Tag Archives: the green room

The 50 Dos and Don’ts of Running Your Own Business

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When you run your own small business there are oodles of people who’ll want to offer you well meaning advice. There are also books and websites a-plenty packed full of information. So needless to say it can all be very overwhelming! In my opinion though, these are the 50 definitive dos and don’ts to follow if you’re an entrepreneur.

1. DO be yourself. Share who you are as a person first and the right customers will automatically connect with you.
2. DON’T be scared to try new things.
3. DON’T worry about what other people think.
4. DO make genuine friendships within your industry. You’re much more likely to go further with a posse of friends who have your back and support you.
5. DON’T be afraid to ask for help.
6. DO practice, practice and practice some more.
7. DO document your journey on your blog.
8. DO make a commitment to learning. Sign up for workshops and courses to keep your skills fresh. Make sure you apply what you’ve learnt afterwards!
9. DON’T underestimate the power of amazing branding. Invest in it when you can.
10. DO be personable on social media and your blog but don’t air your dirty laundry in public.

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What is Your Purpose?

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You are not how many Twitter followers you have, Facebook likes you’ve gained or the emails sitting in your inbox. You are not more important when you’re busy or in-demand. You are not the money in your bank, the expensive clothes in your wardrobe, the house in the right area or the fancy car in the driveway.

The people you help, the lives you touch, and the gifts you give back to the world, that is what matters.

For a long while I thought that my purpose was just to help share wedding ideas… which felt quite superficial and unimportant in the grand scheme of things. But more recently I’ve started to realise that what I really, truly, want to do is to be able to inspire people to be themselves. I want my readers to feel empowered and to be proud of who they are after reading my site. I want to show people that they can have the wedding, life and career that they really want. I want to write things that help people to get there.

Finding your purpose is about using your skills, whatever they might be, and seeing each day as an opportunity to improve the lives of others.

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Digital Detox

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Feeling overwhelmed because of your dependence to all things digital is, undoubtedly, the curse of the modern era. And we’re all guilty of it. I don’t know about you, but when I look at my personal dependency it’s particularly scary.

The first thing I do when I wake up is grab my phone and start scrolling through emails, twitter, facebook, instagram… I then get up, go to my office, turn on my computer and work on it for at least eight hours straight. At around 6pm I log off, head downstairs, watch TV, fire up my laptop and browse pinterest, youtube, buzzfeed. I always keep my phone very close by.

I am constantly connected, constantly contactable, constantly on stand-by.

It’s not that I think I’m going to miss something oh so very important if I switch off… it’s that I actually can not switch off. Without some kind of digital stimulation I’m quickly bored, fidgety and grumpy. I am unable to just… be. I need things to continually occupy my mind, and most of the time that thing is the internet.

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How To Land your Dream Job

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The Blogcademy, the blogging and business workshop I co-run, recently advertised for an events coordinator. I’ve never hired anyone before (I don’t think my husband counts, he was a bit of a shoo-in!) or had to go through job applications, so this was actually a massive learning experience for me too.

We had over 100 applications (!) and going through so many in short succession really did show me – quickly – the mistakes people were making over and over again. I hope some of the things I realised can also help you if you’re planning to apply for a new job soon.

Be short and concise… but not too brief

As I said, we had over 100 applications to go through and anyone who rambled on for too long in their initial email or covering letter instantly started getting on my nerves (harsh, I know..!) While you certainly should include a letter which lays out why you want the job and what you can bring to the role, be sure to make everything relevant and get to your points quickly!

Use your covering letter to really sell yourself to your potential employer but don’t tell your life story. We don’t need to hear about your childhood nicknames or the fact that you make the best god-damn brownies in the world. Show that you’re passionate and well-versed in the company ethos and that you are qualified for the role, but if something isn’t relevant, take it out!

On the flip side there were some people who literally just sent in their CV and an email that said “You should check me out!” To an employer that looks like you don’t really care about the specific job you’re applying for and you haven’t put any effort into your application.

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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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Does Your Business Have A Secret Recipe?

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Do you ever wonder what it is that makes one blog memorable and recognisable and another seem like they’re going through an identity crisis every other week?  Do you ever look at a photograph and instantly know who took it? Or see a dress and immediately know who the designer was?

The reason for this is consistency. If you can look at something and without delving any deeper know who the creator was, then they have not only managed to hone a strong and identifiable brand, but have carved out a consistent formula, or secret recipe, for their work.

Having a secret recipe and being consistent isn’t about being boring, repetitious or uncreative. It’s about having some parameters in place in which you create your best, and most recognisable, work. Monet was known for his landscapes and impressionist style. You didn’t see him painting the Water Lilies one day and a fire-breathing dragon the next. Being consistent will help you to fortify and solidify your brand. That’s not to say that your style can’t naturally evolve over time though. In fact it most certainly should or you’ll end up getting bored and your work stagnant.

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