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Award-winning London business eyes a future of flexible working

Nicolle Anderson of Business Clan talks to Denise Beedell in the second of a series of articles featuring the winners from the FSB Celebrating Small Business London Area Finals held on 19 March.

Business Clan started four years ago, with the aim of tapping into the underused potential of women professionals looking to return to the workforce after time out for families.
Nicolle met the founder Delia Porter through the National Childbirth Trust. They became good friends, so Delia approached Nicolle with the idea for Business Clan when she realised she could use her skills from her pre-parenting career to help firms in South West London to grow. 
Both recognised that there were hundreds of women with decades of corporate experience out there, who wanted to use their skills and expertise but couldn’t find a way to do this flexibly enough to suit their family circumstances.
Together they built a team with a range of professional skills and experience including strategy, business planning, marketing, web design, SEO, IT, HR, accountancy and bookkeeping; initially recruiting team members through conversations in their respective school playgrounds. 
Since then, the team has grown, moving into their own offices in Raynes Park last year and this Easter they will be on the move again into a larger office in the same building. 
Nicolle says, “Moving into our own offices has been great for the business, helping us to grow, become more efficient and creating more camaraderie within the team. We would have liked to have made the move much sooner, but the cost of suitable office space was a concern.”
Business Clan’s vision is to continue to provide a holistic service for local businesses, whilst championing flexible working, not just for women, but for everyone so that we all have a better work/life balance. 
Nicolle notes, “Our biggest challenge now with a workforce of mums is working around the school holidays as everyone is constrained by the same time frames. So we are looking to diversify our team by age and gender. We are also planning to expand to other parts of the UK and we hope to establish our first franchise when one of our original team members moves to Essex in April.”
When not at work, Nicolle makes sure she books in time for herself to exercise and relax. Family time is essential and she loves spending time with her children in and around Merton, and on the Southbank by the river. 
Business Clan was named Employer of the Year in the London Area finals.