How I Went About
Starting a Home Business

How I started My Business and the Decision Process I took

What and How I did it

I was raised starting a home business without realising it as my parents were hoteliers and innkeepers which sort of gave me a work for myself ethic as I grew up. They had already shown me how to go about starting a home business, I’d grown up in several. My parents apart from giving the best service they could provide, were always looking do something different to keep their clientele happy and the cash registers ringing. As I got older I became a part of this, as I had to help out, no paper route for me.

After some years at sea in hospitality after going through sea college and living and working in London as a chef amongst other things I returned to my beloved Cornwall and still working in hospitality running a pub, I tried to buy my own Inn. This didn’t work out as the sellers pulled out of the sale and I have no idea why.

I think that was the straw that broke my camel’s back so to speak because after working at buying an Inn and doing all the research for it I no longer wanted to work for anyone else but me. It wasn’t in my head then about starting a home business, it was about being my own boss.

So, I followed the passions of the arts and photography from my youth. I had enough funds to keep me afloat for about 8 to 10 months. Starting at home with some inspiration from good friends in business I looked at how I could start my own photographic studio and art gallery and take it online as well as on the high street as the internet was growing big style then.

I opened my studio and gallery in my local town continuing my research as I went. I even got a free coverage article in the county weekly newspaper taking local art online which really helped with exposure.

Within a short period of time I found a niche in the local printing market due to the fact I had leased a real good large machine and this became some of the business bread and butter between other photo and gallery projects.

Things were going good, hard work, but good. The 2006 forecast was set to blow the business out of the water and put me in good net profit for the first time then… Here we go again with one of those life twists. Without warning, the bank took away my working capital (much-needed) overdraft. Bang again, it killed my business dead in the water. I couldn't buy stock to print cards to sell or paper to print and the bills couldn't be paid. By January 2006 I had shut down my business and lost my house. In 4 short years, my half million pound goal had gone to losing the shirt off my back.

I lived for 2 months in a friend's borrowed camper van on a pub car park in the middle of winter with no electric, brrrr! I had already got a job in an hotel then got a flat to live in. Every penny I earned went to living though and I couldn't stop beating on myself for losing my Home! My mother lived with me when I had the cottage and she very luckily got re-housed to my great relief. Crazy isn't it, I was waiting outside the house for the bailiff to give him the keys. Would you give your keys away so easily, I couldn't flout the law.

More or less straight away I started to pick up the pieces of my mistakes and begin again. I worked for someone else for two years whilst re-researching my niches in business I like to do, but now with the total conviction to starting a home business.

By the end of 2006 I had re-kindled some old friendships where I had become involved in multi-level and affiliate marketing. This went back to 1992/94 and wow! This kind of business had changed dramatically. I'd been really getting used to and to know the Internet as I used it in my business in the gallery and print store, but this was different.

Research your business propositions
in detail when starting a home business

Well, this was it, my financial leap of faith and starting a home business. I already knew the principles of getting to the top. This time I knew the principle of not letting failure get in the way of success and somebody taking it away, never again. One of those principles is to make sure that your cashflow is yours and not the banks. If you take out any loans, make sure you have the ability to repay them. Before anything, make sure you have enough money to live on.

The end of two years saw me re-firing my passions with my photography/graphics business and creating another website and re-starting a home business and just completely taking my business online but still promoting my services offline locally. The end of the year I was able to give up the job and focus all of my time to my own business.

I worked through the winter of 2008, 2009 and 2010 to get my income at a reasonable level. I then started putting together all the knowledge and experience I have learned about self employment, working from and at home and all of the tips and tricks I have learned over the years. From being employed to being an employer.

I gathered some of the old, tried and tested businesses experience, affiliate ideas, old and new. In a nutshell, I have looked at a great deal of the work at, and work from home ideas as well as the self employed angle and taken all of the things that don't work out and put tons of resources together and was born (now gone). Whilst all this was going on I even found time to freelance to a large Canadian web company as a graphic designer and social media trainer for three years. (it all adds up when starting a home business)

Do not mistake that all of this was easy, as it wasn’t. The two years I went back to work a job, most of my spare time was spent in researching where, how, who, what I was going to do to create a secure work at home business. I looked at many ways other successful entrepreneurs had built their businesses as well as talk to a lot of people who already had some form of self employment success in all different trades and niches.

I went back to college in 2008 because the course was available to me to brush up on my core business skills for 1 day a week for six months. I thought it would be a waste of time, wow!  I couldn’t have been more wrong, things had moved on since I first went to college. I learned a lot of newer things that saved me massive amounts of time in my business ventures as well as bringing the knowledge I needed, up to speed including my home business plan. In starting a home business I definitely needed to refine my business plan so the right people could see exactly how I worked it at home.

I built my business on a tight budget and went for slow growth. My graphic design work and affiliate referral income from one of my other review sites allowed me to do that.

Consider your domestic circumstances

I spent a long time preparing starting a home business. There were things that needed to be resolved before I gave up my job. For example, I needed to wait until I had found somewhere to live that was ok to install a telephone and had an area I could set aside to work so that I could work from home. I’d previously had a home office so know how valuable it is to have that space to work efficiently.

I had a lot of support from my family and friends. Knowing I can go to my family after a bad day and receive that support helps me remember that the decision I made was the right one, more so now as I am quite physically disabled.

Would I do it differently now starting a home business

Most self-employed people will tell you that the paperwork and book keeping gets them down and saps away their time.

Make it a habit to get this in place in the beginning when starting a home business. You can refine and improve as you grow but making a daily, weekly and monthly paperwork and book keeping routine will help you manage your time better in the long term. Get all of that in place and your end of year books will be a cinch.

Do your research with tax, insurance, reciepts, chasing up clients, invoicing and all the other paperwork you need, even the petty cash book is important when it comes to where every penny goes in your business.

At the end of every day the only things left on your desk and screen desktop should be what you are doing tomorrow or for the rest of that week. Keep the clutter out. If you come across something new, add it to a "next file" and keep time for going through this file. Don’t let it get in the way of what you are doing now unless its something that is going to help, improve or make it more valuable to what you are doing now by giving it immediate attention. That’s a very long but real way of saying, Don’t Get Distracted

Then the point in time came along to declutter and refine the business and condense most of the websites into just one and The UK Solopreneur was born.

Write Down Your Goals

I use this tried and tested formulae in my business. I dream of where I want it to go, I write those dreams down so those dreams then become goals. These can be changed, they aren’t set in concrete, and you can tweak and refine them. Do it like this…

0 to 2-year goals – 2 to 5-year goals and long term 5 to 10-year goals.

Be realistic as well. If you want to have your business turn over one million pounds a year by 5 years then write that into the goal and how you could achieve it. Don't forget, you have to dream your goals too! That's called Dream Building.

Be realistic as well. If you want to have your business turn over one million pounds a year by 5 years then write that into the goal and how you could achieve it.

More people who write down their goals achieve them than people who don’t. It is really nice to go back over the list and tick them off as well as add new ones in between as you achieve or go beyond your expectations.
However, you may not achieve all you want, believe me, I haven’t, not yet, but that will not stop me trying and writing them down.

Best wishes and success starting a home business,
Micky Kidd

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