Are you thinking on starting a business of your own? In this post I have shared my top tips and my top 5 things I did not consider when starting up the Business!
You could be on Maternity leave and thinking on starting a business idea or working full or part time. It is possible to start a business at any stage of your life, you just need to take the leap…like we did!
Running a business comes with its challenges, but you also have to love every day and make it fun. Beloved Creations was established whilst I was working full time, I did this for the first year and worked most evenings and every weekend, pulling in family for help and support, as well as my Business Advisor from Business Gateway.
Running your own business will teach you so many new skills, and skills you didn’t realise you had!
How did it all start? I relied on my creativity and ensured every day was productive, even those days where I felt everything was going wrong! It’s easy to become side tracked in those early days, with so many ideas going through your head, but ultimately starting a baby business was an easy decision for me. I had been making gifts for clients, colleagues, friends and family members for a very long time, before setting up my own business. It was through the feedback that I received from the handmade gifts, that made me decide to set up Beloved Creations.
I started attending various training courses, workshops and events through Business Gateway, which helped me understand some of the following;
Creating a Business Model
Advertising and Promotion
Once your business is up and running, remember that it won’t run itself! Sales won’t come unless you make a daily effort to promote yourself.
I knew I wanted a website, where customers could easily navigate around, shop and explore, I wanted to create and build a brand that would become recognisable with time. I knew I wanted a business name and logo design that I would not tire easily of, and safe to say 2 years on, I wouldn’t change a thing!
Top 5 factors to consider;
- What are you passionate about? What can you work with or create every day?
- Do you have enough earnings or savings to back your business plan? It is best to fund most of it yourself in those early days, without borrowing too much
- Will you run your business from home to begin with or look for premises?
- What platform(s) do you wish to sell on? You can find us on Etsy etsy.com/uk/shop/giftsbybeloved and at www.belovedcreations.co.uk
- Decide on a business name and get a fantastic Graphic Designer to help with your logo
Top 5 things you may not have considered;
- Start with a business plan or Business Model Canvas, you can download various examples online, however we used one from Business Gateway which you can access here https://www.bgateway.com/business-guides/first-steps/business-plan-template If you are borrowing money from the banks, they will need to see this
- The font you want to be in your logo design and on your website, each font gives a different message...who knew!
- What happens when you want a holiday and run your own business?
- Once you have a Business name you love, you will then need to secure this name or similar across all your social media platforms, such as; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Linked In to name a few
- Become clued up on Facebook Ads, Blogging, creating Newsletters, planning content and look into SEO for your website.
What did I do first? Here's our top 16 things to do when starting a business;
- I hired a Graphic Designer and started sketching ideas for my logo design, including a neutral brand colour and font
- I hired a Web Developer to help customise my website
- I found a great Photographer to capture all my products
- I hand-picked only the best UK based suppliers
- I chose a Business Name (searching first to make sure my business name was not already in use, as this could cause confusion to our customers)
- Registered Beloved Creations with Companies House
- Secured a Domain Name (www.belovedcreations.co.uk)
- Secured the same name across all Social Media Platforms @giftsbybeloved
- Set up a business email address email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Set up a business bank account and installed some great Accounting Software – I use Xero Accounts
- Find yourself an Accountant
- Have business cards and flyers designed and printed – I use Artier Design and Print
- Started to prepare all of the content for our website and make sure this is SEO friendly
- Got in touch with Marketing Experts for advice on how to start driving traffic to our website (www.belovedcreations.co.uk). I can highly recommend Genoa Black, Studio NEC, and Delfinity Consulting
- Started promoting the business through various means; flyer drops, attending networking events and relying on social media. Publishing blog posts via our website and newsletters using Mailchimp
- Plan your advertising and make sure you stick to your budget! I still find Facebook Ads quite tricky to use, but the Marketing professionals mentioned above have helped, including the Social Sales Girls, which we follow on Facebook.