Claire Harding Wilmshurst
Business Name: Flamingo Financial Services
Facebook: Lifestyle protection with Claire
LinkedIn: Claire (Wilmshurst) Harding
Note from the Directors: Thank you for being an such an active Brand Ambassador and such a loyal support of MNC.
Question 1: Give us a brief description of your business. How you help people? What makes you unique?
We are a complete financial services company run by women with the objective of helping families to protect their lives and their assets with a non-stuffy , friendly and relatable approach. We all have families and we are driven by our desire to help others to understand and get control of every aspect of their finances. We are pleased to have access to the whole of the market and pride ourselves in getting the best cover, mortgages and services and looking after our clients throughout their lives and changing situations. We never charge for our advice and informal chats over coffee are often the best way to determine the needs of our clients.
Question 2: Why do you love your business and what you do?
I love my business as we all inspire and motivate each other every day. We were friends before Flamingo was created, and we are excited to see our business grow. Obviously, testimonials and real stories are the drivers behind our passion to spread the importance of protecting yourself and the people you love…. some are very close to home and the phrases.. “but he was my age and fit…”, “She never saw it coming…” etc, are all too real.
Question 3: Tell us about a time when you said to yourself ‘this is why I do what I do’.
4 years ago I was based at a gym in Brighton where Vitality offer up to 50% discount on the gym membership when you take out a policy. I chatted to a lovely guy in the gym who was 31 and recently married… He told me he was taking out a policy because he thought it was the right thing to do, but had been putting it off for so long due to spending a large amount on setting up their first home and getting married. He was spurred on by the discount and came to see me. I gave him a comprehensive insurance with Serious Illness cover for £50,000 and Life cover for £500,000. He was very fit and had no pre-existing conditions. 1 year later his wife called to say he had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and I helped them to claim the full £50,000 as he was entitled to the full 100% payout. They had a baby boy and and as you can imagine, this money was invaluable to them. Sadly his condition worsened and he passed away 8 months later. I only recently met with his wife who told me that the life insurance paid off their mortgage, paid for his funeral and has provided a safe home and a future for them both as she was able to return to work and now can provide for her son and maintain a good quality of life considering what they’ve been through. She has her own cover and is a really strong advocate of the importance of getting good cover – even when you may think it’s the last thing you need to consider. That is just one of a few really powerful stories I could tell you from the last 5 years i’ve been in this industry. Before this, I was in radio – my job was exciting and varied, but the personal experience i’ve had through my own cover, and now the lovely feedback and powerful stories such as the one above, have driven my desire to expand my knowledge and inspire as many people as possible to look at the cover they may already have and just ensure they are adequately protected.
Questions 4: How has MNC helped you on your business journey so far?
MNC has been fundamental for me in growing, both as an individual, my own development and confidence in my ability and through the amazing connections I’ve forged at the meetings I go to across Sussex. I’ve picked up some great advice, attended informative meetings and training events and built my brand through my own self promotion. I’ve found the MNC social media platforms help me to reach so many more people and there’s always someone to help with any aspect of your business needs. I’m a self employed single parent of 3 children and at times it’s been a bit scary, but referrals and recommendations have all come through the relationships I’ve built up and the business advice I’ve gained – not just in training events, but also from informal chats with other MNC members.
Question 5: If there was one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking of starting their own business what would it be?
To network… spread the awareness of what you do and the services you offer. To attend a variety of meetings but attend regularly, as consistency is the key to people remembering you as a person and getting to know and trust you.
Question 6: Anything else you want our readers to know about you and your business?
Finally, I want to thank you for reading this – my first EVER attempt at some sort of blog – (greatly aided by the question prompts!! 🙂 I know anything to do with your finances may not be the most exciting part of your lives, but let me help. It’s so easy.. I’ll chat, listen and then go away and put the right package together for you, working to your budget and needs. If you need a will, have money to invest, a mortgage up for renewal or want to plan for your future or leave a legacy to your children, then please do get in touch. Our team are a group of experts in their fields and we all work together behind the scenes to ensure you walk away, confident with your cover and knowing that every angle has been taken into account to cover every eventuality. We never charge for advice and quotes, so you may actually save money by just changing the supplier you currently have …. surely, this should now be moving up your ‘to-do’ list!! 🙂 Thank you again for reading this, and I hope I get to meet you all at a meeting soon.