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Things I've Learnt Running A Small Business

Things I've Learnt Running A Small Business

Posted on: Sunday 7 August 2022

Amy is sat on a bench with her legs up wearing a white long sleeved t-shirt with a graphic of an eagle and gingham trousers


Sometimes it's weird to think of myself as being a 'small business owner'; the imposter syndrome is definitely very real! It's nearly two years since Matthew and I started Nova Co., a sustainable clothing company we'd been dreaming of for at least a year before actually taking the leap and just doing it. In that time I've learnt a lot, including that I still have a lot to learn... 


It costs more than you expect // Doesn't everything? I honestly have no idea how people have a small business as their sole income because there are so many things you don't think about that cost money; it's not just the stock, it's insurance, transaction fees, advertising (basically all the really boring stuff).


Choosing to be fully sustainable is a challenge // We knew we wanted to be a sustainable clothing company, but we didn't really know what that would entail! It's a lot more expensive to ensure that everything is sustainable, mainly because it means that suppliers are being paid fairly all along the chain. It also takes a lot more research because you can't really claim to be sustainable without triple checking that is definitely the case from the materials being used, everyone being paid and treated fairly and suppliers you're using contributing positively rather than negatively to the environment.


Small business cliques exist // Small businesses support other small businesses, which is great, but there are definitely cliques within the small business community that can be difficult to break into and make you feel a little left out especially when you first start. However there are also plenty of small businesses who are lovely, friendly and willing to support anyone; maybe I was just na├»ve to expect that everyone would be like that! 


You'll feel like giving up // As a small business it's really hard to grow, like anywhere. It's hard to grow any sort of following on social media, it's difficult to direct traffic to your website, and some months you will sell nothing. Especially as a business that we run alongside our full time jobs it's hard to find the real time to work on growing, which often means it feels like we haven't at all, but it's so important to remember why we started (for fun, not money) and that good months come along to make up for the bad ones!


People surprise you // The people who will support you may surprise you; when we first launched we were amazed at just how many of our friends and family rallied round and purchased a tee from us. It was such a nice feeling and if I'm honest I get the same feeling whenever anyone buys something from us; whether we know them or not I'm always just so grateful!


And you'll surprise yourself! // I wanted to end on a positive, which is that I'm really proud that we took the plunge and actually started our own small business. It's actually mad that we came up with the whole concept, the branding and the actual products and it's definitely given me more confidence and made me believe in myself a bit more!

Comments

  1. You're amazing! It sounds like a great small business - need some matching mum and baby items though ;)

    Corinne x

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    1. Awh thank you! Haha we actually do baby stuff now, and it does match! x

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  2. Oh wow! I didn't know you did this. This is so cool. But definitely sounds like hard work. I'm going to head over to your site now!

    Claire.X

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    1. Awh thank you, it's definitely hard work but so much fun too! x

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  3. Small business owners definitely deserve so much praise! Far from the straight forward journey most except.You should be proud x

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  4. I work for a small business and I think my bosses didn't realise the full cost of running a business, it's definitely hard work but definitely worth it! x

    Lucy Mary

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    1. It's definitely hard work and more money than you'd think but yes so worth it! x

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  5. I love your honesty, such an insightful post!

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