Useful Tips When Starting Your Own Home Business: Part 1- Your Idea

Welcome to Part 1 – Useful Tips when Starting Your Own Home Business!

Over the next 6 weeks I’m going to be giving anyone considering beginning their own home business some helpful tips and advice – things which I would definitely have found useful when I set up super-cool-gifts over 3 years ago.

I’m going to break it down into 6 areas:

Part 1 – Your Idea

Part 2 – Getting Prepared

Part 3 – Advertising

Part 4 – Record Keeping

Part 5 – Organisation

Part 6 – Keeping the Energy Up

I hope you enjoy the series, look out for the other parts coming soon.

Part 1 – Your Idea

So, you’ve been considering starting your own home business. Maybe you know you need to get out of a 9/5 or shift work to better fit with your family and other commitments, maybe you just think you would be happier working for yourself. It’s a big scary step to take, especially if you rely on that income to pay your bills, so it is vitality important that you do the background research and make sure your business is viable before you lose the certainty of that regular income every month.

Tip 1 – Make sure you LOVE what you will be doing

Setting up your own business is tough. you will put in hundreds of hours of work initially and sometimes it can seem like the light at the end of the tunnel is almost non-existent. Believe me, when its midnight and you’ve just stopped working, you are exhausted, and you know you need to get up at 5am to start doing the same thing all over again, if you don’t positively love what you do, you are going to start regretting it. If you start to regret it, you won’t put all your energy into it, and if you don’t give your business 110%, it won’t succeed like you need it to. So many people get up every day to do a job they hate – don’t end up being one of them!

Tip 2 – Make Sure You Are Doing Something You Are Good At

You might spot a niche in the market for an excellent work from home business. You can see the potential in growth, how it would work around your family life and the pound signs in front of your eyes, but guess what, if the business you can see working is painting cartoon characters on a kid’s bedroom walls but your 3 year old has more artistic talent than you, it’s not goning to work. At best you would have unhappy customers, at worst no customers at all! So choose to do something you are good at. Look at your strengths. What do you do well at in your current job? What do people compliment you on? Is there something you can teach other people – something you’ve done for years and can do with your eyes closed that they would love to know? Is there something you are good at that is potentially pretty complicated / hard work / requires some skill, that would be a relief for other people to get you to do for them for a fee?

Tip 3 – Research Your Market

Probably the most important point – you might be doing something you love, and you might be fantastic at doing it, but if there is no market for it, you won’t sell it! You need to judge your market and your competition.

How many other people are doing the same thing you intend to?  Is no one doing the same thing as you? Is there a reason why? If you are setting out as a dog groomer in a town with no dogs, you’ve got a problem! Check that there is a market for the product / service you are selling. If no-one wants it, you won’t get any buyers!

Equally, check that the competition isn’t so intense that you can’t compete. If you are constantly undercut for the exact same item and service, people will go to the cheaper price. This doesn’t always mean you need to be the cheapest, but if you aren’t, check that you are offering the customer something extra for the extra they are paying. Competition on Ebay where I predominantly sell can be tough, but usually there are enough customers that items sell anyway. I also always make sure my Customer Service is second to none – i offer free 1st class P&P to the UK and signed for postage for free when orders are over £15. I offer recorded delivery abroad, and my orders are sent same day in most cases, even on a saturday. I answer queries as quickly as i can and I am helpful as I can be, so that even if I aren’t necessarily the cheapest on every occassion, hopefully the potential customers will recognise the added value.

Tip 4 – Make sure your figures add up

How are you financing setting up your business? I was lucky, I started super-cool-gifts  with just £500 and I’ve consistently re-invested the money back into the business to buy more stock. Even now, I reinvest and widen my stock base all the time so my business grows in size.

Are your items making a profit after all your expenses – and how many individual items / services do you need to sell each day / week / month / year to make enough to replace your wage? Make sure you have targets, and decide on a contingency plan if breaking even takes longer than you expected.

A good way to negate the risk of ending up broke, is to start up your business alongside your usual job. Decide on what figure of sales is your minimum that will allow you to give up the day job, and juggle (it will be a struggle!) the two until you get to that figure. However,there are pitfalls besides the obvious exhaustion at trying to do 2 jobs –  its easy to get used to having (and spending) 2 incomes for a short period and your ‘minimum’ sales may suddenly not seem enough to fall back to. In this case, it’s important to remember the other non-monetary reasons you wanted your business in the first place.

Hopefully this has given you some extra points to think about, do you have any questions? feel free to ask them in the comments 🙂

Look out for Part 2 – Getting Prepared, coming next week!

 

Wednesday Outfit Picks

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Here we have a Wednesday Outfit Pick for the Men! With a smart but casual look teaming loose fit jeans (belt included) with shoes and a smart stripey knit jumper, but keeping the fun fandom underneath with a Walking Dead Zombie Bait T-shirt.

The whole outfit including shoes comes with enough change for a pint out of £50! Not a bad deal.

Boys/Mens Shoes in sizes 6, 7, 8, just £9.99 with free UK delivery

Mens Jeans sizes 32 or 36″ waist, 30, 32, 34″ leg just £12.99 with free UK delivery

Mens cream or grey stripey jumper just £9.99 with free UK delivery

Mens The Walking Dead T-Shirt just £12.99 with free UK delivery

What do you think of the Wednesday Outfit Picks so far? Are there any themes you would like to see in future posts?

Maternity Items at Discount Prices

I’ve had 4 children so I know the pain of trying to find clothes to fit your changing body shape that don’t cost the earth. Scouring the shopping centre when you are exhausted, for clothes you know 6 months down the line you won’t be wearing any more – never mind blowing more than your maternity allowance on enough to get you through, just seems cruel. So here we have a few maternity essentials for bargain prices!

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Green Maternity Top sizes 8-14 just £7.99 with free UK delivery

Maternity & Feeding Bras – several styles and sizes, check listing for details – £6.99 with free UK delivery

Maternity Jeans sizes 8-20 just £10.99 with free UK delivery

100% Cotton Maternity Nightie sizes 10-14 £6.99 with free UK delivery

The Envy Game

Ladies, do you realise just how amazing your life is?
I  often see the posts with the perfect family snaps on Facebook – bright, happy well behaved children, the beautiful make up, gym bodies and organised homes. The snaps of the drinks with best friends, New lovers and the husbands that still look deeply into your eyes after 15 years together. Promotions, New cars, holiday snaps from exotic looking places. You women look like you are having the most fantastic time of your lives, doing EVERYTHING.
And then there is me. And I feel like I’m letting the side down. My hair hasn’t even been brushed yet this morning and its 11am, my life is a hectic shambles, I’m not always happy, my kids aren’t picture perfect, and the photos of me from last weekend don’t even make it on social media they look that bad! It’s easy to sink into a cloud of envy and self-loathing if you aren’t careful.
But I realised something profound the other day. An off the cuff comment from an online friend – ‘wow you are always doing exciting things, you have a fantastic life’ she said. Do I? I thought. And then it kind of hit me, that to some people, I’M precisely one of those ‘perfect’ women with the ‘perfect’ life! (ok maybe not the gym body haha). And I saw myself through an outsiders eyes. The working mum with everything so well put together it looks to all the world as if my life is the pinnacle of perfectionism. I work running my own successful business, I have 4 brilliant kids, a lovely home, a funny, caring, supportive, amazing husband. Hell I even have a damn good relationship with the ex husband. (That’s all true by the way)
But what you don’t see is that I also have a washing pile the size of Ben Nevis, bad skin, and it usually sounds like world war 3 has started after 10 minutes of the kids playing minecraft. But we gloss over those bits on Facebook don’t we? How many selfies do you take before you are happy enough with one to upload it?

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Only 27 shots at various angles before I got one I felt I didn’t look too bad in 😂😂😂
I guess there are two things I’m trying to say ladies,
1. People put the best of their lives in the public domain so you can guarantee for every brilliant photo, every exciting status, every achievement posted on line, there have been a load of boring, tedious days in that person’s life, days where everything has gone wrong, they’ve woken up with doubts and felt like crap, and their life has been anything but perfect, just to balance it out.
2. Someone somewhere is thinking how amazing your life sounds right now, and maybe, just maybe, we need to be grateful for what we have, chaos and all

The Start of a New Series – Coming Soon!

Over the next few months, I’m going to be publishing a series of blog posts aimed at people considering starting their own business.

I have now been in self employed (and making a profit) since 2012 but in those early days,  I was an absolute beginner and I had the steepest learning curve possible navigating the minefield of setting up and running super-cool-gifts. Even now I am by far not an expert, and I am constantly learning new and better ways of doing everything, but there may just be a few snippets of tips I can tell you that will help you on your way to successful entreprenuership.

So keep checking back to see the first of the series which will be up shortly!2

Wednesday Outfit Picks!

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Summer is on its way! and if you are aiming for beach inspired chic, then this collection at less than £16.50 (delivered in the UK) FOR THE WHOLE OUTFIT is a cheap way of looking the part and still having cash left over for an ice cream.

Bandeau 100% cotton dress in pink or black, sizes 8-22  £7.99   click to buy here

Stripey Bikini Bottoms  £2.49  click to buy here

Flower Sandals in black, beige, silver, white or brown  £5.99  click to buy here