"The UK would have an additional one million entrepreneurs if women set up businesses at the same rate as men."
Starting A Business With £500 - The Success Story Of Rebecca Bidwell
Rebecca Bidwell is director of a law costs drafting company Bidwell Henderson Costs Consultants, which is on track to become the largest provider of legal aid billing. She has been instrumental in growth of turnover by 432% in three years. Exceptionally motivated, her ambition is proving you can have it all, raise a family and love what you do.
As Rebecca was a regional winner of our Start Up Business of the Year Award (The Midlands Regional Final) we caught up with her and asked about her experiences so far.
What are you most proud of?
Running a successful business for my amazing team. I have seen first-hand with my father what it’s like to have your work life in someone else’s control and it goes wrong. I felt like I could do better. I wanted to be in control of my own destiny and my mission is to ensure every one of my team feels secure in their jobs knowing there will always be more than enough work. I know me, I trust me and I will keep working until I solve each problem we face. My dad also works with us now, which is pretty cool.
Which one thing do you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that I was only allowed to get stressed 10 times in my life and to use them wisely. Old me eventually attended CBT and learnt a lot. New me is considerably more productive!
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Starting this business on £500 in my attic. We now have a midlands office, north office on the horizon and a team of 30 with plans to be 60 in the next 12 months. Very exciting.
What is your “superpower”?
I see opportunities where others wouldn’t. My team often think I am crazy until I pull off my plans!
What’s your motto in life?
Keep going. Keep pushing onwards and upwards so your competition has too far to go to reach you.
What are the most lacking traits among the leaders today?
Ambition, respect for their people and old-fashioned thinking that you must be a bully to get the best out of your team.
What is the most important characteristic that every leader should possess?
Be approachable. Be there to help when things go wrong. Things will always go wrong but your team need to know it’s not the end of the world and you want to be there to fix it at the earliest point before it gets worse.
What are you doing daily to ensure your growth and development continues as a leader?
Business growth. My time is focussed on growth. I now deal with all recruitment and marketing; skills which suit me well. I am a people person. I pride myself on always giving positive feedback, as well as negative. In my previous job, it was always criticism you received as an employee, never any positive feedback for the great things we did. That’s something I wanted to do differently here.
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