Christine Mackay is CEO and founder of business animation studio, Salamandra UK
"I've been a member at Helm for about 18 months now. I love it because it’s a really grown-up environment and is very inclusive. It's a great place to benchmark yourself against other businesses, learn from your mistakes but also from the mistakes of other founders. You get help with the kinds of challenges that keep all business owners awake at night.
It does take time out of your diary, but it's really valuable time. You don't regret the time you've put in, whether it's meeting people, the interesting talks, dinners and webinars, or Forum.
I highly recommend Forum, which is amazing. Again, it's a collegiate environment. Although there are people from different-sized businesses and founders who have been in business for different amounts of time, there’s that feeling that you get at university, where everyone's at the same level. That makes it a fantastic environment to feel comfortable, to share your issues and maybe give or get help.
Helm membership - and Forum especially - is really valuable for a business owner on so many different levels, because it just helps you to shape your direction and set your journey as a business.
The secret is in the sauce for Helm, in that you get these insights, very candidly from other businesses that you wouldn't get anywhere else. Because you're in an environment where it's safe to share your ups and downs. And you know it won't leave the room, so it makes everyone comfortable in sharing things in a way that’s helpful for others and for themselves. There is no risk anybody's secrets or potential internal problems will get shared. And that really opens up the conversation in a way that I haven't experienced anywhere else.
My advice to all founders would be to join up and dive in. To be able to really share what you have learned from your experiences and absorb what other people are saying from their experiences is very enriching."