I am Jade Lisseman, I am 27 years old, my role is a Business Development Executive for Betaris Training Limited. I am responsible for all sales and account management within the company. Betaris Training Limited is a training company specialising in the delivery of training and qualifications in the predominantly male orientated sectors of Security, Warehouse & Storage and Road Passenger Vehicle Driving and Cleaning. We started from scratch, finding premises, staff, customers, drafting policies and procedures and then continually driving a quality service. We are now in the 6th year of business and have made a profit every year.
We provide opportunities for small to medium sized enterprises to enable them to access government funded, nationally recognised training and qualifications for their employees, to undertake through Apprenticeships and Competency Based qualifications delivered in the workplace. This gives valuable recognition, motivation and self-worth to staff in sectors that are very often overlooked when it comes to professional development. Betaris Training is currently working with over 80 local businesses in Gloucestershire and the South West of England.
Our Business is run by 2 female Directors, myself, the Business Support Executive, 1 female Business Support Manager, 1 female Apprentice in Business & Administration and 4 female Consultant Assessors, making a total of a 62% female workforce. We have a structured development and growth plan that has enabled us to employ fourteen members of full-time permanent staff, all of whom had been previously redundant and unemployed.
Tell us about your dream job as a child.
When I was a child, I was always into the more ‘hands on’ kind of job roles. I loved helping people and being active. I really wanted to become a firefighter or police officer. During my work experience at school, I was lucky enough to gain a week’s work experience at both of these places. I had a fabulous time going down to the Fire Training Centre in Avonmouth, being ‘rescued’ from the tower at Gloucester Fire Station, visiting the Police holding cells in Cheltenham and the best bit, was being shown around the Police Firearms department and getting the opportunity to shoot some of the firearms at the targets!
Why did you go into business in the first place?
In the face of adversity and during a recession, we decided to take the risk of setting up a new business – Betaris Training Limited, when our employer went into Administration, leaving us suddenly and unexpectedly redundant.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My grandad, Micheal Anstey, has always been my source of positive motivation and influence. He has always encouraged me and made me believe that I can achieve whatever I put my mind into. He has led by example, as he has achieved so much in his life, against all odds following a disabling motor cycle accident at the age of 21 and living his life with what he once described as “ 9 out of 10 pain” every day! He still remains the most positive man I know who always has the time for you no matter what he is doing.
What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?
Before I knew what career direction I wanted to go into, I started an Outdoor Education course at college which I gave up because I just did not enjoy the college environment. I feel that it was the worst decision because I enjoy travelling and I feel that it would have benefitted me getting a job whilst traveling and possibly encouraged me to travel more had I completed the course. My best decision was to be part of the creation of the new business, Betaris Training. This is because I started as a Business Administration Apprentice and got to know the business inside out as it grew and expanded into what it is today. I am now responsible for the Sales of the business and have undertaken work based qualifications which have enabled me to be successful whilst working and learning. I am now a qualified Further Education teacher, assessor and qualified in Level 3 Management.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to women in business?
I still believe that as a young woman in business, it is very difficult to be taken seriously as I am not a ‘man in a suit and tie’. This however, does not put me off because I know I have the correct knowledge and passion about Betaris Training and it only makes me want to prove them wrong!
What’s the best advice you have received in business?
To have confidence in yourself, to be yourself and not try to be someone else. Also, to value every single customer, always be nice and work hard to make people feel valued.
What do you do for fun?
I have just completed advanced training to expand my hobby to develop my skills as a nail technician. I really enjoy practicing my creative flair with different colours and designs. I am also captain of a local fun league netball team and I like to keep fit by taking lessons in pole fitness. I love exotic holidays and have recently discovered the joys of cruising!
What did you most fear in the early days of your business?
Would we get customers? Would we fail and let down all the people that were relying on us or would we succeed? Could we pay the bills? Could we keep our employees in a job? What became apparent was when setting up a business there is so much more to it than what we initially thought, we were unaware of the unexpected as we lacked experience in running our own business. The biggest fear was the fear of failure.
What’s next for you and your business?
To hit a £1 million turnover!! To take our business into new sectors of the education industry, which will include Learner Loans and Apprenticeships for Levy and Non – Levy payers. Growing our exciting SWAT course for disengaged young people and offering Security Training nationwide. Our plan is to grow in the areas that we have tried and tested and had success in.
If you could tell your younger you something, what would you say?
Don’t waste time chasing boys! Haha! Focus on yourself and your choices, don’t be put off by other people’s negativity, people will have their opinions to hinder you, but you will have just as many people pushing you along, encouraging you and routing for you. Keep repeating the mantra “I can do it, yes I can!” and you will.
Jade Lisseman – Betaris Training