Penning and Planning – tutoring and writing/editing/proofreading services – has now existed for a month! As I am now offically a new business owner, I thought I would regularly document the process and my progress along the way for three reasons:
To reflect on my achievements and areas for improvement.
To help others who may be at a similiar stage in setting up their new business.
To invite advice/collaboration from other freelancers/small business owners to enable us all to learn and achieve as much as possible!
Achievements in one month:
Created a business name – Penning and Planning!
Written a business plan.
Registered as a new business owner with HMRC.
Researched business insurance quotes – I need professional indemnity and personal liability insurances for my tutoring and writing/editing/proofreading business.
Designed a logo using Wix.
Designed my Penning and Planning website using WordPress (currently premium but I am planning to upgrade to business) and wrote all my own content (which I have already tweaked several times and will continue to tweak as I go on!).
Undergone a research crash course: blogs, vlogs, ebooks, books, social media, podcasts. ecourses and websites relevant to my business and its promotion.
Brainstormed a LOT of blog post ideas!
Written and published 11 blogs so far (including this one).
Written and submitted guest blogs.
Created a professional portfolio on my website.
Devised and implemented a social media theme and marketing strategy.
Investigated local free business advice sessions and events.
Attended several local free business events: Be Your Own Boss, The Power of Lead Generation and Grow Your Followers, and learnt a lot about Google and social media analytics and insights (and how to use them to promote my business).
Booked on several more local free business events before the end of July: Business Mentoring from the Experts, Business Plan Workshop, Business Advice Clinic, Pitching and Presenting, Digital Seminar, and Finance, Budgeting and Cash Flow.
Began 1:1 business coaching support sessions with E-Factor (North East Lincolnshire and Humber area only).
Created pricing structures, sales forecasts, cash flow forecasts and set-up costs/running costs spreadsheets for both strands of my business – tutoring and writing/editing/proofreading.
Researched my competition and reflected on my ‘brand’ analytically.
Changed the focus of my business after listening to my gut instinct and utilising my strongest skills, experience and qualifications – I began as a writer/proofreader/planner designer but I am now a tutor and writer/editor/proofreader!
Devised a business blogging series to showcase a variety of small business owners – coming very soon!
Built on what I learnt from running my personal blog (DA 24) to implement strategies to increase my business blog’s statistics (DA 1 at the moment – watch this space!). You can check your own DA using Moz.
Set my official business launch date for Monday 30th July!
Lessons learned in one month:
A new business owner is never not writing lists!
It’s essential to prioritise the ‘boring’ but necessary tasks – write a business plan, itemise your start-up costs, secure funding (if applicable), register with HMRC and make sure insurances and any legal documents are in place, if required.
I am getting the most engagement from Instagram so far but LinkedIn and Facebook are more appropriate platforms to promote my particular business.
I work better if I schedule time for social media rather than posting as and when.
There is such a thing as information overload. It’s so easy to fall down website and social media rabbit holes in search of knowledge but there is a danger of overwhelming yourself. I have found it’s better to try to stick to a strategic approach and allocate blocks of time for different tasks – even research!
As my business has two strands – tutoring and writing/editing/proofreading, I have had to try to focus on one aspect at a time rather than a scattergun approach. At the moment, tutoring is taking priority because I can begin earning money more quickly from tutoring than writing/editing/proofreading. However, I hope for an equal(ish) balance of the two strands long-term.
Help is available (often for free!) but you have to be pro-active in finding/accessing it. I have registered for a lot of local events after searching on Eventbrite. I have personally found social media and financial advice extremely useful e.g. using and understanding analytics and knowing what you are able to claim as business expenses.
It’s frustrating realising how much you don’t know/understand – yet!
People can be really kind and helpful and are great sources of knowledge and inspiration.
Starting a new business is a terrifying yet completely invigorating and all-consuming process!
It’s possible for a socially anxious introvert to do everything listed above successfully for the benefit of their business!