Our Small Business Adventure
Starting your own business can be daunting, since launching back in November 2017 we have learnt so much (with lots still left to learn!) So, we thought we would share our journey so far...
Start with a plan
Talesmith took around 12 months from initial idea to launch. We chose to take our time and work on our brand, products, website and customer experience so that by the time we launched we felt ready (as ready as we'd ever be!)
We used some free online business planning tools, most banks have templates you can use, and whilst not all areas were applicable, following one of these plans really helped us.
It's a learning curve
As a small business owner you will wear many hats, administrator, marketeer, sales person, finance & accounting, the list goes on! You will become skilled in areas that you didn't even have to think about in the world of employment, let alone take care of all on your own. There are no departments to consult or teams of colleagues to question, its all on you. In a way this is scary but it's also very fulfilling. You never know what you can do until you have no other option but to do it yourself. Our advice is to dive in and give it a go! Don't assume that because you haven't done something before, you can't do it. There are plenty of tools out there to help you on your way, one that we have found particularly helpful is our trusty accounting software Xero.
Highs & Lows
Both the high points and the low points are equally as important and you must allow yourself to recognise both. In our day to day lives, we believe life is short and you should appreciate the good moments and move passed the bad, dusting yourself off, so we apply this to our business too. Always remember to celebrate the milestones whilst preparing for the road ahead.
Be a realist with ambition
Ambition is what will have lead you to the idea of starting your own business, so that is a given trait of any small business owner, but it is important to always add a pinch of realism. This does not mean limit your ambition or take a pessimistic view, it just means be smart and aware.
There is an amazing army of small businesses out there so whilst you may be stepping out alone, you are joining a whole new community. Make use of this community and become an active part of it. If you can, practice what you preach and shop from other small businesses. If you can't shop small, then lend your support in other ways, follow them on social media, recommend them to a friend and help spread the word. Small businesses are often happy to help each other so don't be afraid to reach out to relevant businesses and see if there are any collaboration opportunities, such as a product donation for an instagram shout out or a competition or giveaway.
If you are setting up a creative business, take a look at the Just a card campaign. Just a card aims to encourage people to buy from designers, makers and independent shops by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even 'just a card' mean so much to small business and are vital to keep them alive.
If you're an aspiring small business owner our advice would be make a plan, take a leap of faith, work hard and enjoy it! As one of the greatest story tellers of our time said...
We'd love to hear your small business stories! if you have any comments to add, whether they are questions or your own words of advice for small business, please comment below.