Diana provides one-to-one business English coaching for German-speaking female professionals. A highly qualified and experienced English teacher who is also fluent in German, she helps her clients to improve their English in a business environment through friendly and focused online sessions. Having been inundated with enquiries regarding one-to-one English tuition, she was inspired to start her business when the pandemic struck. Today, she supports clients in Austria, the Netherlands, and beyond.  

What challenge did Diana face? 

Diana identified a clear customer base for her services but wasn’t sure how to market her skills effectively. She needed guidance on how to shape her online presence to attract and engage new business. Although she is incredibly passionate about her work, she says that starting her business was a “struggle” and that she was “just churning ad after ad, not getting anywhere.” After connecting with a German-speaking marketing expert and  attending a masterclass by a tutor on how to transfer teaching skills online, Diana made positive changes and increased her client base. However, she needed access to funding and further expertise to really make an impact.

How did SEMLEP provide support? 

Diana learned about SEMLEP through a chance encounter with a fellow volunteer at a local museum. They got chatting about her business and the volunteer asked, “Oh, have you tried funding?” and went on to share SEMLEP’s details. Diana thought that as a business without a bricks-and-mortar presence she wouldn’t be eligible for financial support, but reached out to the SEMLEP team to learn more and access business advice: 

“I said to the business advisor … you know … even if I just get the help, that will be fine. Just guidance. I’d be happy with that.”

However, she went on to successfully apply for a grant which has had a huge impact on her growing business. With the £2500 funding that she received from Luton Borough Council’s ARG scheme, managed by SEMLEP, she was able to engage a marketing expert who provided detailed advice on everything from the colour scheme of her marketing materials to analysing the types of content she was producing and identifying which types of posts were making the most impact with her audience. She is currently rebuilding her website to reflect the insights she has gained throughout this process.  

The advice and funding Diana received from SEMLEP helped her to secure new business and accelerate her growth: 

“I have gained, you know, a long-term client and more enquiries. I think, would I have managed to do this without SEMLEP? And I don’t think so, or if it would have happened, it would have taken a decade or so.”

Diana says she would “definitely” recommend SEMLEP as a partner to other local organisations, recognising that although new business owners are “skilled in our trade” many need expert support with marketing, advertising, and other aspects of running a business.