Kat Horrocks took part The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme in 2015 and was recently shortlisted for the Blogosphere’s Business Influencer of the Year 2018. 

We caught up with Kat, to find out more about life after the programme and her business.

Congratulations on being shortlisted for Blogosphere’s Business Influencer of the Year 2018. How did it feel when you found out?

Kat Horrocks (KT): Thank you so much! It was honestly a shock. I obviously follow Blogosphere and knew of the awards, but I wouldn’t have dreamt of being selected. It was a real honour.

PT: Tell us more about you and your business

KT: So my passion is empowering women to put themselves first and make time for their personal goals. I support this process through blog and video content on my website, and for the women in my community ready to invest in themselves, through 1-on-1 coaching.

As of January, I also host a weekly podcast (Put Yourself First!) interviewing successful women doing awesome things, with the aim that it inspires my community to go out and follow their dreams and goals too!

PT: How did you launch your business?

KT: I originally left college with the dream of becoming a makeup artist. I still run that business in my spare time as I love doing wedding makeup for brides. The online work also began purely as a passion.

I’ve always loved writing, creating content and sharing meaningful conversations, so I was always blogging alongside my makeup work, in any spare minute I had. It was a slow burner and a hobby for a long time, but as I created more content on topics that I wanted to share, a community of like-minded women started to grow, leading me to discover my ‘niche’ and start earning money from my work.

PT: How did you find out about The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme?

KT: A friend referred me. We both trained on the same makeup course, and had no clue how to start a business. Looking back, it was a real light bulb moment for me, I was excited!

PT: When did you complete the programme?

KT: I finished working with my Business Mentor at the end of 2017, which is the 2 year follow-up support…so about 3 years ago now?

PT: What was your experience like of the programme and what key things did you take away from it?

KT: As I said, the programme came at the perfect time for me, and I absolutely loved it.

It really gave me the concrete business knowledge I needed to feel confident moving forward. I’ve never had any traditional training or taken courses in business at school, so to learn the basics of setting up in a relaxed, approachable environment was so valuable.

Key takeaways for me were:

  • Listen to the market - Research, research and more research!
  • Find your niche
  • Always charge your worth
  • Focus on value vs. money - How can you add the most value possible to your customer or client, making your product or service absolutely priceless?

PT: What was your mentoring experience like?

KT: Incredible! I was really lucky to be matched up with my Business Mentor. We just clicked and had a great working relationship.

Sometimes the sessions felt a bit like therapy if I’m honest - someone who really ‘got it’ when it came to the highs and (incredibly tough) lows of starting and growing a business.

Then sometimes we’d get really practical and map out my plan of action, which we’d fully discuss together and he’d keep me accountable to the next time we met.

He also supported me when I shared my online work with him, and helped me strategise all that.

I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am now without my mentor. He empowered me with the tools and advice I needed to go it alone.

PT: What did you do when you finished the programme?

KT: Apart from starting to work with my mentor, I got straight to work! I hit the ground running with the inspiration I had from the programme, and used the business plan I’d created to map out my first 6-12 months.

What are your plans for the future?

KT: World domination? Kidding!

My focus in the next year or so is the podcast. It’s a real passion of mine, my community love it, and the sky’s the limit in terms of growth and potential partnerships now the podcast industry is continuing to boom.

PT: What advice would you give someone thinking about setting up their own business?

KT: Research! Get out there and find the resources and tools you need to support you. I’d highly recommend the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme if it’s available to you.

There’s also so many resources online - from podcasts, blog posts, YouTube videos - dive into it all, it’s free advice from successful business owners!

Once you’re confident with your plan and know what to do, don’t stay there too long and just get going. You learn so much on the job, so the earlier you start - even just working with family or friends - the quicker you’ll learn. In my opinion. 

PT: Tell us more about your passion for helping women in business

KT: I’m passionate about women making time for themselves and their goals. I know so many women who dream about starting a business, earning money from something they love, but for one reason or another, they haven’t taken the leap.

When it comes to online businesses, which is the way everything is going now, the playing field is levelling out. Women are building successful businesses from home on maternity leave. Women who “failed” at their exams in school are going on to earn great money doing something they love. Women are leaving the jobs they hate to share their incredible skills as a freelancer.

We have so many options now. Whatever your situation, if your passion is there and you go to bed thinking about it every night - you have to do it! I hope the content I share can support women, whether that’s on a practical or emo