If you don't know where you are going you will probably end up somewhere else
Laurence J Peter, 1919-90
BizBiteSize - if you're a solo business you'll know how important having a supportive network is; yesterday I was thrilled to hear that someone I met through networking had won 2 new contracts, securing her future.
Having someone to share your successes with is just one of the benefits of active networking. To be fair though, mention the 'N' word and most people groan - but it doesn't have to be like that.
I believe networking can benefit both companies and individuals, it can provide support, boost confidence, be a great place to benchmark you product or service and an opportunity to meet new and diverse people.
Go on, give it a go - with an open mind!
BizBiteSize - Time Management is all about doing what is Urgent AND Important. Easy Peasy! The hard part is deciding what is, and what is not, urgent and important, and then convincing everyone else that you are right!
BizBiteSize - When you're running your own business, it can be tempting to work long hours every day. Yes, working for yourself is hardwork, it does take committment and sacrificies, but you also need some time off. So, if you, like me, are just getting back into work after the holidays, look forward, and book yourself a treat - your business will survive if you take a weekend off with your family.
Is chasing 'followers' & 'likes' worth it?
Recently I've seen a number of articles suggesting that the hunt for loads of "followers" on Twitter or "fans" on Facebook might not be worth all the effort.
I was surprised when I read this too - I had swallowed the line that social marketing was the way forward - great value for money, getting to the heart of the "new world". But as I read more, I came to accept that QUALIFIED 'followers' and 'likes' are worth the effort.
To some, Utopia may be having a job that fits around your family. And to be honest, it does sound like the best of all worlds: a stimulating and rewarding career AND being there to pick the kids up from school. As jobs become more difficult to find, the idea of working for yourself can appear to be the ideal solution.
Before you start your business, please think about:
* Do you have something great to sell?
- something that no one else is already selling?
- something you can sell - and make a profit from - for less than the others?
- does your idea solve a problem?
* Do you have the money to put your ideas into practice?
- do you know how much you will need?
* Do you have the time to make your business work?
- how many hours a week do you have to commit?
- will your customers be awake when you are?
- will working 'school' hours get you to where you want to be?
Please spend some time thinking about these questions before spending your money.
Depending on what you want from starting a business, you can be successful and look after your family. It may just take some organising!
I feel lucky to be able to combine looking after my young family and run this business and career coaching consultancy. It is possible to pick the children up from school, supervise homework, prepare good food, play, read the bedtime stories.....you just then have to get back to your other job!
It's not easy, but what in life is? It is very rewarding to see happy and healthy small people go off to do their activities with confidence. And it is also great to do something for you.
Do your research, accept what it is telling you, have confidence in yourself, and GO DO IT!
Let me know how if you run your own business and look after your family; how do you organise your time? Or get touch if you are thinking about taking the plunge. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Starting a new business can be really exciting, and so it should be! But if you are tempted to just to jump in, give it a go, and have a "what the heck?" attitude, you may be throwing away good money. With a little planning and research (not the naval gazing variety where you write lists of lists – that comes later) you may be able to avoid some common mistakes. Ask youself a few questions:
What am I selling? Goods or services? Can I describe it clearly?
Think about what makes it special. How different is it from what’s already on the market? What ‘problem’ does it fix? Why will people buy it?
Who will my customers be? What are they worried about? What makes them want to buy what I'm selling? Will enough of them buy it?
If you've guessed the answered these simple questions, or you are not totally sure of a few, please spend a little more time researching the market you want to get into. Knowing your market is one of the keys to running a successful and profitable business.
If you are thinking about working for yourself, make sure everyone in your 'team' (family, friends, supporters) understands & accepts that your life, and theirs, may change. If they feel part of that change & along for the ride, it might be easier to take. Cheerleaders are better than draft-dodgers!