We're on Etsy! Useful tips for starting out on your own.

Hello dear readers!

How are we all?  I hope you're well and have enjoyed a restful weekend.  It's a bit of a late one today as I've been chained to my sewing machine for the past couple of days, getting ready for the launch of The Project Bag on Etsy. 

I was going to write about starting your own business but, honestly my darlings, I just don't have the mental bandwidth left to go through all of that.  It takes a lot, and a lot of time, energy, research and effort.  It means long hours, lots to learn, official forms and registrations, and a business plan.

So I think I'll leave you with some pretties from my new Etsy Store but, before I do....

I will, however, point you in the direction of some useful tools and resources:

1) Government Website

As dull as it may seem, using the government website is the best way to start.  It will help you figure out if you qualify as self-employed, whether to go for sole-trader status, and guide you through the legal side of things. 

2) Future Learn
https://www.futurelearn.com/  This is a fantastic resource - it provides courses for FREE in all sorts of fields.  I took a couple of the entrepreneurship courses and it was invaluable to me.  I was delighted to discover, when completing the case studies, that my business seemed not only viable, but that it had the potential for real success.  It also made me consider things I wouldn't have otherwise, and forced me to take the time to research other businesses and learn from them.   The courses are designed and led by real university tutors and lecturers, a truly fantastic resource.

3) The Open University:  Free courses
 http://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses  Yes, you heard correctly - FREE courses from the OU.  I took the basics in accounting, which really helped me because until now I'd been hopeless at managing my own finances on a monthly basis, trusting all bills to direct debits and trying to get to the end of the month on a shoestring.  But now I had to be more responsible and would need to do the dreaded tax return!  This is so helpful. 

4) Talk to other business people!

I'm going to leave some links to podcasts by real live entrepreneurs.  Now these are in my chosen field of craft and teaching but the lessons can be applied to all sorts of fields. 

The first video is by Eli AKA Skeindeer Knits, a lovely human being.  Here she guides you through the process of podcasting and her warts-and-all approach is really helpful to aspiring podcasters.

Next up is the gorgeous Amy aka Amy Florence.  She's the dyer behind Stranded Dyeworks and an incredible businesswoman.  Here she reveals the truth about working for yourself, debunking those myths about "the good life" and explains just how much work it is.

Finally, let's hear from Lisa Comfort, who you may recognise from her appearances on television with Kirstie Allsopp.  She is the entrepreneur and founder of Sew Over It.  

And now, let me leave you with some pretties from my Etsy Store

Visit www.etsy.com/uk/shop/theprojectbaguk

Well, that's it for today lovelies.  Do let me know what sort of prints you'd like to see.  Perhaps you have some business tips for others?   Or questions about starting your own?  Let me know in the comments.



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