THE owner of a Mellor-based domestic and cleaning company has issued a rallying cry to would-be East Lancashire female entrepreneurs after recruiting her 20th staff member.

Suzanne Waring launched her company, Helping Hands Cleaning, in 1999.

And after 15 years of growth she is convinced that many more women could follow her example.

Suzanne said: “If anyone had told me 15 years ago that I would have a business with 20 staff, I wouldn’t have believed them.

“But my decision to start a business was the best of my career. It came at a time when, like so many women, my children were older and I had a real opportunity to start something for myself. It was everything you’d expect: frightening, scary, but ultimately very rewarding.

“I don’t care what the business is, I think women — especially women in East Lancashire — have a unique blend of initiative, skill and determination to finish what they set out to achieve. We keep our eye on the ball and get things done — on time and to an outstanding standard. That’s why customers seek us out, and it puts us in a very strong position when it comes to building brilliant businesses.”

Helping Hands started 15 years ago as a domestic cleaning service with only two staff. The business then began working with commercial clients two years later and added new services such as laundry and ironing in the last six years.

Today, the business offers flexible range of services, from temporary one-off assistance to monthly and weekly agreements.

Maya Chyong is now the 20th staff member.

Suzanne added: “Our 20-staff milestone is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a brief pat on the back. We have a simple recipe for success through attention to detail and hard work. And it would be wonderful to see even more women in Lancashire take the plunge and run their own business. There’s nothing stopping them.”

Suzanne is presenting at The Forward Ladies Network at Preston North End on Tuesday, April 29.