Partnership aiming to help other firms

FIVE businesswomen from Suffolk and Essex have pooled their expertise to set up a working partnership, thought to be the first of its kind in the area, to help themselves and others in business.

With more than half a century of business experience between them, the 5Works group has varied expertise ranging from property to acupuncture and from styling to photography.

5Works partner Brigette Currin, an estate agent at Saxmundham-based Elizabeth Valda Estates, said: “This is an amazing group to be associated with when you are working on your own.

“Together, not only have we already started to build good business foundations but also fantastic working relationships. 5Works brings back the fun into running a small busy business.”

The team also includes property stylist and Elizabeth Valda Estates co-director Christine Hamilton acupuncturist Annya Stoddart, image and personal branding coach Raisa Critchley and professional photographer Penny Morgan.

Each runs their own business but also works as part of the 5Works team offering business and personal support to other firms, helping local small businesses which don’t have all the skills they need in-house.

They meet regularly to pool ideas for their own businesses and see how they can team up to help others.

Most Read

Penny Morgan, from Mellis, said: “Working on your own as an independent small business needs you to be an expert in all fields required to run a new enterprise.

“The group means we are able to give mutual support, exchange services and recommend one another to other people.

“While remaining single in our businesses, we provide a resource to the strength of five – and it works!”

Annya Stoddart, from Stowmarket, added: “The benefits of 5Works for me include having others who understand what you are trying to do in attracting customers. There is huge benefit being able to share successes and frustrations and feeling supported.”

Raisa Critchley from Bury St Edmunds, said: “5Works gives me the opportunity to discuss my business and its challenges with other team members which is extremely helpful. It’s also a chance to refer clients to each other as well as to run projects together, which also helps to attract more clients.”

Christine Hamilton, from Weeley, near Clacton, added: “5Works has been a great help to me. Being part of this small team means all advice is given purely out of a willingness to help, without being judgemental and because our industries are so diverse the ideas come from very different viewpoints.”