This week features the incredibly busy Sue from @suffolkclean
1.Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sue Hall. I am probably best known in Suffolk for running the Ipswich branch of Women in Rural Enterprise but I also run my own business. Maid2Clean. It is a domestic cleaning agency which provides work for local people fitting around their other commitments, while at the same time solving the problems of busy men and women or people unable to keep on top of the housework. In addition, I have a few other voluntary roles. I am an Appropriate Adult, Independent Visitor to 2 looked after children, Roving Ambassador for the New Wolsey and most recently a new role as Internet TV interviewer on Felixstowe TV. They have given me a channel to interview women business owners in Suffolk which is very exciting. Safe to say even though I don't have children, I always have a lot going on!
2.How did you get started?
I have worked in London most of my life except for a year spent travelling round the world in the mid-1980’s and when I was a Tour Guide in Europe and then I was all over the place! My last job was in London and involved a lot of travel – I spent most of my time between the UK and US and only saw Suffolk very occasionally which was really never the plan. Along with the long hours and strict demands of the job, it all started to take its toll on my health so I resolved to take control. It was a life changing decision! I believed I was not good enough at any one thing to start my own business from scratch so went through the crossroads process. You know where you sit down with that pad and do your lists of what you like, don’t like, what makes you happy etc. I came out the other side of that realizing that aside from having better control of my time, there were five major things that were fundamental to my future happiness: I wanted to do something that helps people, I wanted to create opportunities, I wanted to be able to pursue my desire to do voluntary work, I wanted to be involved with people and I wanted a dog! So all I had to do was find a job that gave me freedom and time off as well as money and I would be home and hosed, ha ha! As I said before, I had no skills that would make a business of my own so I looked at the franchise route. Maid2Clean ticked all the boxes and after the due diligence was done, and knowing nothing about cleaning except I didn’t enjoy it, I was on my way.
3.Do you have any plans/resolutions for 2012?
I am continuing to grow the business and my goal is to acquire another territory eventually. I have entered one of my dogs for Crufts in March as he qualified for it last year. Not sure I will continue to show him after that but I want to go for the experience! And my partner is 50 this year so will be dreaming up a plan to celebrate in appropriate style.
4.Describe yourself in 5 words
I am sure my 5 words would be different to everyone else’s but I did compare my list to the one my best friend came up with and we had three traits the same so I am maybe not too far off…. fun, generous, supportive, vivacious, dynamic.
5.Any claims to fame?
Sadly, not really. My ex husband's nephew was Pat van den Hauwe (Spurs player) and my gynaecologist in my 20s/30s in London was Dr Sam Hutt, otherwise known as Hank Wangford. He has just played Ipswich actually but it felt weird to go see him!
6.If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The countries I have spent the most amount of time in during my life are Australia, America and France so I would always be happy to return to any of them. If I had to choose somewhere new, South Africa is definitely on my list as is Cape Verde Islands.
7.What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?
The Niche Expert by Rachel Henke. She is a member of my WiRE group and this book is an absolute must read for anyone who needs clarity, focus and direction to run their own business.
8.Who makes you laugh?
Tommy Cooper. Only Fools & Horses. Green Wing. My best mate. My dogs.
9.What was the last thing you bought yourself?
A hot stone massage and mani/pedi
10.What song makes you smile?
Corny I know but anything by Abba is very feel good for me. And anything from Grease gets me smiling and singing. When my best friend's mother died a couple of years back, they played the Birdie Song at the end of the service. Was very uplifting watching everyone start dancing and smiling and moving their feet, nodding their heads etc., at what is normally quite a sombre occasion. Rose loved her holidays and that song was all about that for her. Great way to bow out!
Thanks Sue. I had expected to mention your time on stage with the Spamalot cast as one of your claims to fame ;)
My 5 year old son loves Abba and regularly bursts into Mamma Mia or Dancing Queen in the middle of a restaurant or supermarket but it's so lovely to hear and makes me smile.