Judith Royden is the owner of Rosebank Referrals, a personal friendly referral service looking to save you time and money by connecting you with the very best service providers across the UK. I had the opportunity of chatting to her to learn more about her amazing entrepreneurial journey as well as her business. Judith also shared her inspiring transitional journey from her 40 year career in the financial corporate world to working for herself and yet has managed to maintain the life and passion that she so truly loves and that is serving people. This has since led her to start her own concierge business.
Can you tell us about your life before Rosebank Referrals, where you worked, what you did and for how long?
I was just 16 years old when I started my working career in the Bank. I had obviously inherited the Banking gene from my parents who had worked for the same Bank for 80 years between them. They named my childhood home in Wales Rosebank as a nod to their long careers and that’s where I got the idea of the name for my business Rosebank Referrals. I worked my way through the ranks of various departments over the years including being a branch manager before the age of 30. However, it was my last 17 years as a Premier Relationship Manager I found the most rewarding. I absolutely loved nurturing relationships with my wonderful clients, getting to know all about their families and what their children were up to and being there for them especially at their times of need.
It was particularly trying during Covid witnessing the terrible impact it was having on my clients and some of their own businesses but equally fantastic seeing their resilience when times were challenging and being able to do my little bit in supporting them by being a listening ear when they needed someone to talk to. It was a little bit like being a counsellor, friend, scam expert and bank manager rolled into one. Lots of my old clients have kept in touch with me and quite a few have written some lovely testimonials for my website
Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey – how you switched from working in the financial sector to starting your own referral service?
The idea to set up my own business evolved slowly over a 12 month period after leaving the Bank. I was continually being asked for recommendations or my valued opinion on using certain companies and I came to realise I had spent 40 years in a very privileged and fortunate position. During all that time I had the opportunity to sit in on thousands of interviews with many clients but also sat with commercial directors, business owners, financial advisers, mortgage advisers, commercial finance experts amongst many others. I learned so much from all these interviews for example which companies my clients dealt with and most importantly who they recommended after years of trial and error. I discovered which companies had fantastic customer service skills, what things truly mattered to clients and most importantly which companies I would be confident to refer my own family and friends to (which is always my benchmark). Therefore after some thought it was quite a natural transition to set up a concierge referral business where clients can ask me who I would recommend they use for the large majority of their requirements and match the clients needs with that of the service provider.
Can you tell us a bit more about Rosebank Referrals and your concierge services?
Rosebank Referrals is a personal friendly referral service looking to save you time and money by connecting you with the very best service providers. I have removed all the hard work and research for you by ensuring I only introduce you to reputable honest companies who I can personally recommend and at no extra cost to you. Therefore I personally hand-pick every business that becomes part of the Rosebank Referrals network and rather than a typical referral system where a contact number is just passed between potential clients, I am very involved in the process from start to finish working relentlessly to ensure that clients receive prompt and tailored recommendations that suit their specific needs. This level of support saves clients an incredible amount of time, money and effort in finding reliable and reputable businesses and all the hard work and due diligence is done for them. It’s also worth noting that location isn’t an issue as most referral partners can deal with clients country wide.
In a world where customer service is so often an afterthought, I like to think that Rosebank Referrals stands out as a shining example of what it means to prioritise the client’s satisfaction above all else.
Can you describe the type of referral services you offer or specialise in?
I have a carefully selected range of businesses and services that I can refer clients at no cost to themselves. I however receive commission directly from the providers I refer my clients to hence there is nothing to lose for the client. Some of the services I provide includes the following:
- Mortgage broker
- Secured Commercial lending
- Bridging Finance
- Financial advice and Pensions
- Cyber security and Data protection
- Business insurance broker
- Healthcare and Employee benefits
- Wills, Trusts and POA
- Business consultant and coach
- Private face to face visiting GP service
- Commercial telecoms
- Marketing and branding
This is not a conclusive list as I can offer much more tailored services. You can visit my website to learn more about all my services.
What sets you or your referral services apart from other similar referral services?
I won’t recommend anyone who I wouldn’t refer to my own family and friends. As someone who worked in the financial sector for 40 years, I can assure clients that I have undertaken all the due diligence on their behalf. I always believe that being honest and trustworthy as well as providing a listening ear at clients’ times of need is of paramount importance. Therefore starting Rosebank Referrals has enabled me to utilise all those years of experience in looking after clients and providing a business introduction concierge service.
How do you balance business and family life?
I’ve been a single parent to my son since he was about 12 years old and his Dad then subsequently moved to Australia. My in-laws sadly passed away and my parents lived in North Wales so there was lots of juggling around with childcare so I really understand difficulties single parents face trying to work and provide a stable secure home life for children. Luckily my son is now a 23 year old young man and about to embark on a new career down South .
As for work life balance, two years of working in the bank during Covid there was a very blurred work/life balance . I was probably working around 60 hours a week (a large chunk of that unpaid ) in order to support my portfolio of around 1500 clients through what was a very stressful time in their lives. There was an incredible amount of scammers targeting vulnerable older clients during that time so there was lots to do in order to make sure they didn’t get caught out.
How do friends and family describe you… in a few words?
Loyal, supportive, organised and resilient.
What has been your success story so far?
I think my biggest success has been having the confidence to make the giant leap from a 40 year career with one organisation to suddenly being self employed at the age of 57. Within 24 hours of deciding to set up my own business I had thought of a business name, opened a business bank account and started writing my business plan.
What other voluntary or community work are you involved in outside your business?
Outside Rosebank Referrals I volunteer as a Mentor for The Girls’ Network, an organisation that empowers girls aged 14-19 from the least advantaged communities in England by pairing them with a mentor and network of role models who are women. The organisation’s aim is to empower and build confidence in young girls by matching them with good role models that have experience in the business world. I got so much out of it and I felt like the lucky one and will definitely be keeping in touch with her and be of support in her onward journey.
Which other female entrepreneur or business would you recommend and why?
I particularly admire Debbie Roger’s who runs Sean’s place in Bootle. She set this facility up when her brother Sean took his own life in 2019. At Sean’s Place the aim is to improve men’s mental health and well-being across Sefton and Liverpool City Region through support specifically identified to improve confidence and self-esteem for men whilst reducing symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. Now more than ever we need to challenge the stigma around male mental health, they do this by providing a place that encourages positive discussions around mental health, in a non clinical, non judgemental setting through a variety of practical, proactive support and programmes. Debbie Roger’s is truly inspirational lady!
Finally where can people reach you to learn more about you and your service?
I’m available for a chat on 07713299925 and email [email protected].
My website at www.rosebankreferrals.co.uk