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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 email me on info@­eventowl.­co.­uk  leaving your name and number 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.