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Starting a business

When I was made redundant about ten years ago now,  with very little redundancy pay to keep the red enveloped wolves at bay, I faced the stomach churning question  'What do I do now?'.

I was educated, experienced and certainly had the contacts to find another job, but did I really want to be bossed around, or get stuck on the mouse wheel of 9 - 5 business again?  Could someone actually teach an 'old'ish' dog new tricks?

Living on the final payout for a few months, I soon got bored of housework and weeding, and the financial strain on a marriage is never a good thing at times like that.  So instead of buying birthday presents for friends and family, I made cakes and cupcakes and popped them into pretty boxes with ribbons.  

They were very much appreciated and anticipated, so much so that I soon became busy making them for friends of friends and then friends of friends of friends.   I sought some help from my local council, dipped my toes at a local farmers market and thus the wheels were set in motion for becoming self-employed.  Buns of Bowland was my first venture.

It’s not always been plain sailing, it never is running a business. You must be prepared to ride the waves and be upturned occasionally, but the freedom I have found in being my own boss, well, I could never go back.

Every day I receive phone calls and emails from start-ups, or those considering growing their hobby into a small, part time business.  No idea is a bad idea, so if you need a bit of advice or maybe need pointing in the right direction, please call me via our office number 0330 332 6224 and I'd be delighted to speak with you.

Live to fulfil your purpose,

Julie, Founder of Event Owl


Basic essentials you need to know:

  • Get the financial plumbing at home sorted before you go any further.  New businesses can eat away at personal savings very quickly.  
  • Do not rely on friends and family for product feedback.
  • Think about where you can make your product - and where to store everything!
  • Work out how much it costs you to make your product, and make sure you account for the minimum wage as your own labour!  
  • Don't run before you can walk, build your business before spending money on fancy adverts, websites etc   
  • Don't fret about a business plan until you're product is actually selling small time, then you can prove the need of your product/service to an investor/bank and you'll have some known quantities for your figure work!
  • Get internet savvy - this is a none negotiable area, you will need a smart phone, email account or Facebook page for starters.
  • Think Etsy, Ebay, Gumtree and other start up friendly sales sites, or local markets/craft fairs to dip your toes.
  • Check if your household insurer can cover your start up business until you get larger.  Public Liability is key.