Wednesday, 25 January 2012

How To Become A Sassy Self Employed Woman

A rather depressing report came out this week saying a quarter of people with their own businesses were finding times so difficult they were considering becoming employees again. No one could blame them, the economic climate is making it so tough just to keep our heads above water and being on someone else's payroll with paid holiday, sickness and NI contributions is obviously tempting. Before we all wind down our ventures and start hitting the job centre though its worth knowing  that according to the office of National statistics last year 67'000 public sector workers were made redundant and only 5'000 jobs were created in the private sector.Sobering stuff. So if its that much harder to make a buck what are the small low cost changes we can all make to our businesses to try and keep the wolf from the door during 2012?
Here is what I am doing.
Sassy and self employed!
Getting things ship shape
January is often a quiet time of year for small businesses. Instead of mooning about worrying about what the future will bring use this time wisely. Start with your client facing profile. Does your website need a tidy? Could your company blog do with a rejig? Been meaning to set up a work related twitter account or facebook page? well now is the time to do it. If you work out of premises give them a good clean. If funds can stretch touch up the paint. If you work from home get that office tidy. Make sure your systems for filing, receipts and paperwork are efficient. You will be a well oiled machine when things start to pick up.
Come on chop , chop-tidy up that office.
Take A Good Look At Yourself
When you are self employed its often really difficult to take a moment and reassess your business. Looking at what you offer though and tweaking it to reflect current market trends can make all the difference as to whether you survive or go under. Your pricing structure or packages may have made perfect sense two years ago but do they still work? Are they popular? Think about feedback you have received, ask former customers to fill out a short survey. Get to grips with what you need to do and start doing it.Also take the time to research the market more. What are other people doing? Maybe you could collaborate with some other companies who are on the same page as you. Seek out sponsorship. Aim high don't assume that because a company is well known and doing well that they wont be interested in working with you. 

Collaborate with others
Plot out your year
Most businesses are seasonal. Whether you work in retail, are a performer,are in the beauty,leisure industry or design certain parts of the calender will be busier than others. If your business is one which relies on things like Easter, Valentines and Christmas think of some really exciting promotions. Organise  promo photos and write the marketing content. Knowing you have a strong idea of what your business has to offer will make the promotion of it so much easier.

Use your quiet times wisely

Find New Suppliers
Quiet times in business are a great time to start looking at how much you pay for materials and whether you can get them cheaper elsewhere. By examining your margins you can also see areas of your business which are just not profitable enough. Changing what you offer and finding more competitive wholesalers can help you offer your customers some better deals.This approach can be applied to anyone who is self employed. If you travel for work can you find a way to get cheaper train fare? if you have promotional materials like flyer's printed can you find a more competitive price and what about your business banking are you getting the best deal out there? If your income is small guard it carefully.
making savings which don't effect quality can really help
Sell Yourself
Having a decent press release about your business can be a massive help for generating free publicity. I am going to do a post specifically about writing a good press release but in the meantime,its worth thinking about these key points:
Keep it snappy.
Make sure it reflects your company's personality
Ensure the contact details are all correct
Ring or mail first so it goes to the right person
Testing, testing, 123
I have now set up a page called Sassy Self Employment which has all my articles and tips on working for yourself and navigating the job market. If it helps you during these tricky times I will be very happy.
Together we can do it!

I have got the nicest giveaway this week. In Grips We Trust is the cutest little etsy store which sells beautiful bobby pin boxes with pictures of old Hollywood stars on them. They come with hair grips contained and are my new favourite thing. I have the Bette Davies box (of course) 
I adore my hair pin box
Gina from In Grips We Trust has kindly donated a victory roll box to give to one of my lucky blog readers and entering couldn't be easier:

You could win this fab little box full of hair grips
To enter
  • Join this blog if you haven't already
  • Spread the good word about this giveaway on Twitter, FB, your blog, or whatever choice of social media you prefer
  • Leave a comment on Mondays post.
The winner will be chosen via random number generator on Friday the 27th January 2012


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