Marie Hope started her career in the restaurant industry after completing her business degree in Leeds, England. Her commitment to lifelong learning also led her to earn an MBA and a degree in psychology. She worked in restaurant management and taught in the industry for five years before launching her own business in 1990. A Taste of Britain combined her heritage and her experience into a British tea shop that included a bakery and gift store. Later, she also started a catering firm and mail order business.
Marie ran companies for over 20 years before starting her consulting firm. She moved to Jacksonville in 2010 and continued to build Vision in Business, a firm that specializes in coaching women and developing Women’s Mastermind Groups. Having been an entrepreneur herself, she understands what business owners go through. “They work too much in their business, and not enough on their business. They are too close to the problems and cannot see the forest for the trees.” That’s where she comes in – helping women focus on what’s important and developing a clear sense of direction.
Marie enrolled in the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center’s Marketing Matters mentoring program in 2014. Her mentors, Judi Spann and Donna Reade, helped her identify her market and refine her business model. “Marketing Matters revolutionized my business concept, “Marie says. “The program helped me develop what I enjoy the most into an advantage that meets the needs of a niche market. Today, I have a manageable, measurable and lead-generating marketing system.”
It’s not easy coaching smart, experienced women, especially those who make a living coaching others. But mentor Judi Spann says that Marie was wide open to suggestion and took the process very seriously. “I was impressed with Marie’s attitude. It’s sometimes hard to see things clearly when you’re so close to your business, so she used us to help her focus on what was important to growing her business.”
Mentor Donna Reade says that Marie’s “aha” moment arrived in under an hour of their first meeting. “We asked her about her business: what’s causing pain, what brings you joy, and it just clicked. Her mastermind groups were her most profitable line of business and the one she enjoyed the most. We gave her permission to do only what made the most money and what brought her the most joy.”
“And,” she adds, “We helped her bring her pricing in line with the value she brings to her clients.” Business has grown since she raised her prices.
Marie also understands the value of networking; she knows that her sales model is based on relationships and trust. She serves on the hospitality committee for the Professionals Women’s Council, which nominated her as its Small Business Leader of the Year for 2014. She also leads a small monthly networking group called Ponte Vedra Professionals, is a member of the Beaches Chamber Membership Task Force and has volunteered to facilitate a Hospitality Industry Mastermind Group for the Beaches Division of the JAX Chamber.
Marie knows that success is a marathon and not a sprint. And she knows a thing or two about marathons, since she’s been participating in endurance sports for 30 years. On Marie’s Vision in Business website, she talks about how her experience has helped her work with her clients: “I have the business muscle to know what to do well and the scars and bruises from the mistakes I have made. You can benefit from both.”
Find Vision in Business at www.vib-consulting.com
Do you want to accelerate your success like Marie?
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What are you waiting for? Apply for the next edition of Marketing Matters which begins in January 2015. This program delivers thousands of dollars’ worth of professional consulting within a proprietary learning program for one low fee of $375 ($300 if you are an ethnic or regional Chamber member or a member of the JAX Chamber).