Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Time to move on.

Having read so much about so many other people I decided it was time to try this for myself.

I am hoping by doing so I can clear away the clutter in my mind. The theory - to write my thoughts down and then they're out of my mind or at least filed to the back.

Brings me immediately to my first thought to clear. Having worked in an insurance company for 11 years, 7 of those years part time in the evening, my youngest was due to start school. I couldn't, well actually didn't want to continue working in the evening with both children at school all day. I had managed to spend all their baby/toddler/pre-school years with them both during the day with my husband taking over the roll in the evening, he of course had the easy job - bath & bed with the rest of the evening to watch the TV, coming from a family of 9, 6 of whom were big sisters, housework, ironing etc has never been on his agenda, quite frankly it never crosses his mind. We joke about the washing/ironing and tidying up fairy in our house!

In the August of 2003 I had a lightbulb moment one day while I frantically seached the local town for a school uniform to fit my then 6 year old son after being let down by the school supplier. I thought there has to be an easier way than this to get a school uniform and at that very moment I started planning my 'school uniform business' In July 2004 NHP Embroidery Services was born. Three years later and heading into my 4th summer I am ready to take this business to the next level. It has been hard, walking out of a reasonable well paid job and living on one wage while all the money goes back to grow the business and me deciding, on this one wage, that I needed a new fitted kitchen, a conservatory, an upstairs toilet (as our bathroom's downstairs) a combi boiler and a monoblocked drive or we would have to move! But praise to my husband he has worked long hours, nightshifts & weekends to give me this pleasure and last June our house benefited from all these great things. Of course nothing is finished, but that's another story!

I am so good at making plans, but hopeless at sticking to them so I'm hoping to shame myself into sticking to them as it will all be noted in black and white. Last year in an attempt to suppliment my income and because I deal with parents and children all summer I decided a bouncy castle would be a good investment. It hired well considering we didn't advertise, that is is bit like me have a business but don't tell anyone. So that has to change!

So the plan's in place and started already

  • Ebay site, up and running and in the process of being revamped
  • yellow pages advert ordered for both businesses
  • approx 300 leaflets delivered on Sunday with 7 year old daughter and 10 year old neighbour
  • in process of arranging suppliers to take on all embroidery to allow me time to concentrate on shop and customers
  • need to build the number of schools I can cater for

That's the plan so far. Oh yes and tell everyone I meet and have business cards on me!

Note to self: relax for 5 mins every day


Sparx said...

Seriously - relax! You sound like a powerhouse of energy, I'm very impressed with your marketing strategy.

Speaking as a marketing blob, you should ask local schools if they'd charge you or let you put flyers into any communications they send out to parents, or at least to put an ad on a notice board. Also try advertising in your local NCT magazine - while it's mainly aimed at new mums, many of the members have older children. Your local council may also produce a brochure for parents which may take advertising and if they have a website advertising parenting services, look into that (my local council does all those things down here in Brixtonia).

You sound as though you're going to make it work, cross fingers for you and good luck! Thanks for the post on my blog, it's always good to know I'm not alone out here in the ether.

Self employed mum x said...

thank you so much for your comments sometimes it's hard to get motivated when you work alone and I've found I've been more positive today just writing down my plan yesterday.

Rapsodia Antillana said...

Hi self employed mum,

My hats off to you! I am still a self employed mum although my daughter is grown and married and doing well on her own. I readily identify with your desire to stay self employed. I wish you the best of luck and may your business prosper. It's just as well that you don't listen to negative comments about ability to pay yourself a salary; most people don't understand how long it takes to cultivate a business to the point where you can generate a salary. But your efforts will pay off. Please visit my blog and give me your opinion. Actually it is a joint blog with my together with husband. This one is in English.