In the past, I’ve posted snippets of my story and how I got to where I am now in business, but for the first time ever I thought I’d tell the story from the perspective of how you might be able to use my failures to help you on your journey.
The first thing I’d like to point out however is;
THEY’RE NOT FAILURES – THEY’RE LESSONS
It’s only a failure if you give up right!
So let’s go back to the start, well the uni days at least. I actually studied Forensics and Analytical Science at
I wasn’t very well for a while after and so I struggled to keep up with uni, with my bills and life in general. At the time I worked in marketing for a night club, this meant working the evening, and the noise and lights were too much with my head injury. I slipped into debt. By the time I could be around actual lights again, I owed so much money I needed to work full time and so I couldn’t manage my degree..
And that was that. Welcome to being an adult!! But so began my interest in marketing and sales!
What I love about marketing and sales is the psychology behind it. It’s not luck that you get a sale. It’s about understanding people’s behaviour and predicting it, and even shaping it. However, I didn’t know this at the start.
I loved working in marketing, I worked for a German engineering company, I worked for a entertainment business. I got to travel and studied and perfected my craft. Now you have to remember I did all this just as websites were really getting popular for businesses, Facebook was a mere twinkle in Zuckerberg’s eye at this point.
Then 11 years ago I had my first side hustle that was all mine. I started dog walking. The business had a small website but Facebook was the main place I got the business from. Boy was it easy to get business on Facebook back then!! I dog walked whilst on maternity. I put Kaitlyn in a carrier and earned extra money to make maternity leave a little more comfortable. When I went back to work, however it was hard to give time to the business, a 1 year old and my job, so the it was the business that gave way.
Over the years this happened a few times. I’d want extra cash, maybe for a holiday, maybe a new car. I’d start a business, earn what I needed then pass the business on to someone else and resume my neat employed life.
I sold jewellery, I trained for 2 years (alongside my fulltime job) to be a personal trainer, I made handmade children’s clothes (still do!), I blogged. I tried Avon, looked into Forever Living and more!
But over time I wanted more. I’d got the bug. Structuring my own time, no earnings bracket. The decisions being all mine. Not disagreeing with a boss but having to do their bidding anyway.
I didn’t know it at the time but I’d been learning all there was to know about marketing and sales, and I’d been practicing on what I call my “mini businesses”. And all this was there ready for what came next.
One of my best and worst qualities is that I give give give. This is usually to the detriment of myself. And then when you can no longer give I find people get really annoyed with me and treat me quite poorly. When you have some one that is fair and doesn’t take take take the relationship works well. I’m not sure what you think, but I find many people are happy to exploit your good nature.
In the last job I was in the boss went one step further. She didn’t just take advantage. She was an outright fruit loop! She took great delight in making me feel as degraded as possible. I felt sorry for her really. She was in her fifties, and it makes you wonder what happened to a person to make them so mentally cruel?
At this stage in my life, mid thirties, two children, bills to pay, responsibilities area driver, especially in the work you do. I felt I SHOULD have a 9-5, I SHOULD go out to a job. My status was measured on my job title. My happiness certainly was not.
And boy did I start to slip. I got really down. I would sit at my desk in floods of tears before my boss arrived at the office. I would have to ring my sister or my other half to get help in stopping the sheer unhappiness pouring out of my body. You know that crying where you can’t breathe and it’s overwhelming – yeah that.
It was like coffee didn’t have any
And one day I broke. Now don’t confuse matters. Was I
Sheer panic kicked in. What had I done? How would I pay the bills?
For one month I existed. That was all I could manage. I prayed for the anti-depressants to kick in so I could feel something again. I waited and waited. And after 3-4 weeks the clouds parted and I felt the warmth of the sun again.
So there I was, it was like I’d climbed out of the pit of depression and I was sat perilously on the edge. I could sink or I could try to get away. And I crawled away with every single fibre of me. I started writing for people. I made a decision that this was the time. This was the time for my own business I just felt it in my gut. It would take me away from the precipice, I just knew it. The business began “As Acorns Grow” – why was
I officially launched in May 2018 and I knew what I wanted from the business. I wanted to work from home. My home is my sanctuary. I was still having panic attacks from the episode in February and I just felt like when I was home I was safe and comforted.
I wanted to be able to choose my own hours as much as possible. I had learnt from all my service based businesses that in working for clients they dictate your hours, so ideally my business would be around a passive income model. And obviously, I knew that I wanted to share my passion for growing businesses. I wanted to share my 14 years of working in marketing and sales, and all the lessons from my side
Within 3 months the business was fulltime. A mixture of courses, products, paid blogging opportunities and clients was bringing in money, not just enough to pay the bills but to enjoy life again.
In October I was invited to speak at an event in London. That’s around 3 hours from me in the North of England. It took me about three weeks to say yes as my anxiety really kicked in. It was the thought of leaving the kids and my home – AKA the sanctuary. But something said to take the opportunity. And I did. My other half came with me for support and the last of my anxiety ebbed away.
I started the trip clinging to his arm. Trying to be brave. I ended it thinking I could take on the world!
Well, I’ve been a rock bottom. Crappy jobs, no money, the depths of depression. But that doesn’t define you. What defines you is how hard you climb. How hard are you willing to fight for your goal? What will you do for your dream?
Find your fight then make a plan. (I can help you with that bit! But the fight, that’s on you my lovely!)
I decided recently I wanted to give my fellow ladies a real boost in business. I know what it’s like trawling around Google looking for all the answers so I wanted to give you a head start and skip that part.
You can get my 6 best performing strategies here for your business
I hope it helps you to know that you’re not alone, that it can be done and that we don’t all have shiny perfect Insta lives! I’m always here if you ever need help!
You may know little about dropshipping, but this could be the answer to your business dreams. I know the score, you want to be self employed, an entrepreneur, in charge of your own destiny, taking orders from no one! But wait… you have pretty much no money, so how are you going to start a business? You can’t buy stock, you can’t buy materials to create items, so is that the end of the entrepreneurial dream? Introducing the simple concept of dropshipping!
Dropshipping is a relatively simple process. From the customers perspective they purchase an item and then receive it. From your perspective there are a few more steps to the process;
So basically you don’t pay a penny for the item until an order is placed, you forward the order to a
Practically it could look like this;
Customer pays £30 for an item
You pay £10 for
You retain £20 profit.
The first thing you will need to do is find a dropshipping company and decide on your products. There are a few considerations here. Are you shipping overseas? If you are UK based are you shipping to the US? Or vice-versa? Keep an eye on if your
If any of this is presenting an issue, then look for two dropshippers, one in your country and one overseas, this may be more cost effective and allow you to retain more profit.
You have quite a few options here, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Facebook & Instagram and your own website.
It’s commonly known that Amazon isn’t a fan of dropshipping as they feel it impacts customer service – we’ll get onto this later. So this can be a risky option worst-case scenario they’ll shut down your account.
But the others are all worth a try. Remember eBay and Etsy have sellers fees, so this is going to take a little hit on your profit, Facebook and Instagram are free options, your website will have an
Obviously, it’s worth putting the product in a few different places to maximise sales. I really like NinjaSeller for managing lots of platforms and products, you can start with a free trial or even the free account so it’s not going to cost you whilst you grow.
There’s a few factors here to consider;
You might find it easier just to go with a ready built catalogue giving you a list of products, profit to be made and dropshippers available until you get your confidence up. Salehoo is a fab resource, it gives you everything including market research on the popularity of the item, what you’ll pay and what you can typically retail it for, so for under $5 a month it’s pretty handy. If you use any resources like these check they have a money back guarantee just in case of scams etc.
You now need to get selling! Go find your profitable items, get them listed and get orders in! Keep an eye on customer service. Who will handle customer queries and complaints? You or the dropshipper? You may want to start handing them so you get to know more about your product. You can then produce an FAQ to deal with the main ones, then test if your dropshipper can handle the issues, this way your income becomes less stressful and time-consuming.
I wish you the best of luck with your dropshipping business, it truly is a great way to start exploring your entrepreneurial dreams and starting to build capital for future dreams, or you may even become a dropshipping expert! Let me know how you get on!
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Some people have a blog as a hobby, and other take it far more seriously and want to turn it into a business. That is possible, as blogs can be your business without a problem if you go the right way about it.
Have A Plan
If you want to turn your blog into a successful business you need to treat it as though it is one. Any business needs planning and a blog is no different. You should start by deciding what your niche is and then do some research about the audience you will be targeting.
If your blog will be a review site, for instance, you should be planning which items you will be reviewing. If it is going to be a lifestyle blog, are you able to arrange some interviews maybe with some of the well-known lifestyle guru’s? Can you find someone to sponsor your blog and perhaps give you some freebies or you to use as prizes in a contest? All these things need considering and should be part of your plan.
When you know exactly what your niche is the next thing you need to plan for is how you will promote it. It is not much use having a brilliant blog if no one knows it is there.
You need to set up your website which should be attractive to anyone that views it. It needs to be very user-friendly so that they can easily navigate through the different pages, or they will not bother going past the first one.
Assuming you do not have a fortune to spend on marketing, you should dedicate some time to social media. Even the largest of businesses do this, as it has the potential to reach more people than any other way with the only cost being your time. Use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to start connecting with your target audience and post on them on a regular basis.
You have to do this, as your blog is always only as good as the last post you did, and those are soon forgotten. Never be afraid to put a link through to your website.
Blogs are writing about a particular subject, but videos and images can be used too. They are becoming more popular, and it is said they will drive more traffic to your site, as people are more likely to watch them than read some written text.
Lastly, plan your goals so you have a very clear picture what you are aiming for. Plans can change, and you need to be flexible in case that happens, but with no plan in place at all, your blog will never turn into a successful business.
You will need to be organised in the way you work and in the way your upload content to your blog. Have clearly defined categories that people can access without a problem.
On your landing page, it should be apparent how to get into any articles, how to find your contact details and how to go back into the archives. An about your page is always good as well, as people love to hear the stories of how bloggers and others businesses started.
If your blog looks organised it will inspire confidence in the readers, and in any potential advertisers.
You should not let the blog take over your life. Organise definite working hours. Treat it as you would any job and have a starting and finishing time. There may be occasions when you have to work ‘out of hours’, but as far as possible stick to your allotted working day.
Establish Your Brand
Thousands of new blogs are started every week, each one of them hoping to be a success. Just putting content onto a site may bring you a bit of interest bit that will soon wane. You need to establish your brand so that you stand out from the rest.
Pick a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell. Too many people never find the site they are looking for because they spell it incorrectly. Search engines do a wonderful job of suggesting sites when a word is obviously misspelt, but you do not want to have to rely on yours being included.
Have a simple and straightforward logo that appears on everything you do, as well as on any printed stationery such as business cards and letterheads. This will help to brand your business for readers and for any potential business associates.
Build Some Trust
If you are really serious about turning your blog into a business, you need to build some trust and credibility among your audience. Your reputation can be made or broken in seconds. To create the trust you need to constantly turn out high-quality content that people are interested in.
As you do this you will gain more followers, and the more followers you have the more chance you will have to be able to make money from your blog.
If someone comments in a negative way on your blog or one of your social media posts, always reply in a positive manner, as positivity is one if the biggest trust builders.
Create Your Business
As soon as your blog starts to make money, there are certain legal responsibilities you have. You need to inform the Inland Revenue that you have started a business and they will issue you with a Unique Taxpayers Reference (UTR). This number stays with you for life unless you are ever declared bankrupt when you are given a new one.
This part of the process is very easy and can be done by phone or online. However, dealing with your accounts and tax returns is not so simple. You need to find a good accountancy firm to handle these things for you. Tax accountants will generally save you more than they cost, and will take all the stress out of this side of your business.
There are a couple of things to remember. Tax accountants charge for the work they do by the hours. Therefore, the better order your books and records are in, the lower your bill with them will be. They will quite happily sort through a black bag that has had all the paperwork thrown in, but you will have to pay for the time it takes to sort it all out.
The other thing is that these people have trained for many years to do the job and they will know all the legal ways for you to save on your tax bill. Listen to what they have to say, and do not assume that you know better then they do.
So now everything is in place for you to be making money from your blog. You have to accumulate a lot of followers before you can do this, and the more you have the better the returns will be.
People who advertise on your site is where the money comes from, but they will not want to do that if you only have 20 people a week viewing it.
Affiliate programs are a good way to start. This is when you promote someone else’s products on your site, so they are not technically an advert. However, each time some links to the product from your site and makes a purchase, you are paid a commission. The terms of the affiliate program differ from company to company but the one thing most of them have in common is that these commissions do not stop. They are paid for as long as the affiliation between you both exist, so after a while can be bringing you in a monthly payment with you doing very little for it.
Google AdSense targeted text ads generated by Google on your pages. They appear in boxes that are headed ‘Ads By Google’. The ads will show somewhere on your site and are paid for by the businesses that use AdWords, which is the pay-per-click program of Google. The ads reflect the content of your site, so they are more likely to be clicked on. Every time some does click them, you get paid.
This is another source of income that you will not have to do much for, except keep your site up to date and relevant to your followers. The more of them you have, the more clicks are likely to happen which will increase the income from this source.
Another alternative is to approach companies directly to see if they would like to place an advert on your site, for which you would charge them. They will only want to do this if they think it might be beneficial to them, so you should only approach companies connected to the content of your blog.
The income from these different sources can add up to a significant amount, although it nay tale a little time for it to build up to a living wage.
Blogs are becoming a very popular way to start a business and can be very lucrative if you have found the right niche and to it correctly.
Starting a healthcare practice of your very own is a dream for many trained doctors and medical professionals. Unfortunately, it’s one that rarely comes to pass. The process is long, daunting, difficult, and often expensive, with a number of things needing to be bought, considered, and planned. Naturally, this can put a lot of individuals off the idea. If you’re not one of them, and still want to build a practice of your own, then here are six steps that you’ll need to take.
Like any other business, a medical practice has startup costs and needs money to get it up and running. This is usually a substantial sum, often going into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unless you have a bucket of gold stashed away somewhere that you can use, you’re going to plan your budget carefully, write a business plan, and seek funding from outside sources.
Never wait until the last minute to deal with the legal aspects of opening your practice. It can easily take months to earn the credentials you need, so you’ll want to get the ball rolling right away. You’ll also need to acquire appropriate insurance cover, choose the legal structure of your business, and register for taxes. Hiring a healthcare attorney can be incredibly useful here.
You need to consider locations carefully before you settle on any one area. It’s always sensible to research areas you’re looking into to understand the local market. You’ll want to be accessible to and in close proximity with your targeted patients, but also far enough away from any similar practices. You’ll also need to find a property that works comfortably with your budget.
Once you’ve found the perfect office space for your healthcare practice, you need to start to fill it up. Of course, you’ll need medical supplies and equipment, like medicines, examination tables, DNA extraction kits, and more, but you’ll also need chairs for the waiting room and typical office furniture and equipment, like desks and computers. Different types of software are also required.
No one can run a medical practice completely on their own, no matter how hard you try. You’ll need a few more doctors, nurses, and reception staff at the very least. For this reason, you need to take some time screening and hiring the right people for your office. To attract appropriate candidates, you should offer a competitive wage, as well as benefits, like insurance and sick pay.
Without patients, your practice simply isn’t going to succeed. With that in mind, you should focus on marketing your business, like you would any other company. You should implement a plan that advertises your office across a number of networks, including TV, radio, local print, social media, and more. It may not work overnight, but, eventually, you will soon see some patients.
Building a successful healthcare practice isn’t easy, but, hopefully, with the advice above, you have an idea of where to start.
The time for sitting back and hoping your life will change is over. You’re underappreciated, understimulated, and undervalued, so you need a new lane. Your side-hustle is the perfect opportunity because it has the potential and you have the passion. Put them together and the startup should blossom into a fully-fledged business.
Stop me if I’m wrong, but there’s a problem, right? Yep, you have no idea where to start. Juggling two lives isn’t straightforward, which is why lots of side-hustles fail on the regular. The good news is bona fide hustlers have been there and done it. Even better, they love to share their experiences.
Here are some of their best tips.
Having two full-time jobs is a hassle. There’s no doubt about it. However, it’s necessary if you’re going to break out into the industry and take it by storm. So, you work hard and burn the midnight oil in the hopes that things will pick up soon. Experts believe burning the candle at both ends is dangerous because you don’t have enough time to relax. Usually, the standard of work drops according to her. Rather than working long, try and do fewer hours but get more done in a short space of time.
“Hang on a minute – you should never give in, not if it’s your passion.” As commendable as this attitude is, it isn’t realistic. Why? It’s because there is too much on your plate and you haven’t got the stomach to clear it. So, it’s better to give up on the things which are less important than carrying on working yourself to death. It can be side-hustle or out-of-the-office-related. For example, lots of people find that going to the gym three times a week is too much and cut down to once or twice. Don’t be scared to cut your losses.
No one likes this piece of advice yet it’s a handy tool to keep in mind. Having a day in court is inevitable as you’re bound to ruffle some feathers. If these big birds have plenty of resources, then they’ll peck your head with legal papers. Sadly, it’s the way of the industry. Therefore, an expert that covers everything from a construction accident to intellectual property is a wise choice. Or, you can hire solicitors separately depending on the situation. Either way, have a firm on retainer for when the papers get served.
The idea of working Sunday to Sunday isn’t appealing. Weekends are for chilling and seeing friends and getting away from the office. Taking on your side-hustle can eat into these activities and add more tension to your life. To avoid it, be like the early bird and wake up and catch the worm. If emails need writing and sending, do it while you’re eating breakfast before going into the office. That way, there’s time to do things in the evenings and on weekends.
Do you have the spark to turn your hustle into a career?
More and more females are choosing trades within the construction industry to pursue as a career. The ratio of men to women working in construction is gradually changing and females are now more commonplace. Women are choosing to train as plumbers, electricians, builders and decorators breaking the stereotypical image of the traditionally male-dominated environment. There is a huge shortage of qualified tradespeople and women entering the profession are beginning to build a reputation as having an excellent eye for detail as well as a high-quality finish. Women in construction are also sought after by elderly people living alone and single females who may be otherwise intimidated by male workers within their home. That’s not to say that women are better than men in construction, just that there is space for both genders on equal terms.
Trades within the construction industry pay well, many people choose a trade for the flexibility the job offers as well as the financial gain. If you build up your reputation as a reliable and high-quality tradesperson you will be in high demand and will be able to charge accordingly. Skilled tradespeople are in demand as there is a shortage nationally.
In addition to financial gain working in the construction industry allows you to break away from the 9-5 routine of working within an office. It allows creativity and design skills to be utilised. If you are a passionately creative person and enjoy using your hands, working in the construction industry could be for you.
Construction work also offers good career progression. As your reputation rises you may be able to consider starting your own business. You could also diversify into property renovation. As time progresses you are likely to accumulate a large number of tools and equipment in order to keep up with customer demand. A storage facility such as those offered by Canning Vale Storage Units would be a good option.
There a number of training routes available and it will be down to your own personal preference and individual circumstances as to which pathway you choose. Your local college may be able to offer courses which allow for time spent on work placements in order to enhance your practical skills or you could opt for an apprenticeship where you learn “on the job” so to speak, with college days to learn theory. If you are making a career change you could choose to retrain in the evenings whilst maintaining your current job. There are private training providers but try and avoid the “fast track” options as these are unlikely to leave you feeling confident enough to undertake work once the course is completed.
Whichever training option you choose, ensure that you are always treated with respect and with same equal opportunities as the males on your course. More and more females are training for a career in the construction industry but it is likely that you will be in the minority. This should make no difference to the way you are taught or treated and most training providers will have policies and procedures relating to equality. Always seek advice if you feel unfairly treated.
Once qualified it would be good practice to work alongside experienced tradespeople in order to consolidate your skills. Once you feel confident you could start your own construction business, enter the realms of property renovation or work overseas. The world is your oyster. Enjoy the rewards!
Okay so you have your business, you know your product or service inside, but let me guess, it’s not quite perfect.
Maybe you’d like more traffic to your website? Maybe you’re getting the traffic, but it’s not converting into sales? Maybe your social media isn’t getting the followers or engagement you hoped? Is your content missing the mark?
Or maybe you’re not sure?
If you aren’t getting the level of customers or the income you’d like from your business, chances are something is out of alignment.
And that’s where a Business Strategist can help.
My process is to take a look at your business as a whole. Piece the whole thing together. I pride myself on my ability to spot the missing pieces of the puzzle pretty quickly. Once we know where the disconnect is, we can work together to put a plan in place to fix it quickly and easily.
And all this starts with a complimentary session!
This session is so important to find out your goals and challenges, to examine your business. We delve into the structure and we can work to tighten it up and your business will get stronger for it.
I believe it’s also important for you to understand how to build the strong foundation and all that comes after this. I won’t just give you a list of items to check off (you do get this!), but I’ll also ensure you understand the principles behind what we’re doing so you can use these by yourself without needing me!
I’ll always be here if you do need me, but if you feel confident and empowered to carry out tasks by yourself, because you understand what needs doing, then my job is done!
I’m also super lucky to have a network of women within She Hustles Inc. We have branding experts, PR experts, life coaches, Facebook ad experts! You name it, I have a lady in my network who can help you out. I have spent time with these ladies and built a relationship so we all share the expertise of the collective group and in working with me, you get access to this network!
Best of all, you get to try out business strategy advice for free with no obligation. If it’s not for you, all you’ve lost is half an hour of your time!
You may be wondering what the difference between a Business Strategist and a Business Coach is. They both should help with the direction of your business, they both should achieve progress, they are both services you should use if you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and lost in your business! Both services are specifically for people in business.
Using a business coach or a business strategist should save you money and time for your business. They will get you where you need to be in a much faster time. Before you know it, your business will be elevated to the next level, with your dream business in sight!
However, using the wrong one may still leave you feeling lost, so you may well be wondering what the difference is!
There will always be a degree of crossover between the roles. In fact, there are coaches who are actually strategists and vice versa, simply because they’ve labelled themselves as a Business Strategist when they’re actually a Business Coach.
Which is kinda scary as they should know exactly what they do right!!
The most simple way to look at it is as follows;
A Business Strategist will offer structure, guidance, strategies and tips for your BUSINESS.
A Business Coach will offer structure, guidance, strategies and tips for YOU!
Let’s look at this in more detail;
During a Business Strategy Consultation, your business will be analysed, and your specific problems addressed. You can examine marketing, sales, getting more customers and followers, product and service development, time management, staffing, legal issues and much more. After working with a Business Strategist you should feel like you have a plan of action for your business to hit your goals. You should feel educated to proceed forward with your business and take it to the next level.
A coach will assess you! They should bring out the best in you so that you may serve your business better. They will look at your motivations through to your passions and purposes, and translate this into your business and brand.
They may also look at issues like mindset, motivation, confidence, limitations… that kind of thing!
Maybe you need both a Business Strategist and a Business Coach! I can’t tell you that. If you only want to hire one, I’d say the best thing to think about is where the bulk of the problems lie. If you want your business to succeed, you want to put goals in place, you’re happy to work for new customers, consider a strategist who will help drive the business forward.
If you feel that you are holding your business back, as you are feeling unmotivated, or distracted then consider a coach.
If you would like to discuss any strategy needs for your business, why not have a chat with us! We are experts in helping small businesses get the results they want! Have a free 30 minutes business advice on us!
Do you have a dream of where you’d like your business to be in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years even? Do you know how you are going to get your business to that dream business? I mean do you have concrete plan to execute month by month? With realistic goals and targets? Do you know the help you can get? What services you could use? What free options are available? Who you could network with?
How you could make more money by doing less?
That’s where a business strategist can help. We look at where you are now, and where you want to be. Using my network and experience I help you set goals, explore new ideas, and maximise your business’s potential. Typically my services will see your customer list grow.
My business strategy consultation help you get your business from where you are now, to your dream business as quickly as possible.
Whilst I do hold a diploma in business, I have to say my knowledge comes from over ten years of running various businesses. I have managed all sorts of businesses from dog walking, through to personal training, through to freelance writing! I have served local customers in person, I have served people on the other side of the world online. I have worked with animals, children and adults! I had businesses before Instagram even existed!
And all of them were a success.
The only reason I don’t have those businesses now is because I created a better business. When I say better, I realised what I wanted in life. Where I wanted to direct myself, how I wanted to live. I stopped having work or businesses that dictated my life to me and reversed it. I now have a business that I love and fits my lifestyle and I want to share everything I learned with you!
Click here to book in and find out more!
The freelancing industry is very crowded, no matter if you are involved in marketing, copywriting, web design, or graphics. You will have to compete with loads of people who have similar skills and prices. Once you are confident that you are able to provide more value for your customers and differentiate yourself in the marketplace, you might start thinking about creating your own marketing agency. The sad truth is that you will have to compete with established firms and brands, and you will be likely to start off as a small fish. If you are serious about getting your company set up, you will need to create a detailed plan. Below you will find a few tips on how to fund and found your own marketing agency and move from freelancing to running a business.
If you thought that being a freelancer is challenging, you haven’t’ tried to enter the one where marketing agencies are competing against each other for customers big or small. You will have to find a point of differentiation so you can convince your target market that your offer is better, cheaper, or more valuable than other agencies. It might be a good idea to get quotes in or create a spreadsheet of the different packages of marketing agencies so you can find a gap in the market and penetrate it easier.
When funding any company, it is important that you see clearly about what you would like to achieve and how you can help your customers. Creating a mission and vision statement is more challenging than you would think. It needs to cover not only your personal views and values, but also the common points with your customers. If you are starting a marketing agency that guarantees results, or offer free trials, maybe work with customers to develop their own campaigns instead of using cookie-cutter solutions, you have to include this in your mission and vision statement.
Once you know what you would like to offer to your customers and how to stand out, it is important that you start working on your own marketing strategy. Start with creating multiple customer personas and tailor your offers to their specific needs. You will have the option to specialize in small businesses, one particular industry, or create an offer for multiple markets. It is important that you research your market and find out more about different customers’ marketing budget, so you can create affordable offers and a great value for money.
Sometimes you will have to give your customers some allowances, and offering a free trial or service will help you build trust and get your unique messages across. If there are loads of similar companies in your region, you might be able to stand out by offering a money back guarantee or a free trial. No business owner wants to spend more on marketing than necessary, so you have to be prepared to provide discounts. Another great idea for entering the market and getting your first customers is to reward your first customers with a discount if they recommend other customers to your new agency.
While online shopping is growing every year, an increasing number of people like sitting down or talking on the phone with people they trust with their business. You will have plenty of time in the beginning to connect with your customers and offer one-on-one coaching and discussions. This will help you achieve better results through working with your customers and not just for them. As a result, you will get a proven track record and positive feedback and publicity, which will help you increase your brand value.
If you are an SEO expert, a freelance copywriter, or a web developer, chances are that you have so far only seen one or two sides of the industry, and you will have to update your knowledge to serve your marketing clients. If you are not familiar with pay per click, Google Analytics, or other tools, it is time to enroll in a training course. It is also crucial that you can effectively build sales funnels and custom marketing automation plans, so you don’t have to spend more time on creating a customer strategy than necessary.
It is also important that you create marketing material and presentations that help your clients understand your strategy and plans. You might create your own templates using Canva or share your ideas through Google Suite. However, sometimes it is necessary to catch up with customers in person, and you will need to create custom reports and updates. You will need to create folders and portfolios, so you can demonstrate your offers to visual learners.
It is also crucial that you budget for your startup and take into consideration every running and startup cost, to make sure that you can afford to create the type of agency you want. If you need help with financial planning and software implementation, you should talk to a startup coach, so you don’t have to guess the total cost. List every cost and shop around to get the cheapest and most reliable suppliers of office equipment and stationery. Before you choose the printers and computers, consider the running costs. Simply search for the prices of hp envy 4524 ink to find out how much printing will cost you per week or month.
Selecting people who share your views on marketing and have the same approach as you towards customer service will help you build a strong brand. It is also a good idea to choose people who have diverse skill sets, so they can do some of the work that you are not familiar with. You might want to create various departments or responsibilities within the new agency, with one employee being responsible for managing clients, and another working on web design or PPC marketing. Make sure that your employees are willing to and able to communicate and collaborate with you and each other.
One of the benefits of running a company instead of being a freelancer is that you can improve your services and productivity by taking advantage of the skills of your employees. It is important that you are not tied up with the administration or answering the phone. Focus on the tasks that will take your business further and delegate the rest. Keep control of the strategy and planning, but develop independent employees by delegating certain projects and assigning different customers to one individual who follows up their campaign from start to finish.
It is important that you brand your new company effectively. Try to join a networking event in your area, or join a group online to connect with like-minded people and establish yourself as an expert by providing advice and recommendation. Remember that you have to give before you take, and the best way of creating positive brand associations is helping people out. Once you have created reciprocity, you will be able to pitch them with your offers, as they will trust you enough to consider your services. Collaborating with other businesses will open your horizons and help you connect with potential partners or get recommendations.
Apart from creating an agency and focusing on creating consistent brand messages, you will also have to pay attention to the personal branding of you as a founder of the agency. You need to work with companies and manage the operations, create processes and frameworks for your employees without micromanaging the different tasks. It is important that you train and coach your new employees to do the work in a way you would, without supervision. You might want to make them your personal brand extension, so you can focus on the long-term strategy.
After starting your marketing agency, it is important that you will manage your reputation and monitor customer feedback. Chances are that you will not get everything right the first time, and that is the reason you have to keep an eye on what your customers have to say about the service they received and the communication. Once you have a business website, it is important that you collect feedback and testimonials so you can showcase your results to people who are just considering using your new agency.
Starting an agency and leaving the lifestyle of a freelancer will mean a lot of changes. You will need to improve your management and human resources skills to make sure that you can manage your clients, take care of the marketing, strategy, and build a strong brand at the same time. Do your research, create a unique selling proposition, and build your brand reputation gradually to successfully penetrate a competitive market.
If you are looking for a new career to start this year and you are sick of working in an office, a wonderful change of career could be to become a caterer. If you have a love for good food and meeting new people, this can be the perfect job role for you. Here are the top reasons you should think about a job in catering this year.
If you work as a caterer such as abm Catering, you have a unique opportunity to put a smile on many people’s faces. When you are hired to make food for an event the food needs to be great, and it can ruin a night if the food is terrible and everyone ends up ill. When you cook for a party you can see the smiles on everyone’s face as they try and love the food you serve. You can make their day and they will make yours in return.
If you are a creative soul, there is nothing worse than being stuck in a job where you have to crunch numbers all day. Catering is an amazing job option for anyone who loves to be creative because you can come up with your own menus, recipes and even come up with a certain way that you like to present the food to your audience. You can be as fancy or simple as you like and you will have lots of chance to try new things.
The beauty of choosing a job such as a caterer is the fact that you are not nailed down to staying in one place for the rest of your life. You have the freedom to go wherever you want because people all over the world need someone to make food for their events. You could be a mobile caterer and travel around the country or even move abroad and set up your own catering business somewhere completely new.
As a caterer, you will have the option to either work for a catering company which is already established or you can go it alone and do it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself you will no longer have anyone to answer to and you can become an entrepreneur in your own right. You could start a small empire and hire great chefs to work for you and to travel around the country. It is a unique opportunity to be a business owner and thrive in your career.
Perhaps the best part of being a caterer is the fact that you don’t have to get up at 6am in the morning only to be stuck in traffic on the way to work. A catering job is usually for afternoon evening events which means that you can be more flexible with your working hours and work to a schedule which allows time for everything to be cooked and prepped. As long as you have enough time to get everything done, you should have no problems with working to your own hours.
Putting together your home business plan is still important. It doesn’t matter that you’re not planning on starting a multi-million dollar business that takes over the world. You still need to have your business outline written on paper. Why? Many reasons. It can help to keep you focused when you’re lacking in clarity. It can help you secure funding if you need investments. It can help you see what direction you should go in if things don’t go as planned. There are just so many reasons to create a business plan!
Here, we will talk about creating your home business plan in quick and simple terms. Enjoy!
Most people felt overwhelmed when creating their business plan and don’t know where to start. This is normal, so you shouldn’t worry. However, finding a template online can be a brilliant place to start if you’re feeling a little like this. A template can help you include all the relevant information, guide you on what to include and where to put it, and more. You can find both free and paid templates to help you create a plan that suits you.
Just remember, although you’re using a template, this doesn’t mean you can compromise on the quality of your business plan. You should still set time aside to create a quality plan. You might end up regretting it later on down the line if you don’t.
Make sure you do the math accurately. You need to know your numbers. Just look at Dragon’s Den and even the Apprentice, and how they get a huge dressing down when they don’t know their numbers properly, or their numbers make little sense. You need to know how much money you will need, your projections for the future, and more. Not only will this help you see if you’re on track, but it’ll also help you attract investors later on down the line. You can even look for small loans with resources like https://smallbusinessloans.co/, but you must know how much you need and what you will use it for.
Although you need to include all relevant information in your business plan, you need to make sure you find a balance between making it too detailed and not detailed enough. Too detailed and nobody will read it, not detailed enough and it won’t be taken seriously.
Your plan not only needs to read well, but the layout also needs to make sense too. Make sure you use headings and that it’s nice to look at – this isn’t the most important point, but it matters.
Check over your plan multiple times to avoid grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. They don’t make a great impression!
Hopefully, these simple tips help you put together a plan that really makes sense and helps you to grow your business. A business with a plan succeeds on purpose, not by accident. Leave your own thoughts and ideas below. Thanks for reading!
This post was edited using the best grammar checker I’ve found (and it’s free!!)
As much as we might wish, no magic spell can bloom our businesses overnight. Startups demand motivation, dedication, and lots of time to trek to progress. There’s one element that can boost growth though and it’s called blogging. It can help drive more audience to your business site and boost your conversion rates. At the same time, it can craft a personality for your venture and increase your engagement with potential clients.
53% of the digital marketers commend the role that blogging plays in growing a business. Hard to swallow? Check out Hubspot that offers sales, marketing, CRM, and customer services software. It runs an incredible blog that provides informative posts and gets 4.5 million average views every month.
Let’s walk you through some significant benefits of business blogging:
In the present times, nobody wants to do business with lifeless scarecrows. Customers want to learn more about the people at the helm of things. The CEO of Modify Watches, Aaron Schwartz explains, “We work hard to make sure people think of our business as comprised of a group of real individuals, and not some soulless enterprise.”
To this end, the company uses blogging to express its personality. As you write blog posts for your business, you develop a slow but significant voice for your startup. Plus, blogs mirror your business values. Have a look at Gap Inc.’s blog. Their blog reflects the brand’s personality by showing its vision and values.
The content that you write for your blogs gives you an ample opportunity to insert a keyword into it. Keywords are the phrases or queries that people type into the search bar. These are the fundamental pillars of search engine optimization (SEO), as they bait clients for you.
With the use of a keyword, there are increased chances that the search engine will rank your business blog high. Consequently, more people can find your initiative. Research reveals that brands with blogs tend to 434% higher indexed pages. Therefore, blogging is a cost-effective approach to driving organic traffic to your business. Plus, keyword-enriched blogs enhance your search engine visibility.
You can share your blog posts on your social media channels too. These posts can multiply your exposure as well, as people love sharing informative blog content. 94% of the folks share blog posts on numerous social media platforms. Hence, blogging helps you with your initiative’s social media marketing.
Customers just don’t make a beeline to a business unless they have worked with it before and are fully satisfied. Instead, before shopping for something or availing a service, customers conduct thorough research. Reports confirm that 81% of the people research online before purchasing something.
You can use this pre-shopping behavior to your use. Update your blog with long posts that solve customers’ problems. For instance, if you sell accessories online, you can always write blogs about hot accessory trends or how-to styling guides.
Blogging gives you a chance to engage with potential and existing customers. You can leave questions at the end of the post and interact with people as they leave comments under your post. These also serve as an excellent means to get feedback from your customers.
What’s more is that you can provide a call to action (CTA) button at the end of each post. A CTA delivers clients a simple and direct path to connect with you to get your product or service. Therefore, blogging assists in generating more leads.
Summing up, blogging is a useful tool to boost your business. Regular blogging drives more audience to your website, works wonders for your SEO, increases your leads and conversion rate, and allows you to interact with your clients. It gives your initiative a voice and establishes you as an authority in your niche too.
Maybe you are waiting for your long-term business to start making an income? Maybe you have two businesses you love doing and don’t want to give up on either? Maybe your businesses just escalated?! But in actual fact, it can be a good idea to have multiple income streams.
I have several businesses. As well as running The Female Entrepreneur Hub, I’m also a freelance writer (Lancashire Freelancer) and I run an Etsy business with my sister (Blossom and Oak). As you can imagine this takes some juggling, especially with a 4-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter! Why do I do it? The Etsy business is just a small side income, however, it’s taught me a lot and I love running it with my sister. I also adore making the clothes for babies, so I find it really fun. I write as I enjoy the research and the writing and it’s a useful and high paid income stream. Then I have The Female Entrepreneur Hub which is my passion! I do it for the love more than the money, but I’d love it to be my long-term business and plan to launch products and services through the website!
Multiple income streams mean multiple sources of money coming into your bank. This can mean even if once income drops you still have the other income streams, so whilst it’s less, you do at least still have some income! Clearly, this is better than no income!
Chances are each business isn’t a full-time business, as if you are juggling a few businesses, your time is clearly split. This can be a good thing as you can push any of your businesses when you see the potential. You could take on someone to help, you could simply dedicate more time, but either way, you can invest in the business more to create more income.
The problem with having multiple businesses is there is likely to be a lot of work and you will feel split and pulled between each business. You need to be really mindful and organised to keep on top of everyday tasks. Making sure each business has a schedule that works with the others is essential.
You may feel so spread that you don’t give your best to each business. It would be better to manage two businesses that you can give 90% to each, rather than 5 businesses that you only give 40% to as any business that isn’t tended to is likely to flounder.
If you are employed and run a self-employed business as well, tax can be slightly more complicated and you’ll need to be aware of how much of your allowance you have used.
Passive income is really key in this. If you can build a business that generates passive income it allows you time to work on other ventures. Passive income is where the business generates income without you really having to do too much. For example, you may have created an e-book or course. This may have taken you 1 month, but then that product sells for the next 2 years. You don’t have to do anything as your system is automated through a program such as MailChimp. The customer signs up via email, they pay via a payment system (such as PayPal) and MailChimp will automatically send the e-book for you. Other than the original creation you get to sit back and earn money whilst you sleep or holiday!
You sell 100 courses (about 2 per week), each course retails at £200 = £20,000!!
And that’s just one income stream. Add multiple courses and affiliate marketing into this and you’re looking at maybe 5 times this income!
In conclusion, multiple income streams can be a very good idea, just ensure it doesn’t get too much and the businesses begin to fail and your health becomes impacted.
If you would like to know what resources could help you manage multiple businesses, get a free copy of my 25 resources that will help you manage several businesses (and the resources are mostly free!). Get your copy here!
I love to speak to readers about their experiences, get in touch if you have any questions about starting or running a business!
Why remote working? Picture this. You wake up today, you have about 4 hours of work you need to do, but the rest of the day is yours. What will you do? Go out with your kids? Wander around the shops? Picnic in the park (you’d be lucky in the UK with the amount of bad weather we have)? Watch a box set you want (need) to catch up on. You have enough income coming in to need only work 3-5 hours per day, so no money worries. Will you get the 4 hours done in the morning so the rest of the day is yours? Or will you spend the day doing what you love and work this evening once the kids are in bed?
* delete as appropriate
Freedom is what it means. You work.. remotely. So you still have to work, yes, however you are not tied to a physical location to do this. In most cases this means online work of some description. You may actually remote work for a company and be employed under a contract, and this is great because it does usually mean a regular paycheck. However if you want the ultimate freedom then you need to freelance. You are your own boss. You decide your schedule, who you work for and who you don’t. Remote working as a freelancer means you decide what pay you work for per hour, what jobs you do and what time you do them in.
Regardless of whether you have a history with mental health issues or not, we all suffer stress to some degree. It’s known that work is a contributing factor in the majority of people’s lives.
Live to work or work to live.
If you can free yourself from that stress, you have won a huge battle. If you can rid yourself of high stress levels then you are much more unlikely to suffer with any mental health issues.
However, what if you are already struggling with any mental health issues such as depression or anxiety? It can depend how bad you are. If you are still able to function day-to-day and manage day-to-day task then it could be fine to set up or operate a business. You should find that run correctly, it will improve your condition. If you really aren’t very well at the moment, for example, if you couldn’t manage employment in your normal job, then now may not be quite the right time to start. You should focus on getting yourself better, the next goal could be to improve the quality of your life by remote working.
There are many jobs when you start searching for remote working positions. I deliberately haven’t included things like filling in surveys as this is really an “extra income type of gig” rather than a “well paid job to support your family type position”.
The perks of remote working are actually personal to you. You could travel whilst you earn money and use the money to see the world. It could be so you are at home with your family and pets. It could be because you are fed up of answering to a boss and simply want control of your own schedule. For some remote working as a self-employed person may not be for them. They may be worried about a stable income. But really, with a well thought out remote working strategy, this need not be an issue.
I’d love to hear more from you about your experiences of remote working!
Are you at a stage in your life where your health is being impacted by your work and you’d like to explore other income sources and businesses to create a happier and more content life?
A business that fit around your life and gave you the time to do the things you love, and make money from the things you love.
If this resonates with you, your mission is now to discover and explore what you truly love.
1. Write a list of what you enjoy
2. Write a list of your strengths
3. Examine these lists and think about any business ideas that could be made from either or a combination of any
4. Conduct research into similar businesses and the market and pay available.
5. Consider if the time to pay ratio is appropriate. For example ten hours work for £5 is no good.
Okay you’ve done the first part. Time for a cup of tea and the next stages!
6. Consider how much time this business will need?
Can you lay it aside for a day or so if you’re having a bad day as long as you’re generally organised? This is a very key point. Is it a reasonable number of hours per week that you can manage?
To work around this I have created several small businesses. That way even if I let one lull, the other are either ticking along or need bare minimum doing to keep bringing an income in. I can do what I enjoy or feel like that day. I find that because I have the variation between the business, even on a bad day there isn’t something I don’t feel like doing. Some days I’m happier at the laptop. Other days I feel like sewing. I do what I feel like that day. On a good day I power through as much as possible to either catch up or get ahead. When I am on top of everything I find it less likely that I’ll have a bad day anyway.
7. Consider start up costs.
If you don’t have upfront capital can you change around the business model. For example why not buy materials after the order is placed? Or consider dropshopping. So we have the money upfront. I’ve started all the businesses with pretty much no investment, sure it’s slower potentially to get going, but if you don’t have the capital there’s no other way!
8. Next I would recommend checking out the legal side of your business.
For example we looked at selling teethers. However there’s quite a lot of EU legislation that’s quite complicated with costly testing. Now there’s a lot of Instagram handmade teething companies out there, and Facebook ones, and I’ll bet you most of these don’t have the relevant testing certificates. What would they do if a child choked on a part? To me that wasn’t worth the risk and it wasn’t a viable business as it was too complicated. Check out any necessary legislation and insurances etc, and make sure you can handle these.
9. If you have got to this point you are pretty much ready to go.
Now you will need to come up with a name, branding and your target audience. These are massive topics within themselves so I’m going to write up separate articles to assist with these asap. Subscribe at the top of page to ensure you get these updates.
10. Well done, you have your business!
Now all that’s left to do is decide on your selling platforms, for example the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a website. I can highly recommend One.com, if you sign up using this link you will get £5 off so it will only cost you around £7 for the year for a website including the domain!! You can integrate WordPress within your site, they have a webshop facility, and their own web designer in there which is very simple to use. I use them for all my various businesses including this website! Note I also get a bonus if you sign up, but I’d recommend them anyway for ease of use and price!
The absolute key thing is doing what you love and enjoy and what you’re good at to get the sense of fulfilment and happiness from each working day. The next consideration is choosing businesses that are profitable, but that will work around your particular mental health needs.
For example if sitting at a laptop stresses you out, but you love dogs and walking, don’t set up a Virtual Assistant business that’s all based online via your laptop, set up a dog walking business!
I’d really love to hear from you! Has this been useful to you? Have you followed the steps and come up with a business? Please do drop me a comment below or contact me here!
I’m adding content to build up the site every few days so do come back soon for more information on setting up your business, I’m going to be offering free guides as well. You can subscribe at the top of the page!
Post by Hannah Thornton
My sister and I have successfully been running a crafting business since October 2017.
Our business is called Blossom and Oak and we design, handmake and sell baby and children’s clothing and accessories.
We make a reasonable side income from this and it’s something we very much enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction from. It’s an amazing process to design, make an sell an item, and then people often share pictures of their children in our items and it’s overwhelming!
So you have an idea for something you could make and you’d like to sell it – how do you go about this? Especially if you have no upfront capital?
Here is my start up plan to get your business going;
1. Complete costings. First and foremost can you make profit from your item? What would you need to charge to make this profit? Add up every part that needs to go into the design, and make sure it is sourced as cheaply as possibly, but ensure the quality is where you need it to be. Cheap components that are poor quality will make a poor product, customers won’t return if they aren’t happy with the quality. Is your product worth making? We like to add on a hourly rate for how long it takes to make, you may like to do this to ensure you earn a wage. What will postage look like? Do you need to factor this into the cost or will you charge for it? If selling this item will make you money, move to step two…
2. Market research. Is anyone else selling something similar? Compare sale price, you don’t necessarily have to be cheaper, bear this in mind, but if it’s exactly the same why would they pay a lot more for your product? How does the postage compare? Or do you have something that makes your item unique? Something that gives people a reason to buy yours? This doesn’t even have to be about the product. For example I see some Instagram business where the products are amazing, but they take terrible pictures on their bed, people won’t buy into it or even give it a second look! Will people be interested in buying your product? How easy will it be to market your item and sell it? If you think their is a market for your item and people will buy it, move to step 3..
3. It’s now time to make up your sample or samples. We like to purchase as little components as possible to make up the initial sample so we’re not left with excess stock. Consider where or who you can photograph this with. For example we need to put our products on babies, luckily we have a few in the family so we will make it in their size and give it to them in return for photographs and videos. It’s also good to test them, we like to get the babies to wear them, then wash them, and see how they do! Once you have done this move to stage 4.
4. Create your business name. I think too much focus can be put on this, think about other brands, Curry’s for example – sells appliances – you wouldn’t know from the name! The branding and products are more important, that said try to think carefully about the name, nothing that will offend, or isn’t easy to say or remember! Does anyone else have your name already? Your business may evolve so don’t pigeon hole yourself with your name. For example “Donna’s Dolls” – what if you move on from selling dolls?
4. It’s now time to build your marketing platforms. We are going to create the following;
Across all of these you are going to fill them all out and start posting pictures, news and updates. A blog isn’t a bad idea either. WordPress are very good and you can link this to your One.comwebsite. The reason a blog helps is because every time you post Google will pick up the new content and sees your site as a website with fresh detail on it. Google likes this and it will push you higher up the ranking.
I’m going to do a separate write up on marketing through all the different mediums as it’s pages and pages of content just for that alone! There’s a lot to it, but for now just start posting about your business, what you are doing, your products, how you feel, people like personal detail, they connect to you, don’t be something you’re not it’s hard to stick to. Start following people, liking their posts, retweeting, repinning, comment like and comment and like some more! Interaction is key with the new algorithms in Facebook and Instagram in particular. Move to step 5.
5. How will people buy? People do not like a barrier to the purchase. I wouldn’t recommend having them contact you to purchase. I invested in the webshop on One.com. This gives a direct and professional way for people to purchase. We also have an Etsy Shop. This picks up it’s own sales through Etsy, but is another way to do it. You can direct people from your website to shop here. You can also have a store in Facebook. You technically don’t need a website with these other resources, but I like to have our own individual shop front which pulls our brand together. One.com is also useful as it has a feature in the webshop to manage the orders which I like.
We offer a 3 week turnaround which gives time for the payment to come in, buy what’s needed and make the item, this means you don’t need up front capital to get going.
You are now up and running! Well done! The key now is to market market market. Look at running competitions, grow your following. Don’t directly sell, but show people your products, offer them a reason to buy, whether that is simply showing them a gorgeous picture that makes them want to buy a product or it’s a giveaway. Interact where ever you can, you need to be active on social media every day, and I plan to go into how to do this.
For now here are some links you may find useful;