Getting to know … Jane Michell

TLL chats to the Jane Plan founder and panellist at the Women’s Business Network Surrey panel discussion on International Women’s Day, March 8th, to find out her recipes for business success.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to run a restaurant or hotel. I’ve always been passionate about good food and always loved making people feel happy.

What makes Jane Plan work?

Personalised health is our USP. At Jane Plan we really care about our clients and understand exactly what they need to help them achieve their goals – every client is like a member of our extended family. We’ve made eating healthily and losing weight easy, effective and economical. We’ve taken all the hard work out of preparing, cooking and eating healthy food – you don’t even have to think about food when you’re on Jane Plan.

Our range of healthy meals uses only carefully sourced ingredients, the highest quality recipes and of course they are calorie and portion controlled, too. For convenience they’re delivered to your door, and every client is assigned their own fully qualified nutritionist who is in touch each week to help and guide.

Our dedicated team works seven days a week to offer the very best service. That’s why we are now the largest healthy meal delivery service in the UK and are looking to achieve a turnover of £9 m this year.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Choose your team with care and then treat them like a family member, then they will be as passionate about your business as you are.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

For me, it’s my children – their happiness, achievements and futures. I cannot believe how wonderful they are.

Then of course there’s Jane Plan. I started Jane Plan from my kitchen table with no investment and no business knowledge. We’re now the largest business of this type in the UK; we’ve won a number of awards, including the Good Housekeepingvote for Britain’s best diet delivery service, I am a published author and recognised media authority on healthy eating and weight loss, and most recently we were featured on Channel 4’s How to Lose Weight Well.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My children – they were ‘free range’ growing up as I was always working. They have always exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t be prouder of them. They constantly help and support me in so many ways, they are the perfect balance of kindness and courage and I so admire them.

What is your greatest fear?

Failure. I would hate for something to go wrong in the business which would mean we wouldn’t be able to help the thousands of people we do help every day. The most common thing I hear our clients say is that we’ve ‘changed their life’ – it would be too awful if we couldn’t do this anymore. Failure would be so upsetting as it would mean that the last 10 years, the long hours, the sacrifices and not seeing as much of my children as I would have liked, would have been for nothing. I never want to let them down.

What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

Hard work, hard work and hard work. You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. Love what you do and exceed every client’s expectations, and then they’ll tell the world about you.

What is your recipe for success in business?

Smile at the world and it will smile back.

How do you wind down at the end of the day?

I love running, and being outside – the fresh air really relaxes me. Then I love to get home, chill with my family, cook and enjoy a glass of wine – or two!

What is your most treasured possession?

My family, of course.

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