As an employee, you can spot an opportunity for business
Shirley Gleeson is an employee turned Sole Trader then Limited Company Director. Shirley worked in the health service sector for 20 years before she started her own Sole Trader business called Nature, Health & Wellbeing Ireland. She started as a Sole Trader in 2015 and after four years of running her own business, she decided to incorporate it into a Limited Company, which she named Ecowellness Consulting Limited.
Ecowellness Consulting Limited designs, delivers and evaluates nature based interventions to promote and enhance positive mental health. They offer a wide range of services and training to individuals, hotels and different workplaces. The services that they provide range from Certified Forest Therapy, Forest Bathing and general nature-based interventions to enhance positive mental health.
While working as an employee, Shirley was getting frustrated at the health service sector and their financial waste. She felt like the patients weren’t getting the care that they needed and by experiencing these pain points first hand, Shirely was able to provide a solution.
In 2015, she started her business called Nature, Health & Wellbeing Ireland. Opportunities arose to train in different countries, such as the US and South Africa, which helped Shirley discover her niche. She learned different therapy skills that no one else in Ireland can offer and as a result, has seen Ecowellness expand their customer base. Ecowellness Consulting Limited now serves individuals, 5-star hotels, spas and different workplaces in Ireland.
Running a business requires commitment
Starting a new business requires commitment and Shirley proves that. She started her business by only dedicating one day a week to it. As it started to grow and get busier, she decided it was time to commit to her business full time. The next step for Shirley was to set up a Limited Company. Being a Director of a Limited Company comes with more compliance requirements than a Sole Trader. For example, now Shirely had to think about things like financial statements, Corporation Tax returns and Directors Returns.
Shirely was committed to completing Startup business courses and workshops to help her grow her business. She focused on expanding her domestic and international training by working with Irish Startup mentors and also taking international training courses in Europe and the US. She also trained to be a nature guide in South Africa to expand her training even further. Shirely’s unique attitude and approach to the health and wellness industry sets her apart from anything else that is offered in Ireland at the moment.
Help and support during the first few years of business is invaluable
Shirley says she found it extremely difficult and different working as a business owner compared to an employee. It can be a difficult decision to leave the sociable and steady routine of being an employee and Shirley says for that reason it’s important to have a passion for what you’re doing to help motivate you when times get tough.
The importance of professional support for Limited Companies
Shirley incorporated her business into a Limited Company in January 2019 and after four months, decided that she needed to get an accountant to support her. The accountancy needs of a Limited Company can be more complicated than a Sole Trader business and it can be easy to let compliance and filing deadlines pass if you’re unfamiliar with the requirements. Shirley knew she needed an accountant that was transparent, easy to understand, accessible and straight-forward.
When Shirley first started traded as a Sole Trader, she used Excel and maintained all the records for the business herself. Now that she has professional support it means that Shirley is able to focus more on helping people enhance their health and wellbeing. It gives Shirley more time to dedicate to her business when she is reassured that Accountant Online are looking after her accounts.
Being able to rely on her accountants is very important for Shirley. She says that her accountancy team, Tom and Johanna, give Shirley confidence that Accountant Online will take care of everything that she needs. She appreciates how they always respond to her within 24 hours and they speak a language that she can understand.
Ecowellness Consulting has appeared in The Sunday Business Post, The Irish Times, Aer Lingus Cara Magazine, Crann Magazine, Irish Country Magazine and more. Shirley regularly speaks at conferences across Europe and provides Nature and Forest-based training throughout the year. You can learn more about Shirley’s story, Ecowellness Consulting and the work they do on her website. Accountant Online proudly showcases Ecowellness Consultant as one of our clients and hope Shirley’s story helps give you the motivation you need to start your business.