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How to start your own business, and why being self employed is awesome!

September 22, 2014

Firstly, I don't claim to be an expert by any means here, but after 10 years working in retail, and 3 years running PinPinfinds I reckon I might be able to help you out a little if you're thinking about taking the plunge and going self employed. Even if you're struggling with your business then read on, I might just have a few trick and tips to help you get back on track, especially in this uncertain time.



The Story


So back in 2011 I was one of those graduates who was panicking about the world and getting a "sensible" job. I'd come back from London with my tail between my legs as I was terrorfied of the big city, I'd just finished an internship with Tatty Devine in their Jewellery Production department and was fascinated with how they came up with their designs. But now I was mopey and unemployed! 


Taking the £300 I had saved for rent, I decided that now was as good a time as any to start up a business. I decided I would much rather run the risk and be self employed than unemployed and decided to take the leap! I started up my first website using Storenvy instead of Etsy. Everything was listed in dollars $ but this really helped me to crack the American market, where they had a lot more disposable income compared to the UK. At the time, I was one of their very first UK users and I think the Americans really loved my design style. Shortly after, I was offered a contract with Not On The High Street which I snapped up immediately!



I now stock to an adorable boutique in Norwich called "Norwich Gift Emporium"- the shop stocks solely handmade local products so is perfect for finding a unique gift. Sometimes I host jewellery parties in there (check back on this blog or sign up on our mailing list for invites!). I also stock to the Norwich Museums, creating bespoke collections to link with their upcoming exhibitions. It's been a tough haul but so worth it!




Top Tips 


1) Starting a business is never easy, you need to have a service or a product that really stands out and that you are 100% passionate and committed to. 


2) If you haven't had any experience in retail then get some training and help from someone who has. Even if you're starting up an online business you need to know how to interact with customers and write about products as if you want to sell them!


3) Social media is just amazing, make sure you know what times and days are prime time for each social media outlet you have. That includes blogs too! Put everything into a calendar and use social media managers to help time your posts.


4) Keep a blog, people love to see your process and love to know who you are as a designer! It also helps Google find you in search engines.


5) Make the numbers fit. I did a short course in accounting shortly after starting up. Not only do I save money as I don't have to pay an accountant to do my tax return, but I also know *exactly* what is going in and out of my business, and where I can improve.


6) Ask customers for testimonials! Don't be afraid to ask in a follow up email a week or so after the order has been dispatched. It's a great way to know how to improve your service, and gives you an opportunity to build repoire. Give customers a discount code as a thanks for answering your questions and you'll soon have repeat customers.




I'll be doing seperate posts about all the 6 points above, so do pop back and get some more tips and tricks. And if you're thinking about starting up a business then feel free to contact me. I'm more than happy to help and bounce ideas about. Just use the "contact" page of the site and fill out the form!




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