be better and more qualified, this is not the case, they are not.”
Have you noticed any positive changes to the way the world views female business owners?
“In the last 40 years, I have seen a massive change in the attitude towards women in business. In Financial Services far more women are running their own firms and being very successful. More women make financial decisions today and that is reflected in the large number of women entering our industry.”
What would you say to a female reader who may be keen to start their own business?
“Anyone starting a business today, male or female need to consider what message they want to relay to their customers. Branding and social media have a huge roll to play, along with product knowledge.”
What’s been your greatest challenge and your greatest reward in your professional career?
“My greatest challenge has always been the expansion of my business. Recruiting the right people who are as passionate as I am to ensure we treat all of our customers fairly and provide them with right outcome.”
Can you list the awards that you have won?
“Over the years I have continuously received awards and recognition from my early days with Hambro Life (Allied Dunbar) achieving Falcon Club Status, then Senior Falcon and President Falcon.”
“I am now under the Network PRIMIS, the largest Mortgage and Protection Network in the UK today.”
I continue to receive awards and recognition:
– Top Life Sale 2007
– Club Elite – every year
– Top Quality Advisor
– Top Quality Firm
– Outstanding Contribution to the Network 2018 – I was the 1st person in PRIMIS to receive this accolade.
– Hall of Fame 2020 (the Hall of Fame was created in 2020
What do you love most about owning your own business?
“I enjoy the journey of working with my clients to help them achieve their goals. Also, the other side of this is being there for them when things go wrong for them on a personal level, the rapport I build with my clients allows them to know they can call regarding anything. I am also proud of my staff who are as passionate as I am, and who I know will fulfil their dreams by being part of Mortgages 4 Plymouth.”
What has been your favourite mistake and what did you learn from it?
“My favourite mistake was to apply for a job to sell toys, which turned out to be a job to sell Life Assurance. An accident, which resulted in a broken foot led to me agreeing to go on their sales course. Thank you, Hambro Life, the rest is history.”
If you were to start your business again today, what would you do differently?
“I would do a business management course on how to manage staff. I have learnt the hard way, making many mistakes in the early days. I would also learn more about social media.”