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Five things I’ve learned in business
Seven months after leaving the Liverpool Echo, I started my own business in July 2015. I am a web designer and writer and I work for schools, charities, churches and businesses; what I write and what I design is largely up to them.
I’m no business expert but I have learned several things since being in business and I thought it would be helpful to others starting their own businesses. I’ve limited it to five because nobody wants War and Peace from a blog entry and because I don’t want to overwhelm anyone.
1.Believe in yourself
This is a cliché but it’s also true. When you start doing whatever it is that you’re doing, you will meet other business people who will tell you that you’re not right for the business world or that what you do is already being done. Do not believe them or you will prove them right. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, work hard at what you do and let your customers tell you whether your idea is a good one or not.
2. Make lists
If you’re working from home then making lists is essential. Without a boss to tell you what you should be doing next, they make getting started and moving from one thing to the next a lot simpler. It is also hugely satisfying to tick off your list at the end of each day.
3. Know when to stop
This is hugely important if you have a family. You will read stories about having to work 20-hour days to be a success in business. My view is that family life is just as important as success in work and that no matter how understanding your wife/husband/partner may be, it is vital to show them that your business is not more important.
4. Ask for help
This can range from asking other business people for advice to Googling “how do I type the pound sign on a Mac”. Often, getting the question right is the hardest part – once you’ve done that bit then you will almost certainly find that people really want to help.
5. Try to enjoy it and ditch the rose-tinted specs
You may encounter times when you think starting your own business has been a huge mistake and you want to go back to your old job and its regular income. Keep reminding yourself of the enormous advantages to working for yourself and your reasons for doing it in the first place.
Claire House is a Wirral-based children’s hospice which helps seriously and terminally ill children live life to the full by creating wonderful experiences and bringing back a sense of normality to family life, offering specialist nursing care and emotional support to families in the toughest of circumstances.
Are you running your own business? If so, why?
It’s a serious question, especially if you’re just getting started or just about to.
Whoever you are and whatever you do, chances are there is an organisation you know which would benefit from some extra publicity.
That could be a business you run, a group you are a part of – from the local Brownies troupe to the pub darts team – or a cafe or shop you like to frequent.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with Twitter and Facebook?
If you’re a business owner, then at some point you have undoubtedly been told that you need to be on Twitter and Facebook and probably LinkedIn too. You may well be heartily sick of being told it and be stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that there is any such thing as social media.
I am a professional writer and blogger.
I web design too but much of what business advisers call my “offer” or my “USP” (ie what I can do for you and your business) revolves around the fact that I have lots of experience as a writer.
Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: I build school websites, so a blog on what school websites should be like could be interpreted by some as a blog about Why Schools Should Use Me To Build Their Websites.
Graphic design tips don’t come much more basic than keep it simple. In this blog I’ll be explaining why that is my golden rule for any kind of graphic design.
Copywriting jobs don’t come much more enjoyable than going away to a zoo/theme park/holiday resort for a family weekend.
That was where I ended up recently when I was asked to do some freelance travel writing for Trinity Mirror.
One Wednesday lunchtime I was talking to an accountant friend of mine. It being the day of the Europa League Final, and him being a season-ticket holding staunch fan of Liverpool FC, he had something a bit special planned for that night’s game.