Catherine Bennett CA
Although owning her own business had always been a dream for Catherine Bennett, she felt she lacked the confidence to leave a perfectly good job to start her own accountancy practice from scratch.
When the small firm she worked for went into liquidation in 2011, it gave Catherine the push she needed to make her dream a reality, and she decided to contact Outset Cornwall for support.
“My role model has always been my dad, who set up and ran his own successful business,” says Catherine. “He really made me want to run my own business, which is why I became a chartered accountant so I could do exactly that.”
After completing the Outset programme, Catherine launched Catherine Bennett CA in July 2011, working with small and medium sized enterprises both locally and nationally.
Catherine says: “In those early days, Outset Cornwall really helped me a lot, providing me with sources of potential clients and suppliers to help my business grow and develop, while giving me guidance and training in areas like marketing and sales, which I knew nothing about.”
Since launching, Catherine’s business has grown considerably, exceeding her expectations and what she previously earned as a full-time employee.
“Apart from earning more than when I was employed, my other main aim was to get more freedom and flexibility to spend time with my young family,” says Catherine. “I’ve been lucky to achieve both of these, although I do find it harder to shut off after leaving the office now!”
With a continuously growing client base and profit levels, together with employing her first members of staff, Catherine can proudly say she has never lost a client through bad service.
She also makes the perfect role model to join the Outset Ambassador programme, supporting and mentoring other aspiring business owners in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to become successful.
“Outset Cornwall has played a huge part in my success, giving me great opportunities to network, meet others and build my own referral network,” says Catherine. “Now I want to repay the favour, to give something back, and I also really enjoy passing on my knowledge and experience to others.”
Catherine’s top tip for others thinking of starting their own business is to believe in themselves.
“You have to believe you can make it happen and just make it happen, whatever it takes. You can’t be half-hearted about it.”