Monday, 30 January 2012

So you want to be Self-Employed?! Hints & Tips part #1

With only 1 day left to fill in your tax return if you're self employed like I am, I thought I'd share with you some of the joys and the ways of self-employment.
 Starting up your own business can be a scary thing, but it's certainly not impossible. In the words of Duncan Bannatyne, "There is a myth that starting a business costs a lot of money".* Starting a new business, in my experience, is more about acquiring new skills, learning where there's a market niche and personal development than it is about making a million (at least in the first few years!!!) It's about hard work, staying one step ahead and learning from your mistakes.
I was fortunate when I founded Redressing that there was a Government backed Agency in place specifically to help women start their own business. Due to funding cuts, this support has now gone yet the skills I have learnt thus far have not only helped my business to grow, but have proven useful to others wanting to start their own businesses.
 I have been  approached over the last year by several ladies who have wanted to make a business out of their various skills or hobbies. I am not an expert but I do possess some knowledge about what is required to set up in business. First and foremost, for me, successful business is about valuing your client.  It's no good having a great concept, great merchandise or great insight if you don't value the person receiving it!
Sometimes big businesses have forgotten the need to bond with 'the little people', and build out of relationship. This isn't as easy in every business as it is in mine, but as a value and a principle it has been key to the success of Redressing.
My dad was also self-employed and as a child I watched his business ebb and flow in the economic tides yet he always placed a value on the client and was ever aware of the bigger picture and built these relationships so they were incredibly strong. If you don't stand on anyone on the way up the ladder of success, they won't stand on you on the way down!
So that's tip #1: value people- they will make or break your business. Probably a good principle for all areas of life..... Oh, and happy tax return day for tomorrow!!!!

*Duncan Bannatyne 'Wake up and change your life' 2008, Bannatyne Media Ltd.

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