Posts Tagged ‘home business’

My Count On It® labels enable busy households like mine to keep track of when food has been opened and make an informed decision of whether it should be thrown away. As a busy mother to two young boys, I was always throwing food away because I couldn’t remember when I’d opened it.

Such is the success of my business, a while ago I was invited to an event at Downing Street to celebrate the achievements of Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses – something I never thought would happen. It’s amazing – if somebody had told me two years ago that one of my ideas would be retailing through a national high street store and that I’d be invited to Downing Street because of it, I wouldn’t have believed them.

Lyndsey outside 10 Downing Street

Lyndsey outside 10 Downing Street

Getting the business off the ground took a combination of a tried and tested route with a helping of TV quiz show luck. Having come up with the concept I contacted Business Link for help. I then won £15,500 on Channel 4’s Deal or No Deal, which enabled me to move things forward quickly. Following research and trials of product samples, the first batch was manufactured in April 2008 and soon we were trading online (www.count-on-it.co.uk).

Lakeland and Betterware now stock my products and their popularity is growing through word of mouth, online via Twitter (@mummypreneur) and my website. I am also in talks with a distribution partner in America and have sold as far afield as Korea and Australia. Count On It® labels have received glowing endorsements from celebrity mums such as Amanda Holden and Angela Griffin, as well as green/eco advocate Janey Lee Grace.

Becoming a mumpreneur has changed my life and as an advocate for taking an idea to market should the opportunity arise, I’d encourage any mum who wants to fulfill her entrepreneurial dream to take that leap of faith. As Goethe succinctly puts it: “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

Lyndsey Young, Count On It


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1 Base the business on something you enjoy – when your hobby/passion/skill becomes your full-time job, it never really feels like work.

2 Write a plan – prepare a basic business plan to set out your vision, describe your market and explain how you propose to reach out and sell to that market. Include sound financials and review the plan every six months or so.

3 Find dedicated space – create space in your house that is your workspace. When in that space, family and friends should know you’re in business mode, plus, you can walk away at the end of the working day. Invest in a good desk and chair, because you’ll be spending quite a bit of time at and in them.

4 Create a professional front door – when customers come calling, be sure they’re met with a professional welcome. This applies from the way you answer calls, to your website, company stationery and even the places in which you choose to meet clients.

5 Make the most of social media – tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been warmly embraced by the home business community. They are free to use and act as business development channel and a virtual water cooler for the moments when you miss the banter of an out-of-home office.

6 Become an expert – set yourself up as an expert in your field by blogging/tweeting about the subject, writing a report, publishing a book or hosting an event. Being an expert gives credibility and with that, comes customers.

7 Never stop learning – part of becoming an expert is continually picking up intelligence from those around you. Keep an eye on what others in your industry are doing, read about successful entrepreneurs and tune in to trendspotters so you can prepare for new market opportunities.

8 Get out of the house – attend networking events, work from the local café, sign up to a personal development course. It’s good to get out of the home office, but be sure you can still be contacted and respond via your mobile/laptop/webmail, etc. This is your “road warrior kit”.

9 Do what you do best and outsource the rest – to grow the business, focus on the core product of the company and subcontract non-core tasks (eg admin, accounting, PR, fulfilment, etc) to others.

10 Follow the golden triangle – to keep the business in balance, spend roughly a third of your time on each of three key things: customer care, business development and admin. That way, you’ll have a smooth-running business with happy customers and new income streams on the way.

Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation the home business website and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’. Emma’s next book – ‘Working 5 to 9 – how to start a business in your spare time’ – will be published in May 2010.


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This month in localbusinessadviser, Emma Jones outlines the benefits of running a business from home. Emma is the founder of Enterprise Nation, and a home business evangelist. When I interviewed her for the article, she explained to me that she felt the accessibility of web-based technology is driving massive growth in the home business sector – it’s cheap, easy to obtain and use and enables you to promote yourself affordably to millions of potential customers.

Her point is underpinned by statistics. In late October, Enterprise Nation published the Home Business Report, which has some fascinating findings, including:

  • there are 2.1 million home-based businesses in the UK. The sector has a turnover of £364 billion and accounts for 28 per cent of UK employment.
  • sixty per cent of new businesses start at home
  • 1,400 new businesses start from home each week
  • 70,000 people make a full-time living from ebay alone
  • the growth in home businesses is greatest among mothers, the over-50s and people in their 20s – precisely the groups who struggled to find the time or get the financial backing you needed before the Internet boom.

Before speaking to Emma, I had no idea the home business sector was expanding so fast – too fast, she claims, for the Government and regional development agencies, who for the most part have yet to start providing significant specialist backing or explicitly mention home business support plans in their regional economic strategies.

“There has been very limited support for home business start-ups, which is why we wrote the report,” Emma said when she launched the report. “We identified pockets of activity in the report, but we’re calling on the Government to consider our ‘Ten point action plan’ that would see home business encouraged yet further.”

The ten-point plan includes clarification of tax implications for home businesses; planning policies that incorporate live/work schemes; more easily available grant funding; and investment in infrastructure that supports home-based businesses – such as the Enterprise HQ in Shrewsbury, which provides commercial meeting and selling space for rural entrepreneurs.

Given the wealth generated by home-run businesses, and the load they remove from our overloaded transport and planning systems, it makes sense to promote them. The West Midlands and the North West are the only two regions presently supporting significant home business projects. They are also the two regions seeing the most rapid growth in the number of self-employed working from home. Surely no coincidence?

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