Louise Fitzgerald is the owner of The Hideout, an open space for hire, that hosts a variety of activities. From dance and fitness classes to support groups, parties and meetings, the Hideout is a hub for small businesses to run their events.
Louise started planning her new business after becoming unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with many other entrepreneurs. “I was working three jobs at the time; as a personal trainer, a teacher in a nursery and in a restaurant. Unfortunately all those businesses were impacted by the national lockdowns and I was unable to work.”
“Prior to the lockdowns, I considered myself to be relatively secure in my work, however the lockdown broke down this idea. It was then that I started thinking that I could create a business of my own” said Louise.
Once she knew the path she was going to take, Louise started writing down a business plan. My three goals for starting my business were; I want to provide people with opportunities to start their business within my business and I wanted to make my business market itself (and be instagramable!). Lastly I wanted to come off benefits”.
These plans came to fruition when Louise found a space in Old Market that could support her business. After a few hard months of work, The Hideout officially opened its doors in August 2020. Things took off from there and Louise hasn’t looked back since!
She realised that she needed to increase her knowledge in order to grow her business, and she signed up to the Skills Bootcamps – Digital Marketing.
“Two key things stuck with me from the Skills Bootcamp. The first was the importance of identifying and following marketing trends like podcasting. I am in the planning stages of starting my own podcast, the plan is to have different businesses who operate from The Hideout, bringing awareness to topics like exercise, mental health and more. The second biggest thing I learnt during the bootcamp was all the different marketing strategies I can use. I’ve always been stuck on what I know, like my website, facebook and Instagram, however, I prefer more indirect methods” .
Louise has come a long way, from losing her jobs, to starting and growing a very successful business in the heart of Bristol. “I have more time on my hands to do things and spend quality time with my son. I can help him with his homework and take him to scouts, I can even take him on holiday, things I couldn’t do before” said Louise.