Starting a business- My Story

My Story
Just over 5 years ago my husband had recently started his own business and I was working, mostly nights, as nurse, on a zero hours’ contract.
I enjoyed my job and wanted to work more hours but I didn’t want to work more late shifts or nights. It was a big dilemma!

I had worked as a nurse since 2001 when I qualified. I worked full-time for about 18 months until I had my 1st child, a little girl in 2003, when I was 24 years old.
After a year’s maternity leave I went back to work 2 days a week and I carried on working 2 or 3 days a week until I started Laura's Treasured Prints.
I really enjoyed nursing but started to feel a bit stuck!
I had itchy feet and I kept wanting to apply for different roles but most of them were fulltime and/or had more shift work which didn’t fit in with family life.
I felt there was always something holding me back from applying.
We also wanted another child and the NHS offer good maternity pay and rights so thought I better stay put just in case!
That 'just in case' went on for longer than planned. Unfortunately, over 5 years I lost 5 pregnancies. We had a pretty awful time of operations, IVF and a lot of stress.
In the end it did all work out and we went on to have an amazing little boy. We have a 7-year gap between our children which wasn’t what we planned but it actually works really well.

Then in February 2014 my husband took a massive step (with a bit of a shove from me!) and set up his own business, All Clean Ovens and Carpets.
In March 2014 the hospital area I was working in shut down and I decided to get a zero hours NHS contract, to give me a bit of space to decide what I was going to do next??

I had helped set up husband’s business and although it was a bit scary we both really enjoyed him being able to make his own decisions about work. I thought, maybe I could do that too!!
When we were on holiday I stumbled across a fb post about baby casting. After a lot of research I found a company that offered training and it all went from there........
Me and my husband
Me and my husband

It’s been quite stressful at times but overall I’m really pleased we took the jump and I’m really proud of what we have achieved over the last five and half years.
Setting up our own businesses has been a great experience and a huge learning curve!
Learning to cast was just one part..... I have had to learn how to do:- accounts, marketing, branding and social media. Also to manage finances, build a website...the list goes on and on!

I’ve made some mistakes along the way.....
One example was getting my tax calculation completely wrong!
I had lost track of my business finances and thought I had roughly worked out what my tax should be, but realised that once I had actually got all my paperwork straight I had massively underestimated my tax bill!! I spent a lot of January that year in tears and in a complete panic.
I had however learnt a big lesson and now do my tax return well in advance!
I work a lot more hours now than I did when I was employed but I’m doing something that can evolve and develop which I really enjoy.
I love managing my own time and not having to put in a holiday form but I do miss holiday pay!

Starting your own business?
My advice to anyone planning to starting their own business is to go for it!
Don’t wait..... It’s a bit like waiting for the right time to have a baby... but often there isn’t a 'right' time.
Also don’t worry about getting everything perfect before you launch for example, the best website, millions of samples etc... .
Things always change as you develop your business anyway!