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Five minutes with: Rachel Mallows, FSB member

Tell us about your business
The Mallows Company helps businesses, charities and individuals with training, coaching, consultancy and mentoring. We provide careers guidance to adults and in schools. In the food and drink sector we provide grants and support, as well as organising the Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

When did the business start?
In the early 1980s, as Rachel Mallows Services to Business. 

How has your business developed since then?
The business began providing secretarial support, temporary office staff and desktop publishing. It has changed considerably since. 

What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
That we can be flexible, and leading a team of remarkable people.

What’s the worst?
Not enough time to do all the interesting things there are to do. 

What advice do you have for people keen to start a business?
Seek an independent person to talk to about your idea and funding. Understand why you are doing it, then refine that vision. Give yourself two years. Don’t spend money you 
don’t have. Be kind to yourself and support other small businesses.

How has FSB membership helped?
Initially, I joined when I wanted to change banks. Since then I’ve found the legal helpline invaluable and I’ve used the FSB workplace pensions. The great thing is that you can pick and choose what bits are right for you.

Tell us something fun…
I’m an apiarist and on my 50th birthday the team put up some pictures of me as a queen bee. My head and a bee’s body.