Tag Archives: start a business

The day to day reality of business start-up

5 May

Starting self-employment as a sole trader, whether it’s as a window cleaner or dog groomer is a long process but completely worth it! It can be hard to know what to expect in the early days so we have spoken to Ritchie, a self-employed car valeter to give us some tips.  


Raising funds:
Your new venture may require specific equipment or start-up essentials and you need to find a way to raise the funds. You might start off by selling unwanted personal goods (I’d recommend your games console as you’ll have less time to play it if you’re committed!) or by asking family and friends for support. There are always start-up loans and banks but I was pleasantly surprised by the help I received from those around me.

Gaining new custosprayingmers: No matter what kind of day you’re having or what mood you’re in you must remain polite and presentable with customers. Those first impressions are critical to spreading news of your business and building your customer base.  Never let a customer down by arriving late and remember there are always competitor’s ready to fill your place if you don’t give good service!

Constant commitment: When I’ve finished valeting a car I can’t just make my way down to the pub. I’ve got to think about completing my paper work, meeting new customers, replacing stock and cleaning my equipment. Then there are other duties that might not have been thought of such as visiting the bank, training, buying new equipment and keeping up with industry trends. Just stay on top of your tasks and you will see great reward.

Getting support: It’s ok to not know some aspects of business start-up and there is plenty of support available out there. There are sites such as the HMRC site or organisations like Opportunity Plus (www.opsw.co.uk) that can offer advice or guidance.

It may seem like a lot of work but I LOVE working for myself. I get to meet people from all walks of life, earn my own money and see my business grow. I’m constantly learning new skills and surprising myself without dreading Monday morning!

You get what you put in, persevere through the start-up phase and you will succeed!

Check out Ritchie’s website at http://www.carcareplus.co.uk/

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4 Simple Steps to Beat the September Slump

3 Sep

This is a guest post written by Soozi Hadj Lazib.  Soozi runs her own business and blog, Maternity Leavers [www.maternityleavers.com] which is all about supporting women on maternity leave with their career choices.  She is also the resident career coach on Mum and Working [www.mumandworking.co.uk] and a featured expert on Greatvine [www.greatvine.com].

Have you ever had that problem where the more time you have, the less you get done?

September heralds new beginnings (I know, traditionally it’s meant to be Spring, but with school terms and summer holidays, September is when everyone feels like starting or re-energising things) so if you’ve got kids of school age or are dealing with people who do, you’ve probably treated summer as a bit of down time and have been waiting it out until you’ve got more time.

Only, then September comes, and despite having more time than you did before, your productivity hits rock bottom. You find yourself overwhelmed and completely unable to get anything done.

The good news is that it happens to everyone and there are a few simple steps to get back on track. So if you’re feeling a bit unfocused, here are some tips to get focused again:

1. Know what your aim is

What are you ultimately trying to achieve? If you’re not clear on this, it’s impossible to work out what the important things are that you need to do in order to achieve it.

2. Make lists – lots of them!

If you have one big To Do list that gets added to quicker than items are crossed off, what you end up with is a huge list – most of which you ignore. Admit it – do you find yourself skim reading and plucking off the things you want to do, rather than the things you should do? You keep yourself busy, but on the wrong things.

Make smaller – more focused – lists instead.

Try making a new list every day, so you have to decide what to carry across from the previous day. Writing the same task down day after day will either make you do it, or realise it doesn’t need to be done.

Or rank your list by importance – and then follow it through by only doing the things you’ve ranked with the highest importance.

3. Establish a routine

If you’re working for yourself it can be tempting to just work whenever you feel like it. You may be putting in lots of hours, but spending unfocused time can be as bad as not spending any time on it. For instance, while you’re sat in front of your computer are you really doing what you think you’re doing? Or do you have lots of things open that you’re constantly flicking between?

Instead, decide which hours you’re going to work each day, and what tasks you’re going to do during those hours. If it helps, you could even book ‘appointments’ into your diary for each of the tasks. That way you don’t waste your time wondering what to do next, and you can assign your time realistically.

4. Plan your day at night

The night before, obviously. The last task you should do each day is to make your list for tomorrow. That way, you can start each day without faffing over what you’re going to do.

So instead of letting a September slump happen to you, be ready for the extra time – and when it hits you, use it wisely. Be clear on what you should be doing, and then be disciplined enough to do it.

Told you it was simple!