What's My Why?
If 2020 has shown anything, it's been that life often throws you a curve ball. But with curve balls come opportunities. And that's what I love doing, finding the silver lining for people, the solutions, the opportunities, the roadmap to achieving their dreams. I've often been told I care too much, and perhaps I do. But working alongside passionate, hardworking business owners it's hard not to care, to work hard to ensure that nothing is left on the table and that their dreams are realised.
I live and breathe work. Social media and Retail are hard to turn off. Whether you are out or whether you are scrolling. Ideas, concepts, inspiration. It's all around you everyday. Sometimes you are just to busy to notice. But open your eyes, your mind and be present. And while physically you can't be there for everything I put together my top tips for small business owners, who are spread so thin trying to juggle business, everyday life and now COVID-19. It's my cheer-leading you, even if I don't know you, tips!
Believe in yourself. It’s going to take three as long and cost at least three times as much as much as that business plan you drew up, but don’t give up. Self-belief is really hard for small business owners. You work so hard in your business and often by yourself. It can feel very isolating at times but dig and you will get there. And importantly don't let others fear of taking the small business plunge as a reason you shouldn't take yours.
It’s hard to sell a secret. Everyone has great ideas or products, you’re not alone there. You need a marketing and sales plan to take your service or product to your target market. If you don’t have the skills, team up with people who do. Regional Business Partners really are the small business owners best friends. Check them out, there are so many organisation there to help you on your journey.
Without a sales and marketing plan, you actually don't have anything.Goals without a plan are just dreams. Don’t write a 30-page business plan, it will go in the bottom draw never to be seen again. Once you have a plan, put action points against it, work towards those action points every day and don’t get distracted by things that won’t deliver your goals, you know the shiny new syndrome we are all prone to. Stick to what will deliver your goals.
But most importantly don't beat yourself up or compare yourself to others (particularly what they portray their business or life to be like on social, it's not always the full picture). If I look at my career path until now, it's been varied but always customer focused. I remember once being told that retail didn't offer a career path. I don't agree. Nothing is more customer centric than retail and regardless, every role is a building block to where you are today. The skills gained to think differently, to assess situations and deal with whatever life has to throw at you. I think practically, and because of that I love writing strategy which works online, in a store and which makes a real difference to a business.
Probably because of the opinions others have had of my love of retail (don't you love how others want to tell you to live your life?) I don't believe in regrets, in mistakes. These are learnings, these are life. If you can't change it, learn from it. Grow, become the person you want to be. Become the person who can help someone else. For me, it helps that I have the best cheerleader I could have in my husband Stephen. Whenever I doubt myself, he makes sure that I don't doubt for long. He's taught me to believe in myself, in my ability and my choices. He reminds me that even in the darkest times to remember why I started this journey and so I think that it's really important to be someone else's cheerleader, to build someone up rather than tear them down. Support someone and make a difference to them, to their belief in themselves and to their belief that they can achieve anything they set their mind to. Support their business and show them that they can live their dream.
So, that's my why. I love to help people. To make a difference to someone else. To change where they are for the better. Whether at Connec+ in a professional capacity, talking to another small business owner to remind them of their dream, or in a charity project. I just love to help people.