Hiya sunshines! Welcome to the third instalment of my 8 part blog post series about starting your own business! As I am a jeweller this will mostly related to jewellery/craft based businesses but I have tried to add in things to help as many new businesses owners as possible! Money, this blog post is going to be about money, specifically funding and using your money wisely in business. I always felt money was such a hush hush thing, something rude to speak about when in fact I think we need to talk about money, we need to let others know where to find grants, how you don't start a business and money comes flying in. We need to be honest about money. Also with this post it will relate a lot to how I handled my money at the start, because it is what I know, it is how I personally figured out money with Pop Up. 1. Look for grants - Pop Up would not be here without the help from grants. As much as I done my best to save money on tools and materials I still needed help to take things from a £5 ikea desk to a real business that was going to start paying phone bills. So I looked for grants, free sums of money that you do not have to pay back that will help your business. There was two main grants I used when starting Pop Up: 1. Jobs and Business Glasgow - £250 2. Winning a competition in College called the John Mathers Trust - £1500 There is also a website called ''Scottish Enterprise'' which gives funding help and places to look for grants, due to my business being Scotland based this is where most of my grant knowledge comes from. A lot of places will want to see a business plan when you go for grants so prepare one in advance! 2. Reinvest in the business - Whenever I would get a sale instead of spending it on myself I would reinvest that money back into the company, for the first two - three years I always done this, everything went back into Pop Up. Reinvesting does not just mean you put your money in a big pot and leave it there, look for opportunities to make more so pay for a market stall that is a bit more expensive but you know will bring more money in. Spend money on a designers directory that will get you more publicity. Buy better packaging for your products. Use your money to further your business. 3. Jobs don't make you less of a business owner - Sometimes I feel there is this stigma of if you own a business and you also have a job then you don't really run a business which is simply not true, if anything you are making a business decision to keep you and your business financially secure which in my eyes makes you a smart business owner.
Before I went full time with Pop Up I had a part time job, the only reason I went full time is because I am one of these people my mind won't let me split things up, I am either doing this or doing that which can be a blessing and a curse. The main thing is you do what you need to, too keep yourself financially safe.
4. Preparing - This topic relates to how I deal with quiet months and how I really rely on my safety nets during the quiet months. For example in January it so quiet, people have spent a fortune at Christmas, even I don't buy anything in January! So I prepare for a full month of having no income. Going back to that safety net of saving. I do not tend to save for Januarys all year around, instead I use my Christmas earnings to keep me going through January. It also helps me to have a cash flow sheet where I can physically see how much I need and for what. One wee thing I want to mention before I go is how quiet a business can be when you start, how there is no sales and you will think you have made a mistake, sunshine you have not made any mistakes. Things take time, people need to find you and you need to get your clients to trust you and your product. Personally I never made any online sales until the first 6 months! If you think you have a wall in front of you, don't walk away from it, instead get a hammer and keep chipping away at that thing and I promise you it will eventually fall! Keep an eye out for the next part of the blog post series where I get into the fun stuff! Getting your work out there!