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Who wants to be an entrepreneur? Start here... (and those who are, help here please!?)

(410 Posts)
WilfSell Tue 21-Aug-12 17:15:35

OK, I was inspired by the 'earn 1k a month working from home' thread, which turned into an inspiring if terrifying 'don't sell yourself short' thread. And wondered if, those of us who might like to work for ourselves but don't currently, could get started here? I aim to keep my job, and perhaps try to move to part-time at some point. I have some business ideas, some good, some over-ambitious, mostly attempts to roll-out my current skills into a private consultancy, not necessarily linked to my existing job (university research/teaching).

I know it is an incredibly tricky time to think about this, and I'm sure it is not easy or comfortable to make a living... But some people manage it, so why shouldn't more of us?

ethelb Mon 12-Nov-12 20:03:49

I've just made my first sale! Woot! Three days after going live! Double woot!

maree1 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:37:28

Oodles of entrepreneurial business case studies like this one

on the ShellLiveWIRE site. Don’t be intimidated by the age group, there are plenty of pages of business help.

fargone Tue 13-Nov-12 06:59:10

@mmelindor I'd love to hear more about what you are doing in social media! I am also thinking about how to market to parents of older kids for a tech ed program - any good suggestions. Afraid to put anything more detailled here as I got spanked for self-promoting last time when that wasn't my intention.

AuntieVenom Tue 13-Nov-12 08:55:33

I'm further along the entrepreneur journey in that my current company has been going for 6.5 years.

The lessons I've learned have been varied and many but some of the things I've learned are:

Business to business selling has a much longer sales cycle than business to consumer and that needs to be factored into any plans you make - particularly cashflow.

Know your target market. Scatter gun approaches produce mediocre results at best.

If you think you're going to need angel or VC funding start the conversation at least 6 months before you need the money.

Early stage businesses are targets for a lot of scammers - before you buy anything research, research, research. Google has saved my neck on more than one occasion.

Opinions are like arseholes - everybody has one. It doesn't mean you need to listen to them.

Trust your judgement.

I'm also happy to share insights/answer questions etc if people would find it useful.

NikkiD13 Tue 13-Nov-12 10:17:35

Just wanted to jump in and say thanks everyone for all the ideas here. Really enjoying reading these posts. Some real food for thought for someone like me looking to start up a small business in the not to distant future. Seems to be quite a bit of sharing of expertise and sharing of skills going on as well which is fab! Came across a social networking website that might be of interest moving forward where you can pin your small business to a map and engage with other local small businesses sharing your skills and expertise and ask advice: and help with all the networking side of things which seems to be a common theme of the advice given. Might be worth a visit?

DaisyWhiteauthor Tue 13-Nov-12 15:57:46

Not sure if it counts as small business, but I'm a writer, and have a book out on Amazon, with another due in December. I know so many mums struggle to fit work around the kids, but writing can be a really viable option. The start up costs are minimal, and I also do a bit of freelance work for free papers. All in all it's a very young venture but growing nicely... A lot of work is done when my boys are in bed so my wrinkles are also coming on nicely!
Happy to give any advice to other aspiring writers;

Lillyaan Sat 17-Nov-12 00:03:49

Read all comments with interest and can associate with the 'Bleeding Heart' obsticle. Forgive the following ramblings but after years of chewing on ideas on rolling out my professional skills into private practice the dream is still dawdling. Suppose the budding entrepreneurs here are a younger generation than myself having retired 'Early' but returned to P/T = NHS so short of experienced staff.
Postgrad background - Paeds/Community MA Public & Environmental Health / Teaching, plus 6 years utilising skills within Youth Justice via secondment to independent project management role.
Lots of Paeds & Parenting (P&P) expertise but to embark on earning a bob or two from the latter requires IT/Website development and even then (even if I knew how) may not have the desired financial reward. In addition my experience of teaching Prenting Courses (within statutory role) dwindled with the stigma of Parenting Orders.
The cynical idea of utilising a less academic but highly effordless know-how emerged recently by chance when my niece wore a twinn-set & matching Beret I had knitted.
Beseiged by comments & wish lists I was all set to persue an efferdless money spinning task without even having to leave home. I progressed to the survey level which surpassed all expectations; designed the flyers with course details from basic to advanced @ a tenner a head; bicky and tea in my 22' conservatory twice weekly. 'Cool'.
Alas in one swoop all hopes were dashed. The 'Good Advice' from nearest and dearest, friend and foe was a Dicey IDEA. Risk ranged from insurance to a host of other obsticles too numerous to add to this lenghty tale of woe.

itsthesimplethings Tue 08-Jan-13 22:46:35

I posted on the other Earn 1k thread but think I should actually have posted here.

Sorry for the long post, especially if you read my post on the other thread.

I am self employed, working as an audiotypist from home. Unfortunately my hands and wrists have suffered and are now quite painful. Also I am only earning a few hundred a month but ideally need to earn more.

I have no start up money and a bad credit rating due to husband being made redundant (several times). He works in IT but what he specializes in is dying out and the contracts hard to come by, permanent jobs non existent. Plus he has no ambition.

I was not encouraged to take A levels and after leaving school I was sent to college to learn to type, my parents encouraging me to work in hotels. I didn't want to and worked as an aupair for a while, perfecting my German then worked over there as secretary for a while. I started my family young, never had any money to further my education. However, I'm intelligent and capable of working hard. I have a little IT knowledge (have a Microsoft qualification for Windows 95 support, I realise it's worth nothing now but I can find my way around a computer), I've set up a little website.

My spelling, punctuation and grammar are excellent. I'm fluent in German. I can knit, cook.

I've had a few ideas of what I'd like to do. A magazine for preteens, soap/products for sensitive skin, a book, a service for new mums helping with shopping, cooking, cleaning, babysitting so they can get some rest, a dog walking service...

I don't know where to start, I think all those things have been done, plus I live in a quiet village.

I do not want to accept that this is it, that I will be typing until I can't anymore (which will be sooner rather than later!

I can knit but the amount of effort is too much, given that people can buy knitwear for a couple of quid at Primark etc.

Following this thread with interest. Grateful for any tips/ideas/feedback.

Booyhoo Thu 10-Jan-13 02:36:28


this thread is massive!

i'm about halfway through the other thread and saw the link for this so thought i'd join as the other thread inspired me to book myself onto a training course i've been uhmming and aahing about.

current situation is that i'm a LP who has been stagnant for 2.5 years since leaving work to have ds2. i'm registering as a CMer (which seems to be taking forever!) but i am also a qualified beauty therapist and have decided to set up at home and do evening work once the dcs are in bed.

i do have a question i would like to ask. would anyone be willing to be my kick-up-the-arse- person? i find i have great enthusiasm for things at the start but after a short while i lose momentum and fall back into old patterns of letting things slide and acheiving nothing. it will probably even happen with this thread. would anyone be willing to send me the odd PM if the notice i haven't been around/updating with progress? i really need to be working again. so badly. i just dont have faith in myself that i can be successful at it and i will talk myself into giving up. i would really appreciate a boot in the bum from a kind MNer to keep me on track.

WhatNow2013 Tue 15-Jan-13 01:31:50

I've just read all of this and the £1000 in a day thread. I am incredibly poor at the moment (aren't we all) and am self employed but thought of a 'niche' idea a while ago that I never followed up on; I'm going to try and see if it is a doable idea, going into consultancy on something that not an awful lot of people have experience in!

I think it would mostly be speaking as one-off sessions at training days or conferences, rather than doing a whole day or anything; or doing bespoke assessments for individuals etc. Not ENTIRELY sure how I start marketing myself to people, but it's early days I guess!

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