Tag Archives: buisness

Five Simple Strategies to Keep on Top of your Small Business Finances

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I’m about as un-mathematically minded as they come. Just the thought of balance sheets, invoices and bookkeeping brings me out in a cold sweat. So no-one is more surprised than me that today I’m writing an article about managing small business finances!

However, ever since starting the Green Room I’ve been emailed constantly by folks asking me if I could help them with their various money organisational woes.  Well, all I can really say is that thank goodness I married a man who understands how all this stuff works because without him I’d probably be sobbing into a spreadsheet right about now.

Surprisingly though, I have actually learnt a few little titbits about managing the money side of things over the years. These tips are pretty simple and easy to implement, but I hope some of you will find them helpful.

1. Work out how much you need to survive

Figuring out how much you need to live on is lesson number one when it comes to setting your rates. You need a final number in mind to enable you to work backwards and calculate how much you need to charge for your product or services.

To do this, add up all your expenses. This should include everything from food, entertainment, clothes, rent and travel for yourself and the things you’ll need to keep your business ticking over like equipment, your website, marketing and insurance. You should also include a few luxuries like eating out every so often, because it’s not really going to be much fun being sat at home eating beans on toast every night because you’re not charging enough.

If you needed £30,000 a year to live on and run your business effectively. Next, work out how many clients you’d ideally like to work with annually and then divide the second number by the first. Say you wanted to work with 30 clients per year, that would mean you’d need each client to bring in £1000 each.

2. Pay yourself a wage

Something I realised quite early on is that I needed some boundaries which how much I was allowed to spend on myself each month. Before Rock n Roll Bride I was very much living payday to payday and was literally spending everything I earned (I’ve never been much of a saver!) So I knew that if I didn’t pay myself a wage that I’d probably end up having no money left to pay any business costs.

The other thing with paying yourself a consistent wage is that you’re less likely to go crazy in Topshop if you have an unusually lucrative month. Doing this is dangerous because if for some reason the following month is a bit leaner, then that extra money could have really come in handy.

This is especially important for people with very seasonal businesses, like those of us in the wedding industry. In the summer you might be working on lots of weddings which means lots of money coming in, but over the winter you’re going to struggle if you’ve spent all of that extra income and nobody is getting married!

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The Secret of Success


I kinda hate it when people ask me what I do for a living. It’s not that I’m embarrassed, but when you reply with “I’m a blogger”, it’s usually followed by a million other questions like “Is that like Facebook?”, “What’s a blog?” and “How do you make money?”

Another round of questions that I seem to get asked a lot are about how I became successful and profitable at something so many others try, and fail, to do. Like I have a secret that others haven’t quite figured out yet or something. People always want to know if there was one defining moment or a turning point that took my blog from a small hobby on the side to what it is today… but I’m sorry to report that the answer is always no.

Like anything in life, there is no quick fix or easy answer. The reality is that there is no single trick or technique to making your blog or business become ‘successful’. There is no ‘one size fits all’ guide or single path you can follow for guaranteed prosperity.

However when I think about it logically, there probably were three main things that I did that helped me become (however you might define it) successful in my field.


For three years I blogged without making a penny. I did it because I loved it. The thing about working for those years without thinking about how to make a living from it was that I had plenty of time to practice. I didn’t have the pressure of earning a crust to contend with. I was able to just learn and create without any pressure.

I had a full time job where I worked nights. I’d start at 6pm and work on until 2.30am. The only way I could blog too was to get up in the morning and do it – all day – before going to work again in the evening. Am I going to pretend it was easy? Of course not, I was bloody tired all the time, but it wasn’t even a question for me. I loved blogging so much that I kept doing it, even when I wasn’t seeing and rewards.

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Business Bites: Motivation


Photography: Food for my Family

Over brunch in Soho yesterday morning, Gala and I started chatting about motivation. It’s funny because I always figured that I was motivated by money, after all isn’t that why we run our businesses? But she commented that since I’d arrived in New York, less than 24 hours previously, I’d spoken about two projects that I am currently working on. Of both I’d then gone on to say “yeah but I’m not really doing it for the money. I really enjoy it and think it will make me really stand out from the other wedding blogs…”

I’ve always been very competitive. I always want to be the one winning the award, the one being picked for the magazine feature, the one doing all the new and innovative projects. I think, sometimes, acknowledging our motivations can be quite difficult because the things that ultimately drive us might not be the things we really want people to know about us. They are our strengths but, if exposed, could also be seen as weaknesses.

I always knew this about myself but never really thought about it as being a motivation. I figured it was just the way I was, an irrelevant character trait if you will. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I also recently took The Fascination Advance test. It’s about $30 but if you’re having trouble determining your strengths and weaknesses or you want to find out how you can use your personality and motivations to propel what you do, its well worth the investment. My result initially quite surprised me but after this chat with Gala it’s all starting to fall into place a bit more.

So I ask you, what are you motivated by? At it’s core and in your gut, what drives you to do what you do? Is it money, competition, security, being a leader, spending more time with your family, helping others, creative expression, experiencing new things… something else?

Anyway, that’s just a little sommat sommat for you to mull over. If you feel so inclined I’d love to hear about your motivations the comments. Enjoy this week’s links and have a great weekend. The Blogcademy kicks off again tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited!

♥ ‘Everyone is a photographer’: specialize or perish
Forget about marketing, concentrate on blogging
♥ What to do when you feel jealous of other business ladies
Photographers, are you struggling to set your rates? Read this…

“Whenever someone says they can’t afford us, we don’t believe that’s really what they mean. We present our value first, and if they don’t recognize that value, we gladly allow them to walk away.”

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Going into Business with Friends

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I‘ve decided to go into business with three other girls who I met online and have since become great friends with. We all run our own businesses independently but this will be a collaboration between the four of us. I’m really excited about it because we all have different skills and I think we can all bring something different to the table.

I was wondering if you had any advice about going into business with friends (I know you’ve done it with Gala and Shauna with The Blogcademy and you all met online too!) The business idea was actually mine so I guess I’m the driving force behind it but obviously I can’t do it on my own.

My main question is how do we spilt the finances or decide who gets what? Do we split it evenly because that is the fair thing to do, even though each of us will have a different level of involvement and workload? We roughly know where everyone’s strengths lie and even though it will totally be a team effort, it was my idea. Some of the others are more driven towards the networking and exposure that this venture might bring rather than the money but at the same time, I don’t want it to ever become awkward with the potential of someone not pulling their weight because they aren’t getting paid.

On the flip side, if we split everything equally, I’m worried that it wouldn’t really be fair if one person ended up doing a lot more work but only took the same as everyone else. What do you guys do and how would you suggest we work this out so we can take it forward?

There is also bound to be an initial investment involved with the business so how do we go about sorting out who is going to cough up initially? Should it be me as the captain of the ship!? 

We know what we want to achieve we just can’t work out what the fairest way to split the income is and to make sure we don’t fall out in future. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Launching The Blogcademy was a huge and steep learning curve for Gala, Shauna and me but sharing the success together has been the most satisfying thing ever. I mean, what’s the point of having it if you haven’t got someone to share it with?! It’s been far from smooth sailing, but I’m pleased to say that we are yet to have an argument (touch wood!) and our friendships have, if anything, only gotten stronger through working together.

It’s only been ten or so months since we launched the business but the amount we’ve learnt has been astounding! In fact I could talk about it all for days as there are so many things to consider. However I don’t want to overwhelm you, so instead, here are the four biggest lessons we’ve learnt along the way… and yes, how to deal with the finances is a big one!

Have a contract

This sounds all official and scary but it doesn’t have to be. In fact we didn’t even think about this until the night before our first class when we were sharing horror stories about mutual acquaintances that had fallen out when they went into business together! So we scribbled something down on a piece of paper and all signed it. I think it basically said “I won’t screw my friends over, steal all the money or try to sue for half the business if I decide to leave…” It probably wasn’t the most watertight contract but if the worst did happen in those early days it would have given the business (and us as individuals) some kind of protection.

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