A businesswoman who became her own boss has bounced back from personal difficulties with a move to an Old Town office.

Sarah Winterflood has settled back into a familiar workspace inside 165 Victoria Road after some time away.

The 47-year-old started her own business in 2011 after quitting her job at an accounts practice, then began working from home in 2013 while dealing with issues outside of work.

She recently returned to where it all started and her company, Excel Payroll Solutions, is now doing better than ever, with a growing team of staff and clients.

Sarah hopes her story will inspire others who may be struggling with their own start-ups as she looks ahead to a bright future.

She said: “I only had one client at first. It was hard work and I had to borrow money from my mum to cover the costs because I couldn’t really afford the office.

“I started working from home after a few months because the place was so expensive, then had some personal things going on so work became my go-to thing to do.

“I sold my car to pay my mortgage because I believed in this business so much, but it was a horrible time.

“I was working endless hours and it was hard to support my clients when I wasn’t in an office.

“At the start of this year, after drumming up some more business, I decided to move back to Swindon and returned to the same building that I used to be unable to afford. It felt right.

“More people have joined the team and things are going really well, so I’m in a much better position now.”

Contracting work helped pay the bills during the business’s early days, which included sorting out direct payment payrolls so that disabled people could employ their own carers.

Positive feedback from one major franchise, Home Instead, led to word spreading among other big businesses who soon started asking for Excel’s expertise. The small firm assists dozens of others with payroll solutions.

Sarah added: “We have a good relationship with our clients and we help a few Swindon charities because I like to give back and pay it forward.

“If you believe something can work, you will go for it, but there’s a lot of trial and error. I could have thrown in the towel a few times but I’ve nurtured this business and put a lot into it. This goes to show that hard work does pay off.”