I started my business Laura’s Treasured Prints in June 2014 and those 5 years have whizzed by!
5 years ago my husband had just started his own business and I was working nights as nurse on a zero hours’ contract. I was stuck! I enjoyed my job and wanted to work more hours but I didn’t want to work more late shifts or nights.
I had worked as a nurse since 2001 when I qualified. I worked fulltime 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. I carried on working 2 or 3 days a week until I started my business. I really enjoyed nursing but started to feel a bit stuck! I kept getting itchy feet and I wanted to apply for different roles but most of them were fulltime and more shift work which didn’t fit in with family life. A 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 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!
I had helped set up husband’s business and although it was a bit scary we both really enjoyed being able to make our own decisions about work. I thought I can do that too! When we were on holiday I stumbled on a fb post about baby casting. After a lot of googling I found a company that offering training and it all went from there.
ADD PIC OF ME AND DAVE HERE
It’s been quite stressful at times but overall I’m 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 but it’s also been 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, manage finances, build a website, the list goes on! I’ve made some big mistakes along the way too, like completely getting my tax calculation wrong! I had completely lost track of my business finances and thought I had roughly worked it out what it should be. But once I actually got all my paperwork straight I spent a lot of January that year in tears and in a complete panic up. I learnt a big lesson and now do my tax return well in advance. I work a lot more hours now than I when I was employed but I’m doing something that I genuinely love and feel I can develop further in the future. I love not having to put a holiday form in and managing my own time but I do miss holiday pay!
My advice to anyone planning to start their own business is to go for it! Don’t wait for the perfect time. It’s kind of liking waiting for the right time to have a baby, there isn’t ever going to be the perfect time. Also don’t worry about waiting till you have everything perfect, eg the perfect website, millions of samples. You will change things in your business all the time anyway and you won’t get everything right to start with, but that doesn’t matter.