Tag Archives: start your own 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/

Hair and Beauty

9 Apr

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Our beauty courses offer a convenient blend of studying from home and class based learning, to give you the best of both worlds. Study the theory at home using digital course books and e-tutorials and then complete on-line work books to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the topics. Then attend a practical assessment day at one of our friendly centres to hone your skills.

No experience is required, and you can study for pleasure or take your first step in a career in beauty. You could also team one of these up with our Start Your Own Business course and you’ll be up and running in no time!


Upcoming courses:

Nail Art Application

Nail art provides a range of business and employment opportunities, from setting up a mobile service, to working in one of the popular nail bars springing up across our high streets.

Our next Nail Art course starts on the 21st of April with a one day practical skills session on the 8th of May.


Basic Make-up

Whether you are considering a career in the beauty industry or just want to pick up some tips for your own beauty regime, this Level 1 course will help you develop a range of techniques and help you to perfect your make-up application skills for special occasions.

Our next Basic Make-up course starts on the 28th of April with a one day practical skills session on the 15th of May.


Spray Tanning

Are you looking for a quick and easy business to set up which requires limited training and low start up costs? Well this course could be just what you need to be up and running in weeks.

Our next Spray Tanning course starts on the 2nd of June with a one day practical skills session on the 26th of June.


Themed Face Painting 

Creating bright and colourful face painted creations is always a highlight at events and parties for children, but increasingly popular with adults too.  With hundreds of themes to choose from, Face Painting makes an ideal activity at any fun event to keep guests or visitors entertained.

Our next Themed Face Painting course starts on the 5th of May with a one day practical skills session on the 20th of May.


For more information about any of our courses please email info@opsw.co.uk or call 0800 243 2440.

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Jessica Scullion

Jessica is our Senior Beauty Tutor and Assessor with nearly 10 years’ experience in the industry. She has worked in a variety of settings, including hotels, college, freelance and cruise ships, which has led her to pursue a career in teaching to share her knowledge with others. She enjoys updating her skills within beauty therapy, with its fast growing treatments and products and would recommend anyone to dive into an industry that offers a million opportunities!

 

Our Community Matters

18 Feb

Kasia McClure, Director, Our Community Matters – Blog #2

Why did I start my business?

I do not underestimate how brave you have to be to start your own business. I am in my thirties (don’t ask me to be more specific). I have always had the safety net of being employed. Sometimes I was paid well for doing work I didn’t enjoy. Other times I was paid a pittance for doing work I loved. However when I realised that even if I was paid a reasonable wage for doing something I really enjoyed, I would still be frustrated with the lack of autonomy, I decided to do something about it. Hence Our Community Matters.

Having moved to the UK at a time when social enterprises were formally recognised and defined by the Government, I knew that I had found something which resonated. Whilst wanting and needing to earn a living, I also felt strongly about giving something back to my local community. This feeling grew stronger and stronger as my children progressed through nursery and my eldest started primary school. You open your eyes to everything. I have never been one to blame – I always look at the root of the problem – and then, somewhat annoyingly some might say, the root of the root of the problem.

This is the problem. There are many children and families in Torbay who need support, training, education, guidance and confidence. But most of all they need to be understood not patronised. They need to understand the language. They don’t want to be ‘referred’, ‘statemented’ or work with ‘multi-agencies’. They just want to be heard. Then they want to see action. Most of all they want someone who empathises, doesn’t wag a finger and most of all isn’t driven by targets.

The irony is that whilst my niche is ethnic minorities, particularly the Polish community for obvious reasons, the families who have been the most grateful and who continue to be in contact with me are UK nationals. I hope that whatever your nationality, you will be able to gain something from Our Community Matters. I work with children with special needs, families who are vulnerable, ethnic minorities who need guidance and we also translate and interpret for any organisation which works with the Polish community. All I want to do is to give people in Torbay a better chance. I feel that they deserve this as a minimum.

To find out more, look at my website, follow me on Twitter @kasiamcclure1 or like and share my Facebook page.