Inspirational Woman: Gemma Guise | Co-founder and Director of JournoLink

Managing director of Journolink, founder of Primedia Solutions, CEO of disguisepr and part-time personal trainer.

Gemma Guise

What inspired you to start a business?

I saw there was a huge gap in the market in helping small businesses to get noticed by the media. Working in big agencies, I saw that small businesses had no chance of being covered because they weren’t engaging with a PR agency.

This was because they were too expensive. I decided to change this by starting JournoLink.

What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?

Being a working mum it’s so difficult to juggle both a baby and a business. It’s difficult to justify the childcare costs when you are a start up, but it is fantastic that I can work from home, and also work in the evenings when he is in bed.

What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures?

Keep your head up and keep climbing! You will have knock downs and points when you wish you could just work 9-5pm.

At those points I always remind myself “The grass is always greener on the other side, because there is more ‘organic matter’ over there!”

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?

Deciding to step down from the day-to-day running of the business was the hardest thing I had to do.

I couldn’t afford to put my little one in full time day care, but the business needed a full time manager so I had to step down and hand the reigns over to someone else. It was a hard decision, but sometimes you need to step away to let your business succeed.

How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?

It’s always important to get advice from people that have more grey hair than you…even if you don’t want to hear it. A mentor also helps to put you back on track when you are unfocused. I had the chance to start JournoLink with my father, Peter Ibbetson. Thanks to him, I have been able to avoid many mistakes.

What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?

It’s essential. You never know who you are going to meet. Everyone is important whether they are the porter or the guest speaker. They could be connected to that person you need to meet!

What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?

Ask for help. Mentors, business support groups, online communities. Anywhere you can bounce ideas around. Also, have people around you that have the skills you lack.

What does the future hold for you?

As I have taken a step down from the day-to-day management of JournoLink I will help when I can and continue to work one day a week. I have decided to try and start a business that I can have my baby with.

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