3 things I wish I knew when starting my business

Okay, its probably more than 3, but this is going to be about the top 3!

I started my business in the up-cycling/ painted furniture industry back in 2008.

It had been a hobby, only ever keeping the items or selling them to family or friends. However it was always something I used to de-stress me from my "Normal" job as an accountant.

I used the idea of painting to help settle my mind and to take away the thoughts of having to go back on Monday morning to a job I really did not like, to people who I really did not get along with and for a boss who practically used his employees.

Then a few months later all my dreams were answered and the company decided to make some of the positions redundant, I jumped at the chance to leave and as they say the rest is history.

13 years later I'm still here with my business and now moving into a huge new venture- Restore magazine.

The journey with my business won't be the same as others, we are all different and have different ideas which is great.

The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.

Sometimes no matter how hard you try a business will fail, so I'd like to pass on some advice.

After 13 years of being in business I have learnt a fair few things, good and bad!

It wasn't always smooth sailing, there were definitely times I wanted to give up and go back to a 9-5 employed position.

Strength and not wanting to give up kept me going and knowing one day I would get that freedom I craved.

Whether you are just starting out, a seasoned business owner or just looking at starting a business it is very much worth it all, as long as you are willing to think outside the box and work hard- harder than in paid employment.

Lets start with the big one, People hear you are "self employed" and they automatically think you are off on holiday or lounging around the house all day... NO! Far from it.

It really is hard work, you go from having one job you probably knew inside out and could do in your sleep, to spending most of the day saying "am I doing this right" or being chief tea maker for yourself.

You take on everything!

Accountant, social media manager, proof reader, resources manager and so much more just alongside the "Job" in the business you created.

The list is never ending.

It wasn't until a few years ago I really understood the phrase "sell time not produce" Business is about selling yourself- your time! However you need to use it wisely, think about sidelines that can help.

We sell online courses as well as paint, transfers and up-cycling accessories.

These really help with the passive income side of the business.

No matter what people will think or say being self employed or starting a business is one of the most stressful but rewarding things in life you can do.

Wish you were here? think outside the box.

The second thing I wish I would have known, is not to act like one of the big businesses.

They have a different agenda to your small business.

They know the stock will sell, they have investors and financial markets to think about.

You need to turn a profit to put food on the table or buy those football boots etc.

Your advertising should not be what the big businesses are doing either, You need to market you and your business to the potential buyer for your items.

I used to sit there and think "oh so and so's business has done this advert campaign, so I should so something similar" big huge no no!

Once I realised there was no point in copying the big guys it all started to fall into place.

I went from no sales to needing a bigger place outside the home to work from. (something that shouldn't be taken lightly either)

It might seem like a daunting task to work out advertising ideas, but they really can come from anything.

TIP- Keep a pen and paper by the bed, I found I would wake in the middle of the night with a good idea and by morning I had forgotten it! Write it down.

The third is so simple, but so many people just do not get it!

Don't run before you can walk.

For example, don't get signing up for a shop 3 months into your first new venture, if you don't have the finance and know how behind you.

It can be so inviting to say the phrase " go big or go home" but really take it slow, don't go buying or signing up for unnecessary things that really are not needed in the first year of business.

It can be tempting to allow yourself to get ahead of it all, but don't run before you can walk .

Ask yourself can I do without it? there is a good chance the answer is yes then don't go ahead.

It really is a simple one, but I used to think I had to have a shop to be taken as a big enough business to take on all this work, turns out the shops were not needed.

Just me and my time!

In this economy a small new business can take up to 5+ years to gain ground and become established.

TIP-Family time is important, You family and friends are there before the business.

(Hopefully they support it)

A cheeky little fourth number:

Just because your items aren't selling this does not mean they are "rubbish" or not worthy enough to be out on the open market.

It just means you haven't found the right buyer, Change your advertisement strategy!

Try listing on a new selling site, I'm sure once you do small changes you will start to see a difference.

Starting a business is hard, time consuming yes, but extremely rewarding.

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