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Small business chat – Amanda Brown

Small business chat – Amanda Brown

Today I’m excited to feature the lovely Amanda Brown with her marvellous, crafty invention, Treasure Toyz Ltd, that helps keep your kids safe when you’re out and about. Amanda is in my neck of the woods soon, attending the top Home and Gift Retail Trade Show, Autumn Fair 2017 3-6 September at the National Exhibition Centre. Amanda’s a classic example of someone being made redundant and starting their own business, although in her case what she does now hasn’t been informed by what she has done before, but by her own family traditions. Let’s find out how she started, how it’s been going and how she ended up exhibiting at this big show … 

Hello, Amanda, and welcome to the interview series. What’s your business called? When did you set it up?

The company is Treasure Toyz Ltd, and it was established in September 2015.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I was made redundant from my Oil & Gas recruitment position when the oil price plummeted. I hadn’t been enjoying my job for some time but didn’t move due to it being work I was used to, and also a salary I was used to, but when I got made redundant, I saw it as an opportunity to try something myself.

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

When I was young, I was never allowed out the house without all of my Mum’s contact details pinned on to me in one way or the other … and when my friends started having kids, I witnessed them scribbling their number down their arm with pen and drilling them with meeting places and remembering phone numbers. I am very crafty, so bought some beads and started making up bracelets for friends’ children. After finding a lost boy and not knowing what to do, I knew this was a daily problem around the world, and it just went from there.

Had you run your own business before?

Yes, I had a bar in Spain for a while – so a little bit of a different industry!

I’ll say! How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?

I jumped in the deep end after being made redundant. The business was originally called “Phone My Mum” and I handmade all of the bracelets and accessories. Orders started coming from New Zealand, Italy, the States – everywhere via my Etsy and Amazon shops. But as it got busier, I realised the company couldn’t scale up if they were all to be handmade. I used to do a lot of stalls and parents kept telling me they would love to be able to make the accessories with the kids. So, I started to create a box where children could make their own – and bang, Treasure was born!

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

Everything takes at least twice as long and costs twice as much than you originally think.

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

Stop constantly looking for advice and opinions, trust your instincts and remember that nobody knows your business more than you!

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Taken bigger risks earlier.

What are you glad you did?

Adapted the business as I went along. Although I was busy, I would not have achieved my goals I have for myself and the business.

What’s your top business tip?

Say yes to every opportunity and work out how the heck you are going to do it later!

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

I have certainly grown in the waistline, anyway, having a beautiful baby boy a year into opening the business!

No, but seriously, I have grown as a person. I went from having a very comfortable lifestyle to living back in a little town, travelling by bus at first and not getting my nails done every two weeks. When you first start up and put everything into your business, the little luxuries go and you quickly realise you can easily live without the things you thought you could never live without! Starting a business has certainly humbled me and changed me for the better.

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

I see myself still in Ayrshire with a factory to assemble all my boxes. My boxes being sold across the UK and just emerging into Europe. The next loom bands – here we go!

Fantastic stuff – and you can see that exhibiting at Autumn Fair is part of this big push to expansion. It’s all very exciting, and I love Amanda’s bravery, willingness to take risks but acceptance of the personal changes the business has brought, too. Best of luck to her, and do pop along to see her at Autumn Fair if you are in the area – tell her Liz sent you!

Amanda’s Treasure Toyz website is at www.treasuretoyz.com and she also has a Facebook page. You can email her, too.

Details for the Autumn Fair, which runs from 3-6 September, with 30,000 retailers from across Europe, can be found here (Amanda’s in Hall 5, 5A76)

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Sarah Banks

Small business chat update – Sarah Banks

It’s Small Business Chat update time with Sarah Banks from Banks’ Business Solutions. Sarah joined this interview series in April 2015 when I was impressed by her dedication to helping people, particularly women, with email newsletters and websites, and ethically, too (not always the standard, unfortunately). We caught up with Sarah in July 2016 and when I asked her where she wanted to be by now, she said, “Offering the same services but with a team of at least 2 other part-time VAs supporting me so that I can take on more clients and have a more strategic view of the business going forward.” So how’s she doing now?

Hello again, Sarah. Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Yes, the business is growing rapidly and I’ve recently been announced as a finalist for the Biz Mums Exceptional Service Award, which I am really pleased about.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I now have two associates working for me as well as working closely with a copy writer and social media marketing expert. This has enabled me to have more time to focus on growing the business and networking as well as being able to do more 1-1 WordPress support which is something I love doing.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I wish I’d had more trust to go out and look for associates, my business is all about outsourcing but I found it really hard to do that for myself. By building a team around me, I now feel less stressed and have more time to focus on growing and developing my business further.

Any more hints and tips for people? 

Network more, even if it is online by sharing videos on social media. One of my clients came to me via word of mouth and by having seen my online presence which just goes to show that social media can have a huge effect on your brand awareness. It really is true that people buy from people.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

This time next year my family and I are going to be going travelling for 3 months so I see the business in a position that will allow me time to travel whilst dipping in and out when I can. I plan to increase my client base to be able to offer more hours to my associates and to have more distinct services so that people can really see the ways in which working with me can benefit them.

Wow – that’s an exciting plan, and one which I’m sure will work out really well – Sarah looks to have everything under control! It is hard to find people to trust: I only recommend clients to people I know or have worked with myself after making one recommendation led to a deadline being missed, so I appreciate how difficult that aspect is.

You can find Sarah at Banks’ Business Solutions on the web at www.banksbusinesssolutions.co.uk or you can phone her on 07736 938 480, email her or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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How do customers get in touch?

How do customers get in touch?

How do your customers get in touch with you? What should you do to help them get in contact? Where should you be visible and how are people likely to message you? You might be surprised …

Be where your customers are

There’s a good general rule that you should be where your customers are. That means physically as well as virtually.

  • If people buy your type of thing at craft fairs and in shops, go to craft fairs and establish a presence in a few shops (many crafty shops will rent shelf space and/or take a commission. Take advice from other crafters on tips for choosing fairs – I have no idea about this myself)
  • If your clients hang out in Pinterest or Instagram, make sure you have an account there, you use it on-brand and wisely, and you put your contact details on your profile
  • Most people will do a web search when they’re looking for what you sell or provide – make sure you have a website, even if it’s just a landing page with contact, product and service details.
  • I strongly suggest you add a contact form to your website. Most blogging platforms and website services like WordPress will have contact form templates for you to use.
  • Many people will look on Facebook so make sure you have a Facebook page even if you don’t interact with it very much.
  • If you have a Twitter profile, again, get those contact details on it.
  • If you can’t help someone, try to pass them to someone who can.

How do customers contact me?

I’ve been observing how people have contacted me about genuine paid work opportunities over the past few months. Here are the ways they’ve done it:

  • Contact form on my website – this is the main way in which people contact me. It comes straight through to my email, with the person’s email, so I can reply straight back to them
  • Email – my email address is on my website, so I assume people pick it up from there, if they’re not a recommendation who has been given my email address by someone else
  • Twitter – a public @ message – so make sure your Twitter account is open and allows messages
  • Facebook – a question on my business page – make sure you enable alerts so you can see when these come through to you!
  • Facebook – a Facebook Messenger request – these can get lost in “Other” messages – check that folder regularly
  • Twitter – a direct message. This can only be sent by someone you mutually follow on Twitter but they still happen – watch out for alerts
  • Phone – I have a dedicated mobile phone with its number on my website. I receive very few phone calls and because I leave my phone on voicemail most of the time (because I do a lot of work where I really have to concentrate), people who leave messages tend to email me as well anyway.

Other ways people might contact you:

  • At networking events
  • Through any messaging facilities on other social media sites
  • By text message

The golden rules of social media contact

I’ve covered this in depth in an article about reciprocity but in general:

  • Always respond to people who contact you – it’s only polite
  • Take the conversation out of the public eye if it’s about prices and services
  • Always be super-polite, even if it seems like someone is trying to get at you
  • Do set expectations – if you’re not going to work weekends / late nights, maybe don’t reply to messages so quickly at the weekend or late at night, to set an expectation of office hours only (be prepared to make exceptions for a real jewel of a prospect, however!)

Summary: make yourself as available as you can; you never know where that lead will come from

Create yourself a website with a contact form as well as a list of contact details

Establish a presence on the very popular social media sites

Establish a presence on any social media sites that are relevant to your area of work

Always answer queries, taking them privately as soon as you can

Set expectations

If you can’t do a job for someone, try to recommend someone who can


In this article I’ve reminded you to keep as many avenues open as possible for people to contact you, and to follow that up by being responsive.

Other relevant articles on this blog

Reciprocity and social media

Coopetition versus competition

 

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2017 in Business, Social media

 

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Small business chat – Laura Hecht

Small business chat – Laura Hecht

Much excitement in Libro Towers – there’s been an influx of NEW interviewees recently, and here’s the first. I do get spaces in the schedule sometimes, as people drop out for lovely reasons like being too busy to sit down and answer the questions (although really you should never be too busy to keep up the marketing, it does happen), inexplicable ones to me like going back into employment, or sad ones like closing the business. So let’s welcome Laura Hecht and her partner Eyal, who run stationery and decorative craft supplies company Lau&Home. Crafters and stationery buffs will want to look at this very pretty website immediately, but do read the interview, too!

Welcome, Laura! Let’s start off with the basics. What’s your business called? When did you set it up?

The company is called Lau&Home and the business was set up in 2013.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I got tired of working long hours and spending 50% of my life in an office, knowing that my financial future would hit the “glass ceiling” if I continued being an employee. I wanted to create, invent, lead, be part of the foundation of something. I wanted to be a good, considerate boss to my future employees (better than the ones I had). I decided to take a risk and dedicate 100% of my time to make this business grow. Despite all the comments and criticism from relatives and friends after leaving my “well paid real job”, my husband and I were very determined to make this work.

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

I really like DIY decoration and love colourful stuff. I think that people can do better designs themselves, using a bit of imagination, than the items that cost hundreds of pounds in the big chains. We decided to start selling products that we liked and would have bought ourselves.

Had you run your own business before?

No. I was feeling too comfortable to leave for a new adventure. Up until the moment I made up my mind to make a change, it was too scary for me. But waking up Mondays and wishing it was Friday made me realise that it was about my life, my time.

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?

In the very beginning, my husband and I made the decision to start our own business so I quit my job and we lived on one salary only while I was building and learning all about our future company. We started slowly buying items and selling them. After a year approximately, we had a little turn over so my husband left his job too to dedicate his time exclusively to our project. Money was very tight in the beginning but our first Christmas gave us a boost that helped a lot to keep moving. We always remember the first box of tapes that we got from the supplier: we took a picture of it and got afraid and excited at the same time! Today, having 1,000 square foot of storage, that seems like a dream.

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

Take a break from people who drag you down. They are afraid that you will make their dream come true yourself, so they will try to pass on their fears to you.

Be confident with decisions but don’t push it too far too early. Being profitable and getting into the business can take time, so be patient. Big, bad decisions can take you out of the game too early.

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?
Do it and gradually. If you can, have savings so you won’t be too stressed.

In the beginning, you probably won’t have a lot of money, don’t get unmotivated too soon!

Use your time wisely and don’t get lazy!

What do you wish you’d done differently?

We made some mistakes managing the stock. We got too comfortable with the income and didn’t check carefully the market (competitors, demands, etc.), so we got stuck with a lot of non-moving stock which created a bad cash flow. We would have handled that more carefully.

What are you glad you did?

Took the decision to do it! It’s an incredible journey that hopefully will last for a long time.

What’s your top business tip?

Make a plan. Not too complicated, but it’s good to see the numbers in front of you. If it’s not good, confront it. Find the way to do it better AND don’t ignore the problems. They won’t disappear if you won’t solve them. Now you are the one in charge.

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

We’ve had a great three years and grown in a way we didn’t imagine, from a couple of boxes in the living room to our own industrial unit. But it’s not always like this: expect some periods of steady or small growth. Don’t panic, use this time to improve what you already have. You will be surprised how much you can do better with what you have.

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

Hopefully we will keep growing. We will have a bigger place, more employees and stock. We will create new lines of products. We hope to be able to inspire as many people as possible.

Wow – what a lovely, confident and growing business – but looking back to the beginning, they did it all very carefully, living within their means on one salary and only going into it full-time for both of them when the turnover started to rise. I love all the nuggets of advice, too. A fabulous journey and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

You can find the lovely Lau&Home website at www.lauhome.com and they are also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. That’s a lot of lovely washi tape and polkadots and bunting and so much more!

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Suzi Brown

Small business chat update – Suzi Brown

Hello! It’s time for another Small Business Update. Do you enjoy reading these? Please do comment or like the article if you do! Today, we’re catching up with Suzi Brown from The Smart Bear Digital Consultancy, who I first chatted to in June 2014  and again in July 2015 and July 2016. When I asked her then, with her business growing fast, having moved into an office and with lots of ideas floating around, she said, “Judging by how we have grown in this year, I expect my turnover will be at least 50% more – perhaps we’ll need bigger offices!” Read on to see how she’s done in the past year …

Hello again, Suzi. So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Yes, business has doubled since this time last year and it’s going from strength to strength in both terms of website builds, WordPress development and search engine optimisation.

Wow! What has changed and what has stayed the same?

We’ve introduced new services and streamlined our products, introducing a new customer service system to make everything go smoothly from start to finish. We also took this step with our systems because a new member of staff is starting with us in September and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for her to hit the ground running.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I’ve learned to constantly evolve the company to make it more efficient, which has been essential with the amount of work coming in. We’ve also learned that it’s OK to advertise. Up until now we’ve never advertised as we’ve always had a steady stream of work and didn’t think we’d cope with any huge influx. But, now we can handle a lot more and so we’ve placed an advert in a local business magazine to off our advertising journey.

Any more hints and tips for people?

We’ve enjoyed moving our systems to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system which has a lot of useful built-in tools – tools we were using several different systems for before. Although we have to pay for the CRM, it’s been really worthwhile and makes us more efficient and professional, and saves time in the long run.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

Next year, we’ll have our new member of staff installed and I think the business will have evolved again, organically, in tune with her talents and strengths.

What a fabulous and exciting time for Smart Bear and Suzi! It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on developing your business and streamlining systems, but especially in those early years. But it’s exciting, too, and I wish them all the best of luck with that first hire (new offices last year, first member of staff this year: it’s all looking good!)

You can find Suzi and Smart Bear Digital Consultancy here:

Suzi Brown
07927533075
www.thesmartbear.co.uk
Email Suzi
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Debbie Copas

Small business chat update – Debbie Copas

Good morning, if you’re reading this “live” and welcome to another Small Business Update with an interviewee we’ve been talking to for a good few years now, Debbie Copas from Norfolk Coastal Holidays. We originally met Debbie in March 2013, and checked in with her in March 2014, May 2015 and June 2016 (about those dates; it’s not usually my interviewees being late with their replies but a scheduling thing on my part, as I tend to do the updates in the order in which they came in. It suddenly struck me that readers might think my interviewees weren’t organised: not the case!). When I asked Debbie last time where she wanted to be in a year’s time, she replied “I am just embarking on a 100 day challenge; my goal is to get my accounts up to date and then put in place a system to ensure I complete all necessary tasks on a monthly basis. I’m fed up with the annual rush in January to get things up to date! If I achieve that, I plan on rewarding myself with an online course to learn more about creating a travel guide. I hope I will be making more regular visits to Norfolk (assuming my youngest gets to University) and being more proactive in looking for properties to add to my portfolio. Maybe I will have achieved last year’s goals too, with a logo and so on, but I won’t beat myself up if I haven’t. Life’s too short!” Let’s see how she’s got on with those plans …

Hello again, Debbie, just when you’re busy but sometimes have last-minute availability on your properties, and thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

This time round, I think I can say I’m much further forward than I thought I’d be but in a completely different direction!

Exciting! What has changed and what has stayed the same?

Where do I start? So many changes that it’s no longer possible to predict where things will be, it really is a case of rolling with the punches. The business is just starting to expand in a way I’d previously hoped for, but that hadn’t quite fallen into place. I have just taken on two new properties to manage the bookings in the last two months, Church Cottage and The Barnhouse. They are both inland rather than right by the coast, but it’s still only a short drive to the many wonderful beaches along the Norfolk coastline. I find that my guests always go about and about exploring so they both combine the best of the Norfolk countryside and the coast. One is a beautiful Grade II listed thatched cottage and the other a 220 year old converted single storey barn. Such beautiful buildings that encompass the wide variety of properties on offer when you choose to stay in Norfolk.

Even more exciting and not publicised at all yet, is that we have just bought another holiday property ourselves. It is in need of a full renovation as it has damp and so the plaster needs stripping off before we start to build it back up. I’m sad that it’s too far away to do the renovation ourselves but am hopeful that the builder, when he eventually starts, will do a great job. More than that I won’t say at this stage. All to be revealed in due course!

Changes at home have been monumental and that also has a huge impact on my business. My husband left the company he was working for in October. He has now started his own company, something he never thought he’d do, in consultancy work. It’s allowed him some time out as he thinks about how he wants the final years of his career to pan out, which may possibly not be another full time job. So he’s at home a lot sharing my workplace and that’s a BIG change to adjust to!

My youngest is just back from university after a year with plenty of ups and downs. My daughter is back from her global travels earlier than planned and the eldest is still thinking about buying his first home. Brexit, elections and more have not helped him with that decision! So I’m definitely not an empty nester and that also impacts on my work life. Your children are never too old to need your time and love, but that’s what being a mum is all about. A lifetime job and let no-one tell you otherwise!

What’s the same? I still don’t have a logo, although I experimented with one and have the concept in place. That’s a procrastinator for you! I didn’t get to do that online course I was thinking about either. The one constant is that we still live in the same house and hopefully will do until it’s time to downsize. It’s nice to be in our forever home to provide the stability a family needs in this constantly changing world.

Wow – busy times! What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I’ve learned not to panic when life throws curveballs, but I think I already knew that! I’m calm by nature when dealing with a crisis and there have been lots of those this last year. Another loss, when a friends husband died after a battle with bowel cancer, so life really is too short.

I got up to date with my accounts as planned, but am steadily falling behind again. I have researched accounting software but have found it a very difficult process. I bought a package on the advice of a salesperson but it was completely wrong for my business and didn’t do most of the things that I needed it to. I took out a trial on another but didn’t have enough time to devote to it so barely scratched the surface before the trial ran out. My email to the salesperson who was so keen to sign me up has gone unanswered. I’m not impressed with the customer service which falls so low below what I’m proud to offer in my business. I’m really surprised how difficult it is to find the right answer. I’m now at the stage where I think I may need to pay someone to find me the right package and give me some advice on how to set it up.

I’m glad I didn’t know that something I was involved with on Facebook would implode in a way I didn’t dream possible. It was a very unpleasant period in my life when you realise how much your work in cyberspace can impact on you as an individual. The upside was that I had more support than I could have hoped for from my cyberfriends. The positive from hanging out in cyberspace was that I enjoyed a short break in Wales in the company of some of the wonderful owners I have met online in the last couple of years, where we exchanged news and generally enjoyed being in each other’s company; people who all understand the business of holiday rental and who don’t think you rude when you have your head down in your phone or computer because you’re busy answering enquiries!

Any more hints and tips for people?

Not to try to do everything yourself as your business expands? I’m not good at keeping up with paperwork and general admin. I employed my daughter between her return from travels and starting a new job and she was such a help. Between us we were able to move forward on a really big project that I had put off for ages, updating my welcome folder or rather creating a new one from scratch. Now it’s in place, I’ve thought of more things to add and will make further changes to the layout. I have always known I’m a procrastinator so anything that helps me focus is a good thing. This year I’ve read The 15 Minute Rule: How to stop procrastinating and take charge of your life. I think I need to reread it regularly to keep me on the right path!

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

This next year will be all about the new property, getting it ready for guests, sourcing furniture etc plus getting the marketing and welcome folder ready. Hopefully the new properties will find their niche as they are both bigger properties than I currently offer, so I need to build up a customer base of larger families and group bookings for those. They’re both great for a cross generational family holiday for example, where mum and dad and the kids take along granny and grandpa! Maybe more owners will approach me to manage theirs, who knows, but it’s exciting not knowing quite where the future will lead!

Goodness me, what a busy year! It’s interesting that I have a lot of interviewees who have small children, but obviously that worry doesn’t stop as they grow up! I have seen quite a few Facebook issues with small businesses (see my last interview with Stevie Maiden in a different field altogether) but indeed, there are those support systems, too. And as for admin, I think we all suffer there, don’t we. I’m up to date with everything for the business, of course, but do need to sit down and update the indexes on this blog … Anyway, good luck to Debbie as she enters maybe a quieter year and well done for slowly expanding and keeping hold of all the reins!

Instagram: www.instagram.com/norfolkcoastalholidays/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorfolkCoastalHolidays

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NorfolkCoastal

Website: www.norfolkcoastalholidays.co.uk

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Stevie Maiden

Small business chat update – Stevie Maiden

It’s update time with Stevie Maiden from Maidens Fayre. When we first met Stevie in June 2013, she ran a small business Facebook group and was building up her jams, chutneys and pickles business. Updates in July 2014 , 2015 and 2016 she shared the ups and downs of life at fairs and shows while she tried to achieve that delicate work-life balance. In 2016, this was her plan for this year: “I hope to be selling into more retail outlets and doing less standing in fields in the rain,” but unfortunately life had something different in store.

Hello, Stevie! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Sadly not. I had a nasty fall after I completed last years answers. It’s meant I’ve had to cut back considerably.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I’m still working, but I’ve lost heart in it. I’m considering putting the business up for sale. My deteriorating health has meant that I can’t work as hard as I did. It’s still my only source of income, so I have to stick at it

What have you learned and what do you wish you’d known a year ago?

Well, I’ve learned that if you advertise your ideas on Facebook, your competitors WILL copy them.

What hints and tips do you have for people?

I’d say have a back-up plan. I loved this business so much and I never thought I would stop. Be prepared that it might happen to you.

Where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

I really hope I get my enthusiasm back and if not, I really hope to sell the business as a going concern

I’m so sorry that Stevie’s had a hard time this year and has lost enthusiasm as a result. I am grateful for her honesty in sharing this with us – it’s good to remember times can be hard and scary as well as easy and fun, and it is indeed important to have a back-up plan. I hope there’s no selling of the business and lots of selling of jam and chutney involved this year!

You can find Stevie online on the Maidens Fayre Facebook page and get in touch with her there.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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