There’s no doubt that start-ups and small businesses play an unparalleled role in driving the overall health of the UK economy. As gloomy economic forecasts continue to appear, it’s more important than ever that entrepreneurs have the tools and know-how to bring their business ambitions to life in tricky times.

Lisa Marie Brown saw the recession as an opportunity, rather than obstacle, to launch a new business venture and her unique enterprise, Pinkspiration is designed to help inspire others to launch new businesses or projects in their community, providing them with the skills, business tools and funding advice to do so.

Pinkspiration even caught the eye of Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones who endorsed the company’s educational reality TV programme – ‘Design Factor’, a show which aims to ‘upskill’ young people, enabling them to be successful, competitive professionals in construction and design. There are also more Pinkspiration initiatives in the pipeline to help women and young people looking to break into engineering and construction.

We first met Lisa in 2011 through our partnership with StartUp Britain at their summer bus tour. When we caught up recently, we discussed how technology has played a role in the success of her business and she shared some advice: 

Adopt technology that promotes flexibility and productivity

As we often travel around the UK working on construction sites for ‘Design Factor,’ having technology that enables us to run our business efficiently on-the-go is key. Being connected and mobile means we can work on-site or at community projects, with full access to email and online resources including research without being tethered by location. We were delighted when we won a  Dell Vostro 3450 laptop at StartUp Britain’s summer bus tour as it has certainly helped our business to grow rapidly, allowing us to work in a flexible way and develop our social media strategy, which has played a significant role in our success.  

  Tap into social media to grow your audience

 Social media has become an invaluable gateway to reaching our community. We use Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to help raise brand awareness, deepen our connection with customers and keep the community up-to-date on offers and project progress.  

Facebook is a great outlet for adding value to customers through highlighting special offers. It’s also been great for engaging with, and showing our gratitude to, our supporters and customers. It’s a more personal platform, so keep a professional but friendly approach and it makes for a great means of attracting new customers

Twitter enables us to post relevant, timely updates on our business. Make sure content is always engaging and an interesting read for your audience

Make sure your LinkedIn page has a photo and regularly maintain your profile to keep it up-to-date, remembering that it should adopt a more professional tone than a Facebook page. Use LinkedIn to network with like-minded people, get recommendations from customers and colleagues, and share best practices

 Always think ahead to your next goal for the business

 Any investment we’ve made to date has been with our future in mind. Our next goal is to get our TV show ‘Design Factor’ commissioned for broadcast to create more opportunities in the community for young people. Young people are worst affected by the recession with more than one million currently unemployed, and there is a risk we could lose a generation unless we develop innovative, educational programmes.

 Find Lisa Marie Brown on Twitter @lisamariebrown1