Sarah’s Pawesome Business Idea leads her to Successsful Mums!
Social media is such an inherent part of our everyday lives that we barely register a thought when using it. It is well documented how it has changed the fabric of our society as well as the way we communicate. Picture for a moment, your life without Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Now imagine the life-changing impact social media has had on those in the deaf community. For the deaf community, the advent of social media broke down barriers and provided them with a platform where they could have the confidence to speak out.
Those who grew up without the ability to hear or speak have always faced significant difficulties communicating with the hearing world, but online the deaf community aren’t defined or excluded, and they can generate a wide social network without restrictions.
It is with this sense of inclusion in mind, that Successful Mums decided to create their latest offering; the Digital and Social Media Course for Mums in Business. A course designed to help attendees develop a digital and social media strategy, build digital confidence, increase online engagement, promote their business and gain new customers.
Having already embraced social media to stay in touch with family and friends all over the world, it was a natural progression for Hayes mum of three, Sarah Connolly, to sign-up for the digital course after completing our Business Start-Up course.
Sarah, who was born deaf, has two sign language interpreters sit alongside her in the course. She said, ‘The first week of the course was very interesting. We learnt about mental health and wellbeing. ‘It’s a big challenge for me because of my deafness and I struggled a little bit at first, trying to fill out the paperwork and watching my interpreter to see what the trainer saying’.
‘The Business Start-up course helped me create the idea for my dog walking business and gave me the tools to plan, research and market my idea. It also gave me an overview of the workings of social media. Now I am looking forward to increasing my knowledge of digital business strategies.’ she said.
Sarah, who has a background in histology and biomedical science, worked as a School Science/Food Technician before becoming a dog carer in 2018. She has two sons, aged 25 and 6 and a daughter 17. All of her family are ‘hearing’ and they sign together as a family.
As a member of the Professional Dog Walker Association, Sarah worked freelance alongside a fellow dog carer who ran her own business. When that person decided to retire in February this year, Sarah seized the opportunity to become the proud business owner of Sarah’s Paws Sitter. She learnt a lot about dog caring through the previous owner but hopes to do formal training soon which will include first aid for pets.
She said, ‘I have lots of fun playing with the dogs, I love walking through the woodland with them and it helps me relax and be mindful.’
Sarah has regular puppies to walk, but due to the current situation is unable to move forward with her plans to expand into pet-sitting other animals such as cats, fishes and hamsters, while their owners are away.
She is a passionate fundraiser for a variety of charities including the Poppy Appeal, Diabetes UK and Cancer Research UK and has signed up for the Blood Cancer Ultra Challenge (an event where participants run, walk or jog 100km, 50km or 25Km) this September. On top of that, Sarah is a fundraiser for Aurora Deaf Africa Aid (ADAA) and has been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by them for being an outstanding volunteer.
If she needs to communicate on the phone, Sarah uses Typetalk (a typical call usually involves a text phone user typing their part of the conversation and an operator reading it out word-for-word to the hearing person) but for business, she likes to use Facebook so customers can see what she offers and text or email her.
‘Social media has definitely allowed me to work more freely, it allows me to create and share information and helps me to network to increase my customer base. People can view my service and what I offer and then message me to find out more.’
Sarah thinks all the Successful Mums courses are brilliant. She said: ‘They help mums gain the skills and confidence to return to work or start a business’.
Thank you Sarah, it’s been great having you on the courses and look forward to watching your business grow! If you’d like to find out more about Sarah’s business check out her Facebook page HERE.
Despite this tricky chapter, we believe now could be a great time to start something new or adapt your existing small business. With this in mind, we are running Online Business Training to help you get started. Find out more about our Business Start-up & Digital Skills Course HERE and our Digital & Social Media for Business Mums Course HERE.
We love to showcase our fantastic mums, who continually create their own paths to success. Read some success stories and hear about their inspirational new careers and business ventures.