It all started ten years ago as a business idea whilst Sarah Gerken was on maternity leave.

Now The Link Directories has grown into Gloucester’s leading local set of independent directories, linking local businesses with the local community and publishing Abbey-Link, Hucclecote Link and Tuffley Link.

Mother-of-two Sarah decided that she wanted to spend more time with her family whilst still working from home.

“I explored many options and finally stumbled across ‘My Mag’ which was a ‘business in a box’ opportunity,” she said.

“It seemed like the perfect way to bring the local community and local businesses together. I was based in Abbeymead and knew the area very well and so Abbey-Link was born.”

The directory was the first of its kind in the area and was well received when first distributed to local homes by family and friends.

From plumbers, electricians, estate agents and beauty therapists to property maintenance companies and florists, The Link Directories offer a wide range of business advertising.

After having such a good response Sarah decided to expand, branching out into the Abbeydale area too, publishing it monthly and distributing the directory bi-monthly to each area.

One month 3,200 are distributed to homes in the Abbeymead area, the next month 3,000 in Abbeydale and Upton St Leonards.

Abbey-Link has grown from 16 pages to the current 44 pages and now has around 85 per cent of businesses in the directory as retainer clients.

“For the price that they pay, businesses feel that they are getting the sort of positive response that they need. They understand that they can rely on us due to the quality of the content and thorough distribution,” she said.

“Our advertisers understand that I am always reachable if they have any queries regarding their advertising, I am happy to discuss individual requirements at any time.”

Sarah recruited Office Manager Jackie Afflick, who has been with the company now for four years enabling Sarah to focus solely on marketing.

Although she admits juggling a business with children is not easy, Sarah urges others with business ideas in their early stages to take a chance.

She said: “Be organised and have deadlines and a routine, anything is possible if you put your mind to it – it’s all about having a work-life balance.

“It is the best decision I ever made, having a business that allows me to be a hands-on mum is an invaluable experience.”

The Link Directories now publish three local directories in Gloucestershire – Abbey-Link, Hucclecote Link and Tuffley Link and distribute to 16,000 homes including Upton St Leonard’s and Cooper’s Edge over a 2 -month period.

If you would like to find out more about getting your business into The Link Directories, contact Sarah Gerken on 01452 617 040, email:sarah@thelinkdirectories.co.ukor visit the website at www.thelinkdirectories.co.uk.

You can find them on Facebook – facebook.com/TheLinkDirectories, Twitter – @Sarah_Gerken and on LinkedIn – SarahGerken.

Sarah Gerken
Author: Sarah Gerken