Cat helps small business owners and sole traders to improve the way they communicate with their customers online. She offers copywriting, blogging and online marketing.
Name of business :
The content consultant
When and how did you start your business?
I started doing some “light freelancing” a few years ago when I was doing some volunteering for the owners of a local shop helping them with their social media presence by taking photos, scheduling posts and generally advising them on how to improve their Facebook page.
Off the back of that, they introduced me to their son who ran a plumbing company and needed some help with his website. This was my first paid job and I was working with him and a few other clients while juggling a full time job. It grew slowly, but eventually got to a point where I was ready to go part time at my job which is when I officially started the business back in September last year. It’s still a very new business really!
Why did you decide to start?
In all honesty, I started the initial work because I was unhappy with the role I was in. I wasn’t properly utilizing my skills and felt unfulfilled. So when the opportunity to do my first copywriting job for the plumbing company came up, I leapt at the chance to do something I knew I excelled in.
Can it be hard to be your own boss?
Incredibly so. This is the side of freelancing that isn’t often discussed online, and it’s something I try to be more frank and honest about on my blog, Twitter and my weekly freelance vlogs over on my Youtube channel.
It’s really tough because there’s a lack of stability in self-employment so income can be a bit all over the place! With that comes a lot of stress, but it’s balanced out with the increased flexibility of being your own boss. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
By being realistic. I try and set 3 goals per day of varying sizes to work towards. They are always achievable, so if I do any extra it’s a bonus! It helps keep me going…and ticking those tasks off the to-do list is incredibly gratifying!
I also keep myself motivated by writing down any successes i have each day – big or small. Whether I’ve won a new client, had a great networking meeting or managed to stay on top of my tax admin. I can then look back on those when I feel deflated to pick myself back up.
Are there any challenges owning your own business?
Lots. One I’m struggling with at the moment is focus. I have loads of ideas on how I want to develop the business…sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees! Other challenges include trying to find and win new work, as competition can be fierce (particularly in my industry!), but it’s important to stick to your guns and work hard to feel like you’ve done all you can.
Is there a right time to start a business?
In my opinion – not really. I have been very fortunate that I have a good support system around me and a security net in the form of my other half! I haven’t had to borrow any money yet thankfully, but I do have to be very frugal with my money at the moment.
I think the “right” time is very unique to the individual – I would just recommend that you don’t decide to quite your job and start a business based on articles that claim you can make millions in your first few months as a freelancer because the reality is very different!
As your company expands, I guess it may feel overwhelming- how did you keep it together? Do you employ other people to support you or do you manage it all on your own?
As I’ve said, the business is still very new so I’m definitely not considering expanding just yet! I’d like to keep the business as my own and manage it myself, but eventually it would be good to get someone to look after the business admin so I can focus more on the good stuff!
It can be very overwhelming working for yourself, but I keep it together by remembering how early on I am in my freelancing journey, and how everyone’s journey is different.
Have you noticed any changes in the world of business ?
I’m not sure really – I have noticed that more bloggers are starting to work for themselves which is great news and lovely to see. I have noticed from networking events that more people are giving self-employment a go later in life, so I’m hoping the tides will turn and more people from my generation will realise the benefits and be in a position to take the risk.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
Flexibility – I have a much better work/life balance now and can take time out when I’m having a bad mental health day or feeling poorly without the guilt. I also love being able to utilize my skill set much better by choosing the services I offer to clients.
What is your advice to any young woman who want to start a business ?
Don’t believe the hype! There are countless articles and courses out there that tell you that freelancing is easy. It’s not. That’s not to put you off from doing it, but you need to be level headed to make it work.
How does it feel to be a woman in charge?
Good! I like being able to choose the clients I work with and help small business owners and sole traders that are as passionate as I am about their work. It’s really rewarding.