Tips on starting your own business


While the recession was not a pretty sight at all and many people were put under a lot of stress, some losing their livelihood, income and way of life in other respects society has certainly seen a rise in people starting their own businesses, being creative and pursuing their entrepreneurial pursuits.

I'm self-employed and I work from home and predominately online and while I don't need an office per se it's nice to have a separate space in the home, where I can really focus on my work. 

If you have an idea, the will and are willing to take a calculated risk now really is the time to capitalise on a new and original idea and with so many platforms such as etsy and Instagram to take your business to new heights it's really opened the door to small businesses. 

If you have a physical product or service starting small is best and selling online can be a great start but at some point you many want to expand on that and open a real-life store which of course will provide you with more daily footfall. Having worked in a variety of stores and working my way up to manager in one which I found really interesting as I had been there from the start and had helped with visual displays and marketing I learnt many things.

1. You cannot underestimate the style and interior of your store. Whether its spacious or small and intimate you want to spend a lot of time designing your space in a way that aids what you are trying to put across to your customers and also hopefully attracts people to share your store on things like Instagram which is such a powerful marketing tool.

2. Design a simple but eye-catching logo and use a designer for your signage. Signage is so important and as you know they say "first impressions count" and your sign is the first thing potential clients see. So do not cut corners when it comes to channel letter signs for your store as it's one of the first things your customers see. The same can be said with online stores, blogs and websites.

3. Information flyers, pamphlets and  Pavement signs are a great way to make the shop's presence known in the foot traffic that may occur on the block. Before the shop is open, use a pavement sign to advertise and convey the progress of the venue and keep passers-by apprised of what is up and coming.

4. Get involved with your neighbourhood - if you opt for a physical store then you need to take into account its location of it and what the neighbourhood is like and how you can connect with them and get involved. Here are some questions to ask yourself - Is this a neighbourhood of commuters?
Who is around the potential location? Do they live here or do they work here, or both?
What are the financial parameters of the area? Also having input from outsiders can be a really good thing to hear what your direct customers want and expect from your service.

5. Don't be scared to take a risk just make sure it's a calculated one. It's very true that no matter what you decide to do you can succeed without trying and making things happen, just talking about starting your own business and actually putting the wheels in motion are two different things. Both John and I took risks to change from being employed to self-employed. I took the chance when my maternity pay came to an end and I decided to not go back to work and dive into the unknown of working from home for myself.

6. Consult the professionals - you will likely need to create a business plan and apply for a business loan through your bank, this in itself can be quite daunting. You will need to have a clear idea of what you are expecting to spend in the first year and what you hope to make. It can be really useful during this time to seek professional help from a business mentor who can help create a clear startup financial model which will likely offer more success when dealing with the bank, also it would be good to consider getting a bookkeeper or accountant. 

7. Stay on top of your finances 

As I've already mentioned, it's worth consulting the professionals when it comes to things like creating a business plan, applying for a business loan and for general business finances such as opening a business account and general bookkeeping. Once the business is up and running you'll want to keep your operating expenses as low as possible, and there are several helpful solutions to help you with this. One of them is to implement a small business inventory management system, as it will prevent you from overstocking your products and help you to identify which products are unpopular and should be avoided in the future. Of course, you can do your own tax returns, as a self-employed freelancer I do my own tax returns and have done for many years but using an accountant can take a lot of weight off your shoulders when it comes to staying on top of things.

If you are in particular looking to work from home I have written a post about How to Succeed as a work from home parent which offers some tips on how and what you can do from the comfort of your couch (or office space).

Associated post 


  1. These are some very helpful tips on starting a business. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. My pleasure and so glad you found the helpful

      Laura x

  2. I've been a freelancer for 12 years now. I know how hard it may be sometimes.
    You've got some great tips on marketing and branding here.

    1. Thanks Lubka and well done for freelancing for that long

      Laura x


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