If you are currently sat at your kitchen table thinking ‘what am I going to do for a job’ then this blog is to cheer you, support you and hopefully help you in your start-up!… The Marketing Assistant’ is a flexible, marketing resource concept launched, like many other modern day start-ups, from a kitchen table – my kitchen table! However, this start-up was not down to a lifelong dream of owning a business (despite doing my dissertation on Richard Branson) or even the desire to be my own boss, but out of two major factors; 1) Needing a flexible job that worked around a baby and a husband 2) Wanting to use my brain again, as well as my professional experience & qualifications, after an 18-month maternity leave in some way, shape or form to earn money!
When faced with a situation like this it is actually pretty depressing. Firstly, you know that you could do many of the advertised jobs (standing on your head) but the need for flexibility prevents most of the opportunities. Despite many entrepreneurs’ stories to the contrary, and the strong belief that you can achieve anything, starting your own business is not necessarily the easy option, in fact it isn’t – you don’t get paid holidays, days off sick or even a pension, let alone office gossip round the coffee machine!
So, first off, you have to be really driven and committed to whatever you want to do if you want to succeed. Whether you are launching a fashion label or creating an app, the same principles apply – find what gets you out of bed every morning, then create a business to fit! Obviously, it really does help if you are good at it, qualified in it or even experienced in some way but most importantly, do what makes you tick!
After a move to the country the realisation of not being able to continue my London-based job unsurprisingly resulted in a few months of feeling pretty lost, a bit poor and quite frankly slightly down, but a random conversation with the local butcher resulted in a seed being planted (metaphorically speaking) and the idea of ‘The Marketing Assistant’ came into being.
Of course, the idea is the easy part, the hard part is building a brand, getting out there, winning new business, networking, learning, adapting, working evenings, working weekends, working holidays and most importantly staying motivated… all of the time.
My idea was to fill a gap in services targeted for local small business owners within the Marketing, Advertising & Social Media marketplace. There seemed to be little choice between the big expensive London agencies, the medium-sized (tend to be out-of-date) small-town based agencies and the old-fashioned business consultants (those who worked for ‘big corporate’ for 50 years and thus charge an absolute fortune etc.), meaning that small local businesses were being under-serviced, over-charged or just generally over-looked altogether when it came to professional marketing support for their business. ‘The Marketing Assistant’ would offer a range of professional solutions to support small local businesses.
After spending a couple of months thinking long and hard about what products and services I could offer, carrying out plenty of research on competitors, choosing a suitable business name, building a website & social media accounts as well as registering with HMRC, it was time to finally get out there… and it is the best thing that I have ever done! Yes, it is hard work. No, I don’t ever switch off from work (when it’s your baby why would you?), but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever achieved, and although I miss workplace banter and a guaranteed monthly income, I don’t miss the tie of 9-to-5, earning money for others or the daily commute on over-crowded tubes and trains.
If this is what you want to do then believe in yourself, do plenty of research and then make the leap and hopefully you too won’t ever look back!
So, how do you set up a business from your kitchen table I hear you ask?… well, read my blog next time to find out top tips & tricks. If this is something that tickles your fancy, then stay tuned for further ‘Tales of a Kitchen Table Start-up’ but please bear with me as I’m not a natural blogger!