A Northumberland training consultant has seen major growth and change in her business after joining a support group for small business owners.

Lara Mellor, who specialises in helping businesses learn how to get the most out of Microsoft programmes including Excel and Word, joined the #dodigital Bootcamp, run by Consett based training company Digital Sparkles, in April.

Lara, who attends monthly sessions with fellow business owners and managers, said: “Joining the bootcamp has helped me to gain confidence in selling my services and pushing my business forward using social media and digital marketing.

“During the group sessions, we set ourselves goals to complete each month and one of mine was to revisit contacts on LinkedIn.

“I was anxious at first, having never been a fan of selling online, but this has lead to a number of new contracts and I am now delivering group training, one-to-one consultations and drop-in sessions for companies across the North East.”

The group has also helped Lara restructure her face-to-face meetings by helping her to better explain how her business can help others improve the IT skills of their employees and the benefits this will have.  This has enabled her clients to see the positive impact a long term, regular training schedule can bring.

Nicola Jayne Little, who runs Digital Sparkles, added: “It’s such a fantastic feeling seeing how much Lara has grown in self confidence and digital ability over the past seven months. She is proof that hard work and determination truly pays off.

“The #dodigital Bootcamp is a place where likeminded business owners and employees can get together and support each other once a month, helping us all to set and achieve our monthly goals and targets.”