(The article below has been featured in the Christmas edition of the online magazine Vivacious Mum.)
Having launched Minor Edition (www.minoredition.co.uk) earlier this year, I learned many lessons quite the hard way during the whole process. There is no right or wrong way of starting a business – it’s what is right for me and the product at the time. The current economic climate has made people more cautious and they would spend the money only when they are confident in a service or product. So I have listed a few things that I have realised and the lessons that I have learned in the last few months. We can all do it if we want to start a business.
1. As mums we are very creative and resourceful. Multitasking would be very easy for us. This is an advantage if we start a business.
2. If there is a fabulous business idea that we have, it would be worth to do some basic market research, offer services to others and weigh out their reactions. Another way to do research would be to sell our wares to friends and family. As long as we love what we do and enjoy it.
3. As women, we are usually a bit scared of finances, at least I am. Might be worth having a business plan and also be careful about initial spending. There is always the opportunity to improve the website and the brand when we are slightly established.
4. It pays to be open-minded to new technology, websites, new software, social networking – it is a minefield out there. There are plenty of short courses or training if necessary.
5. Embrace social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. They are good platforms to share and shout out about us – worth giving it a go. Having a blog also helps in the business, customers love to know the people behind the scenes and the business/service they provide. It is also a great way to share your expertise.
6. Networking helps a lot; we can get advice and also generate business. I think it is always prudent to get support and help when necessary.
7. It is worth to take things slowly with the long-term goal in sight. Mums are an organised bunch and this helps in the business too.
8. I wish someone had told me not to be disappointed too soon. Everything takes its own time. Doing everything alone needs a lot of hard work and patience.
9. The customer is the most important person. We have to be ready to listen to the customers or clients. It is not about us but about the customer and we ought to treat them with respect.
10. Starting a business is not easy, but quite a roller coaster ride and we should be prepared for it. We must always expect the unexpected, good or bad. It is a question of building a good reputation and keeping things transparent. We are all humans and so are the customers.
Some of the links that I found quite useful:
HM Revenue and Customs http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm
Business Link http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/home
Intellectual Property Guide http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
Business Gateway http://www.bgateway.com/bdotg/action/home?site=202&r.s=m&r.lc=en
Companies House http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/
You can find this article in page 116 of the magazine.
Thanks for passing by.