ABOUT THE BUSINESS
Hannah Chadwick set up Fortitude Training in Leeds after 19 years working in the legal and training sectors.
Her experience of poor workplace practices made her want to do something about it.
“If you are going to spend 85,000 hours of your life at work you want it to be enjoyable. But in so many workplaces morale is low and people are literally reduced to tears. This is not just bad for individuals, but also for the companies who are losing productivity and have high staff turnover,” says Hannah.
Hannah launched her business in 2019 offering training in leadership skills, communication, dealing with hidden disabilities and unconscious bias. She gained bookings from contacts, but then got a bit stuck. So, she turned to AD:VENTURE for help.
“I didn’t know how to network or get sales when I came to AD:VENTURE. I didn’t know how to market myself,” says Hannah.
“I had set up the business and got the website and the phone and then didn’t know what to do next.”
Hannah might have grown up with social media, but she says she was unsure about how to use it to promote her business and bring in new clients.
“I’ve had to learn to embrace social media and I feel a bit like I had to learn it all again from scratch. But I have been to some great workshops and had some fantastic one to one advice from AD:VENTURE,” says Hannah.
And despite having a background in the legal profession, Hannah says she needed advice on the legal side of running a business, including contracts, and terms and conditions.
“Since I trained things have changed a lot, so I needed a refresher, and I worked in a completely different area of law, so I needed to understand the business basics,” says Hannah.
“The help AD:VENTURE has given me has been invaluable. I cannot sing their praises enough,” says Hannah, who has benefitted from one-to-one mentoring and attended ten workshops on topics including branding, marketing and legal advice. A workshop on podcasting even inspired Hannah to start her own podcasts!
Hannah’s understanding of marketing and her increase in confidence means she is now targeting bigger organisations as well.
“It’s changed my game in terms of who I am prepared to approach. I don’t feel intimidated by companies with hundreds of employees now,” she says.
Hannah has already secured her first international client; in the Philippines! And the contact came through AD:VENTURE.
“Even though the workshops are online you get to know people and we help each other. The Philippines work came from someone I met on an AD:VENTURE workshop. So not only do you learn from the workshop tutors, but the participants can help each other too.
“I don’t want the business to just be me forever, I want to build the business and give people jobs. I want to expand nationally and internationally and establish myself as a brand. And I would not be where I am now if it was not for AD:VENTURE,” says Hannah.
“AD:VENTURE is brilliant. I can’t speak highly enough of them. They really helped me find my feet and gave me confidence.
“The workshops are fantastic; having access to all these experts for free is amazing. And my business adviser has helped me to think bigger and look at the sectors I am targeting, so I really can grow the business,” says Hannah.
“Everybody at AD:VENTURE is so supportive. It’s like a family. When you start a business it is really scary and it’s great to have someone help you navigate your way through.”