Starting a Small Business – Help!
You have an amazing business idea, you’re passionate about it and you’re ready to get going! Then you sleep on it and you’re not so sure. That eager pumped up feeling has all but disappeared and you find yourself questioning everything. Suddenly you are stuck and can’t figure out the next step. Deep breath time, you CAN do this.
From the outside being a small business owner can look easy – this is because as an outsider you see all the positive outcomes and generally not all the hard work and struggles that have gone on in private. Imagine seeing only the tip of an iceberg or a swan gracefully swimming along a lake – you don’t see those strong powerful feet pushing against a current! Sure some people will show you some of their journey but we can never truly know the work that went into creating a successful business without living through it ourselves.
The truth is – It’s NOT easy!
I have been running my business for about 9 years now and can honestly say the best advice I could give anyone is to reach out to others. You don’t have to do it all. A successful business is so much more than the product or service you provide. If there is something you dislike or can’t get your head around ask for help or consider outsourcing it.
I absolutely despised doing my self assessment each year – that website makes me all kinds of frustrated. So I stopped doing it! I now use an accountant and send her my spreadsheets each year – no more annoying website for me! She is also there if I have any questions and provided the paperwork I needed when we were applying for our first mortgage. I could do it myself and I did for years but I’m happier for her to do it for me. I’m a photographer, not an accountant! I’d highly recommend Suzanne who runs Howlett’s.
And remember that you’re not alone! Connect with other people, even if it’s simply to vent! Find your way of doing things and find people that you trust and like to be around, even if that is simply virtually. You are the boss and get to run your business as you wish. Guess what? You can even say no sometimes! Whether that’s because you don’t want to work with a certain person, another persons business doesn’t sit right with you (Imagine being a vegan food brand and a leather bag company wanted to work with you – it doesn’t fit!) or even because what they’re asking for is too time consuming…. or maybe you just don’t want to do it! YOU decide!
I remember being told I needed a business plan, I’m not quite sure who it was. I felt stuck at the very first hurdle. You know when you have something you really don’t want to do on your to do list so it keeps being left? Yep, that was me. I thought I needed to be a businesswoman corporate type with clear financial plans and investment. Could this be from my 6th form days of Business Studies A Level lessons?! (By the way I had to retake an exam and still got an E!) I think my teachers would be shocked to hear that I now run my own business – the girl that bunked off 5th period nearly every Wednesday because I had 2 free periods before it and couldn’t be bothered to stick around!
You DO need a plan, but it doesn’t have to be all fancy and full of figures. (If you’re going to a bank for investment then obviously that’s a whole other story). Chances are that you’re starting small and if you’re reading this blog then there’s a good chance you’re a Mum looking to do something that fits around family life. Maybe as a second income for now or to build up whilst your children are little.
The most important thing is to START!
I’ll be writing some more blogs soon and I have some mini interviews with some of my branding clients coming up too. For now though please remember –
- This is YOUR journey.
- YOU call the shots.
- Look back on your own development, notice how you’ve grown and the obstacles you’ve already overcome in your life.
- Only ever compare yourself to you – don’t get stuck looking at what everyone else is doing!
I can’t wait to work with more branding clients this year and
help more of you to get going on your new ventures!