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There is a tendency to equate tech startup success with founders working long, hard hours.

While time is among the most valuable commodities held by any startup, Beckie Taylor says the idea that you must devote your entire life to entrepreneurship is false.

Taylor and co-founder James Heggs sold Tech Returners in February. It is continuing to operate under its existing brand, with the duo joining the senior leadership team of acquirer Northcoders.

“Having scaled a business over five years whilst raising two very young children I want to bust the myth that you need to work 60-hour weeks to be successful,” the CEO tells TechBlast.

“Our business is where it is as a result of building a very talented team – all of whom have contributed massively and shaped it into what it is today.”

Taylor will discuss the opportunities and challenges around building a flexible workforce – and tips for doing so – in the opening episode of TechBlast’s new podcast webinar series, Launchpad, on July 28th. You can reserve a spot at the link below and submit a question at the bottom of this page.

Launchpad: Building a flexible workforce – with Beckie Taylor

Making use of your own time is also vital, according to Taylor. Asked for lessons learned along the way, she answers: “Lots! 

“Stay on your own path rather than getting distracted by other people’s paths; vulnerability is key and leads to courage; self-awareness is an essential skill; you don’t need to solve all the problems on your own so build a talented team around you to support you in your journey; and embrace the journey and not just the end goal.”

Listed Northcoders runs training programmes for software coding and data engineering, targeting people looking for a change in career, while Tech Returners – also headquartered in Manchester – specialises in training and placing of mid-senior level professionals looking to re-enter the workplace after a career break in the tech sector.

Taylor admits that the deal took her and Heggs by surprise after they struggled to find a suitable investor. “We wanted to scale in order to be able to make a bigger impact on more people’s lives,” she says.

“At Tech Returners we provide people with life-changing opportunities – if we had a larger infrastructure, we knew we could reach even more people.”

Tech Returners ‘creating something special with Northcoders’

Does she have any tips for business owners who might be looking to sell?

“Firstly, focus on the ‘Why?’ Why do you want to sell? Next, make sure it is right for you and your team,” she says.

“Finally, be prepared – because it’s challenging to go through the process and keep the day-to-day business functioning.”

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