A WOMAN who set up a business while on maternity leave is now making nearly £6,000 a week.
Karen Dunne-Squire, 39, quit her high-flying career in recruitment while her daughter was just three weeks old to set up sales training and consultancy firm Elation Experts.
The leading business growth expert, who is based in Kingswood, has since helped hundreds of firms increase their sales and grow their businesses - by up to three times their turnover.
And Karen’s success has led her to become a sought-after inspirational speaker at events.
Karen, who has worked on sales management and business development for multi-million pound corporations, said: “I had been a workaholic and planned to go back to work when my daughter was four weeks old.
“But while holding her in my arms at three weeks old, I knew I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. Working for a corporation involved long hours and little flexibility.
“I rang up my boss that lunchtime to say I wouldn’t be coming back. A few people thought I was mad, but I just said ‘I’m going to crack this’.”
In a little over a month she had written a business plan, carried out market research and used her savings to have a website built.
Five weeks after setting up, she got her first client and was asked to ring Anna Wintour’s office at Vogue to see if they would attend a launch party.
Karen, who has over 15 years’ experience in sales management and training, said: “I’d been feeding my baby while I made the call - so was very much juggling many things at once.
“We got a representative from the Vogue to attend and my client was happy. It helped reassure me my business would be a success.”
Her current business, in Britton Gardens, developed into a specialist sales business when Karen saw a real demand for professional sales support in the Bristol business community.
She has gone on to create the Three Pillars of Successful Selling © , which is specifically focused on helping SMEs be great at selling.
Karen, who has previously managed campaigns to raise millions of pounds for national charities, said: “I believe that if we can help small businesses thrive, we can bring greater stability to the economy.”
Karen continues to be driven by her passion for helping small businesses meet their growth aspirations – and to act as a role model for her daughter.
Karen, who used to live in Fishponds, said: “I want to show her it’s possible for women to carve out successful careers after having children.”
Karen is a regular on the speaking circuit, where she shares her business growth expertise.
She spoke to full house about how to improve sales practices at the Sales Innovation Expo, one of Europe’s largest events for professional sales leaders.
Event director James Williams, of Prysm Group, said: “I work with some of the best known speakers in the country and I am very happy to say that Karen can now be put up there with the very best.”
* For more information, visit http://www.elation-experts.co.uk/
"I believe that if we can help small businesses thrive, we can bring greater stability to the economy."
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