It was Remade Reloved’s second birthday a week or so ago - it was always my biggest ambition to start a business, and I am quite frankly amazed that I have made it to two years - I never really thought I was any good at persevering with things - especially when those things are as hard as running a business. It turns out maybe I didn’t know myself as well as I thought!
I have been thinking about some things I have learnt over the past two years, so I thought I would share them here.
Running a business is really, really hard work.
You might have been perfecting your craft, expanding your skills and learning everything you need to know about how to paint/draw/sculpt/sew/knit/crochet. But when you decide to take the plunge and start selling what you create, there’s a whole new bunch of skills that you need to learn about. (None of which comes naturally to me) Keeping your accounts, tax, marketing, legal implications of selling goods online, public liability insurance, how to use social media for business, how to make videos, what the heck are hashtags - it was all totally new to me. I have had to learn everything from scratch, more or less by myself. This took me way longer in terms of hours spent, than it did to learn to sew. And I am constantly learning!
You need to make time for yourself
As above, running business is really hard. I started my business when my twins were 2 years old, so between looking after them and working part time, I don’t really know where I have found the time. Plenty of very early starts before anyone else was awake, and working till gone 10pm at night. Don’t forget that even though you have dreamed of running a business, and you might be pinning your future plans on it’s success, the business does not come before your own physical and mental wellbeing.
My mental health has been through the wringer over the last 2 years, as has many other peoples. Sometimes my business has made things better, and sometimes worse. But just remember to take time out for yourself. If you need to step away for a bit, you're the boss. Do what you need to do.
Don't be afraid to try new things
This entire adventure has been about learning and trying new things. I have discovered so many things about what I am capable of since I started my business. Don’t be afraid. If it doesn't work, then you will learn from it - move on.
Its not always going to be easy - but just keep going!
Its great when you get a sale - of course it is! But you also need to grow a thick skin, because you can spend hours on developing a new product and …. It doesn't sell. That’s pretty disheartening. But maybe the right person hasn’t seen it yet! There are lots of ways you can get your products out there - just keep trying new things and allow yourself to feel disappointed if a product doesn’t sell as well as you wanted it to. Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again.
You’re the boss.
You're in charge and it’s your business. You get to decide how to run it. Nobody knows your business as well as you do. If your gut is telling you to do something, or not do something, then pay attention. Your instinct is your best, and sometimes only business friend!
Even with all this in mind, all the long hours, all the money I have spent which sometimes turned out to be a mistake, feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing - I realised that every business owner is just making it up as they go along, or has done at some point! Nobody is born knowing how to run a business.
So as long as you enjoy what you’re doing, then just get out there and have a go!