Running a business is hard, but there are ways to make things easier for yourself. If you’re thinking about starting a product based business these are the essentials (in my opinion). Like I could not survive without them.
So if you’re looking for the secrets behind my content planning, collection planning or how I create slick graphics, keep reading…
1. The Content Club
I absolutely can not live without Jess Bruno - period. On Jess’ instagram she posts a multitude of great free advice and tips for your business - whether you’re product or service based, there is something for you. Jess cuts through the noise (and the bullsh*t) and provides actionable tips. Her newsletter is well worth signing up for and it’s totally free.
However, specifically The Content Club has helped me learn so many things, providing a monthly events calendar, and content prompts for every day (and there’s an archive so you can always reuse content). There’s also weekly trend reports for insta and tiktok, and my favourite part - templates for captions, newsletters, blogs, your web copy and so much more! Jess also hosts weekly co working sessions, as well as a book club and small box mixers.
She’s also a fellow Stoma queen, so we are soul sisters (or maybe bowel sisters)!
2. A dedicated work space
This one is so important, sometimes really difficult. I live in a small one bed flat, and struggled to carve a space for my business - but I knew it needed to happen, so my living room is a studio x living room x dining room. I needed to have a corner I could work in, but also step away from at “the end of the day”.
In the corner with good light I have a second hand pull out ikea table (which I got off of eBay secondhand) which I use as a desk for my sewing machine, tools I need regularly, with a comfy desk chair, and that I can cover to take product photos. Next to this I have an 8 box ikea kallax where I store fabrics for current and next collections so I know where they are. On top of this is my iron, spare tools and misc items (hello roller skates I got 2 years ago, but have been too sick to use).
I also have (lovingly named) “cupboard of doom” which is a built in cupboard where fabrics for future collections are kept, as well as my personal stash.
I try really hard to work at my desk whether it’s sewing, or doing admin, or writing these blogs, because otherwise I just sink into the sofa and never step away.
I have Rachel Emma Waring to thank for this one! I saw her posting about it on Instagram and I had to know more (Rachel also has templates you can purchase to download). I am pretty sure I’m not using Notion to its full potential - but that’s me being unorganised and forgetful. I find it really easy to plan out my content weeks in advance, with general ideas, or inserting the graphics I’ve made or writing captions ready for posts thanks to Jess Bruno (number 1 on this list). It’s helpful to help organise lists for different things - like you can see I have “blog ideas”, “influencer stuff” (professional term 😉).
There is so much that can be done with it and I would love to hear any tips you may have so shoot them over to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or pop me a message on Instagram (or leave a comment here)!
I really hope you found this useful, let me know in the comments if you did, or if there’s anything you think I’ve missed.
People always tell me how sh*t hot my graphics look, and sometimes I do design them in Procreate but I am a total novice, and without a clear vision, I really struggle to get it “right”. Canva has loads of free templates, graphics, etc you can use. From business cards to, Instagram stories to website banners - you can design anything. You can upgrade to Canva pro (which I did on a trial basis at a discount and it was great, and if I had £10 a month to budget for it, I would keep it up) - my fave features of Canva pro are the background remover and brand hub, it just streamlines things for me, instead of checking my notes for the hexadecimal code for the colours I use.
5. A business bank account
Hot damn I wish I had got a separate business bank account sooner - I did try but Starling rejected me, and I have no idea why and then I just forgot. I use Monzo as it’s really easy to use, and it has the really simple labels like “rent”, “marketing”, “expenses”, etc similar to a personal account. This really helps me see where my money is going, where I can scale back, and what I can afford to spend more on. It’s also really helped at the end of the month when I go to do my finance spreadsheet!
These are my top 5 essentials for running my small business, if you’d like to see more of these behind the scenes kind of blogs, let me know in the comments. What’s your top business essential?