Small Business Saturday Blog

What I learnt in my first year in business

Monday, October 24 at 11:15

I relocated to Leeds from India two years ago.  Previously, I would never have imagined that I would be the founder of a business and that I would be proud to call myself an entrepreneur.

This Pampered Life offers bespoke experience days in Yorkshire. Since launch, last year, the question I have been asked the most is ‘how did you manage to establish a business in a different country’? To be completely honest, I think it all boiled down to ‘passion and perseverance’. However, I also feel it is a combination of many different factors.

Here are a few things that have helped me in my short, yet eventful, journey as a start-up business.

Be A Doer
I believe that all of us have the potential to lead a successful business. We all have ideas about creating new products and services. It all boils down to what we do with the idea! That, in short, is the game-changer, ‘the doing bit’. As an Entrepreneur you start small. It is essential to accept that you will need to ‘do’ everything yourself in order to drive the business forward.

This holds true especially when you are a ‘one man army’. You have to handle all the marketing, selling, delivery and after-sale feedback. This has to fit in-between admin tasks such as finances, filing records and website maintenance.

Don’t Fear A “No”
This has been an important factor in helping me persevere. I remember last year in July, when the idea of This Pampered Life was taking shape. I wrote to the Head of Enterprise at a major university. This was to seek guidance on what it takes to start a business in the UK. The reply, via LinkedIn, was:
‘I would love to meet you to help. However, more importantly, I would like to meet you to congratulate you for your sheer courage in asking for help without any introduction’
It may sound cheeky, but in my head I thought ‘what could be the worst that could happen?’ I could be ignored. However, that would be better than not trying at all. The worst-case scenario will be a ‘No’. It is important to remember that a ’No’ is only a ‘No’ at that moment in time. Trying someone else or trying at a different time, might achieve a ‘Yes’.

Choose Support Wisely
Very early on in my business journey I realised that the UK is definitely one of the best countries for start-ups. This is in terms of the abundant free support we have access to. While this is a great opportunity for all of us, I was unsure what kind of resource was most suitable for me. That meant that I attended way too many free workshops for social media, marketing and networking. Don’t get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot from each of these events.

However, at some point I needed to sit down and analyse what was most important for my business. Was it going out and investing many hours in connecting with more people or was it sitting down in my office writing to my existing connections? Be selective and conscious of time, was my learning outcome.

People Buy People
At times I would be lost for words when I was expected to talk about my business. There was a point when I thought to myself that there has to be another way. Of course there is. I stopped selling my business to everyone I met. I realised that people buy into you first and then your business. Be genuine.

Passion
I started this business because I saw an opportunity to offer something unique. We are fortunate when we have the opportunity to convert our dream into a reality.  While chasing our dreams, take the passion along and enjoy the journey.

Minoti Parikh is the founder of This Pampered Life. She has had a successful career as a Master of Ceremonies, TV Presenter and Corporate Trainer. Along with this, A Masters degree in Marketing and Industrial Psychology has helped her build the brand value of small & medium size businesses in her role as a Marketing and Events consultant.

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