Monday, 25 August 2014

Top tips for starting your own business!

Being a mother is amazing. 
When you’re on maternity leave, it’s totally understandable that the idea of going back to work might seem alien to you, at this point. But whether you make the personal choice of whether to return at all in the long run, there’s nothing to stop you starting your own business! If you’re feeling totally in the dark, we’ve got a few tips for starting up…

  1. Have a clear idea of what it is you want to do. Not all businesses have to be big, grand efforts, in fact, you can even use your existing skills to create something amazing from scratch. Just look at how well blogs can do! There’s bound to be something you can do to earn a bit of extra cash, whether it’s crafty, something writing based or even creating a clothing line or design business. If you’re aiming for something a little more corporate, it’s definitely a good idea to draw up a business plan. There are plenty of resources online to help, and there are an abundance of people who can also help you. Make sure you also have a clear idea of how finances will work from day one. There’s no use getting to the end of the tax year in a mad panic because you can’t find your invoices and this and that and god knows what else! You’ve got to be organised and committed from the start.
  1. Promote yourself! Ignoring marketing is a rookie mistake. Clearly, tactics are going to differ, depending on what your ‘niche’ is, but there’s nothing stopping you getting on Facebook, Twitter, etc. In fact, it’s imperative. There are absolutely loads of tips published online about this almost daily, but if you do want a crash course, consider something like this Social Media class from the Guardian. You should also consider getting into video. People go mad for it these days, and people = consumers. According to Posh Gecko, it’s helping businesses more than ever. Don’t get left out!
  1. If the company starts growing – congratulations! That’s great. The one thing you should watch out for though is things getting too much to handle. Especially as a parent, things can soon start to bowl you over. If things are doing well, why not get a friend or partner in on the action? It can certainly ease some of the burden. If things are doing really well, enlist the help of some management consultants like Camford MC – they’re bound to collectively have some years on you in terms of experience, so if your business is now what you do, rather than just something extra, by all means give them a call.
  1. Keep track of what’s working. There’s no point just winging it, because you’ll probably find yourself in trouble eventually! Yes, this means doing boring stuff like keeping an eye on Google Analytics and analysing your traffic, but it’s worth it in the long run! If you’re selling stuff, it helps to have a handle on where your leads are coming from. Once you’ve experienced a certain amount of growth, you can pull Calltracks on board – their software allows your customers to see different phone numbers for you depending on where they found you, all coming through to the same place. So you know which places are converting and which aren’t!
  1. Think long and hard before quitting your day job. If you have returned to work after a baby, good for you, but if this is because of financial responsibility rather than career building, you’ll want to make sure you can still support the family. On the other hand, if you’re doing the business because you wanted to be a stay at home mum, you’ll have to think about your expansion plans to make sure it’s not becoming so much that it’s no longer fun. Remember, the health and happiness of you – and your family – comes first. Good luck!
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