Business Skills and a New Career
My business skills and new career started 2 years ago with my last ‘pay-check. This was a scary and exciting time for me. When I qualified as a homeopath, I hadn’t anticipated the new business skills I would need!
Starting a new career.
So where did I start, and where am I now? Well, like most new small business owners, I didn’t have a lot of money. I did have a lot of time so I choose to use this as wisely as I could!
Here are 6 things that worked for me:
1. Well designed branding and stationery:
Business cards, letter-headed paper, compliment slips and leaflets. Business cards should be scattered like confetti! Give them to anyone and everyone you talk to. Keep them with you at all times, in your bag, wallet, gym bag, car etc. Having the same logo and brand colours across all the places your business appears, both online and in the real world creates a unified brand. The big brands like Starbucks spend a lot of money on this. Being consistant also means that when someone is searching for you, they know they have the right person especially if they can’t remember your name! This adds a level of professionalism and implies you want to be taken seriously as a business owner.
2. Networking events.
I went to all the local and low cost/free monthly events which often have a 1 min ‘introduce yourself’ slot. This is often referred to as an ‘elevator pitch’. A very brief introduction as to who you are and what your business does. It takes time and practice to hone this down to the bare minimum. Essentially you need to explain how your business can solve the problem your ideal client has.
I found these intimidating at the start, but soon got used to them. You get to see the same people each month at the same event, and get to know them too. I really enjoy them now, as I find support and advice from other business owners. Some of these people have become personal friends of mine. Whilst friends and family can be suppportive, no one truly understands what you are going through like another business owner!
3. Skills swop.
I gave 30 mins of my time for free in exchange for 30 mins advice from another business owner. Because this helped me to gain some knowledge without spending money I didn’t have! I also visited the library to read as many business and marketing books as I could. I spend a lot of time on YouTube and Google finding answers to my business questions. I also looked at what other similar business were doing and how they acheived this. Being authentic to your business vision and brand is more important than copying a trend because everyone is doing it1
4. Local events.
I have done quite a few wellbeing events, Christmas fairs and local fetes. This is good exposure for my business and people do like to ask questions! Explaining homeopathy and how it works in person was a great way to get my business known locally. I now do very few of these events as I didn’t find them particularly effective for me. As with any marketing activity, it needs to be monitored to make sure it is working! I personally think this is better for product based businesses.
5. Asking for help and Outsourcing
No-one can know everything, so I’ve paid someone else to do the things I hate! Because this is more efficient as I can focus on my business and not on my IT skills. Similarly, I have an accountant for my tax returns as I want to make sure I’m not landed with a fine from HMRC. It is the old saying of ‘time versus money’. If there is something you can do but it is more effecient to pay someone else to do it, then take this option. Equally, if there is something you dislike or struggle with, then paying someone else to do really takes this weight off your shoulders.
6. Pushing my personal boundaries.
I had been holding myself back, but I pushed myself at the start of 2020 to grow and think bigger. This resulted in my doing a 6 week business course and a vision board creation day. Writing regular blogs, planning my social media for 2020, using a scheduling tool and mailchimp are all things I’m proud to have achieved. In more recent years, I’ve been a guest on several podcasts, live local radio, keynote speaker at a business day too. In 2023, I was named as 1 of the top 100 female entrepreneurs according to Small Business UK.
So, two years after my last paycheck, I’ve never regretted changing career and starting my own homeopathic business.