Many businesses are started this way. Hollie Tucker of Not On The Highstreet and many others have made the leap, including LOVE ALICE, so having been through the process here are a few tips if you are thinking of starting a business of your own from home.
- Make sure your turnover is at a stable level before you take the plunge into having overheads such as an office and staff, as it can feel like quite a leap. The period of working from home is a great start where you can try things out pressure-free and really feel your way into the daily challenges of being a business owner. Embrace this time when the stakes are low to try out as many different things as you can, it will make future decisions so much easier and swifter. Make all the mistakes early on! Don’t be scared to try things. Rebrand, try a new logo, change your packaging. Test and repeat. You will soon see what works and what customers respond to which will give you the drive and confidence to move forwards. I followed the method of The Lean startup with LOVE ALICE, I recommend this book very highly. It is all about trying a scaled back model of your idea so the risks are low and then seeing whether it works before moving forward. This way you don’t waste resources on something that may not have legs.
- Take one day at at time, thinking about your whole business’s life journey is never going to create anything but panic. I always try and keep it in the day and ask myself what can I do of value today? How can I prioritise? Which brings me to:
- List writing; just do the things on that list during your working day. At LOVE ALICE we very rarely work past 5pm (our office working hours) as we encourage efficient time management and we want everyone to have a life outside of the office. There is a wonderful story about a man I read once who met an older man who offered him the secret to life and great wealth at a cost of $25,000 - it was written on one piece of paper. If the younger man didn’t like the advice written there, the older man would not charge him the fee. The main said ‘Yes I would like to see what is written there.” On the piece of paper it said. ‘Wake up each day, write a list and in that day do everything on the list’. The man paid the older man $25,000 willingly and went onto become wealthy and successful himself. I always think of this story.
- Try and be efficient with admin early on, this makes everything so much easier in the long run. I do admin first thing in the morning at my desk, then the day is free for the more fun, less dreary tasks of running a business. Admin left and not dealt with will grow into a monstrosity that will threaten to overwhelm the entire operation if left to its own devices. Be warned!
- Work with people you like! Running a business can be difficult and challenging at times and you really need to mitigate this with fun! Always prioritise positive energy as it will grow exponentially. Remember who become who you hang out with - so surround yourself with the energy you want to encourage...
- Celebrate every small win. Life is so short and even starting a business is a huge life goal you can tick off your list.