My truths about Self Employment

These days it seems self employment is becoming more and more common with the rise of online selling abilities, rep businesses and the 'Boss Babe' movement.
I'm all for anything which makes people feel more empowered and able to handle their own business, no matter what size.
I've been in this game for 6.5 years now, although much more so in the last 2 or 3 and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts and experiences on self employment.
These are personal to me, relate to my business (small printing & craft business) and life, and are unfiltered, you may not agree with them but that's okay you don't need to.

  • Do not expect help and advice; but don't assume people won't offer
  • There is no sick pay or sick leave, if you aren't working, you aren't earning
  • Not all businesses are the same, don't tell people how to run theirs
  • It's okay to be jealous, just don't let it effect how you work
  • 2 similar businesses do not have to be competition - some of my best friends run very similar businesses to me. We don't need to compete we have different customers, different styles and there's more than enough customers to share. 
  • Being a rep for a big business is not the same as running a small business, I'm not saying you don't work hard but I can't run my business from the local coffee shop, I am physically making something. There is disagreements between the business types, please don't try to act like they're the same thing. I respect your business but it isn't the same.
  • There is nothing more rewarding than a happy customer! 
  • The customer is not always right but neither are you
  • Own your mistakes, if somethings gone wrong talk to your customer
  • Don't be scared of selling seconds, you might make less but it's more than throwing it away
  • Set your policies and stick to them
  • Sometimes it's worth bending a policy for a happy customer but bending is not breaking
  • Do not deceive your customers, if you're going to have a sale then have a sale, don't up the price first. 
  • Think about how you want to be treated as a customer
  • You can sack your customers, sometimes it's better to lose an order than handle a nightmare
  • Take breaks, it's hard taking a day off but your time is important
  • You won't have fun every day, sometimes you'll have a full week or month which isn't fun
  • If it stops being enjoyable and worthwhile then consider changing career
  • Value your time; if something takes 5 hours to make don't charge £1
  • Pricing is difficult, consult friends and families and think "what would I pay"
  • You will be told something is too expensive and too cheap, own your pricing just because it doesn't suit everyone doesn't mean it's wrong
  • Join groups online, locally (if that's your thing) or anywhere else, there's a huge community out there. 
  • You will never please everyone, you will be happier when you stop trying
  • Try things
  • Face to face sales may work for you, they may not give it a try 
  • Give it a go it may not work, but it might just be the thing you need
  • Go your own way
  • Don't let someone else tell you what's true, yes I'm writing this but this is my thoughts not yours, make up your own mind
  • It's okay to feel more CEO than #bossbabe, it's okay to be a proud Boss Babe
Adding to all of these, don't be a dick, don't be cruel, don't be hateful. Just because someone doesn't agree doesn't mean they're wrong. Support others.
You don't burn brighter by blowing out other's flames


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