It was suggested by one of my best friend’s that I should start a blog documenting my small business/mental health journey. So, here it is, thank you Rachel for planting that seed.
This blog aims to provide an honest and *hopefully* a predominantly optimistic view of my future and that of SteamOn Ironing Service’s too.
SteamOn has been in business now for approximately two weeks. It has been an interesting journey so far. [I often use the word ‘interesting’ when I cannot attribute either a positive or negative feeling towards the experience - for future reference.]
I’ve had a good handful of clients over the past two weeks, mostly from a Leeds-based technical SEO, SALT.agency. I’ve also been providing exclusive office cleaning for their offices as well - this service is not something I plan to expand. I want to focus my efforts on ironing alone.
The workplace pick-up and drop-off service I offer, I feel has made a positive start. I think it is something that I personally would have found highly convenient if I was still working in the corporate world. I really do hope this is something that does take off. In the future, I plan to offer company loyalty deals, i.e. shared or cheaper delivery charges; eventually being able to launch a loyalty scheme rewarding customers for their continued custom. However, at the moment that does feel like that’ll be in the distant future - but it is a project I am working on for the long-term!
I am not going to lie, the process of starting up a business has been and continues to be testing. The easy part is the literal setting up if you’re business-minded and have done the appropriate research. I am also lucky to have been accepted onto the New Enterprise Allowance programme offered via the job centre where I’ve been given additional support to get myself up and running. However, the part which I personally have found most difficult is the literal launch of the business, mostly the advertising and promotional aspects.
I am someone who struggles with patience. I am someone who also deeply struggles relying on other people to help me out especially after reaching out for either private support or public support. These are two lessons I currently seem to be studying really hard for and I am entirely sure will be life-long lessons. If anyone does have any hints and/or tips on how to overcome these obstacles or ways to better deal with the ‘revision’ of these difficult lesson topics then please do feel free to comment on this post.
This is an example of some real problem-based learning for you. At the moment, I’ve currently launched a specific Facebook social media challenge as part of SteamOn’s launch campaign. The prize is worth £250 where an individual based in Yorkshire can win all their ironing to be completed for an entire month; people just need to share SteamOn’s business page with #SteamOnComp. The uptake on the campaign has been stale and disappointing. I’ve been finding it difficult why the progress of this competition has not really taken off. Who doesn’t want their ironing done for free for just sharing our Facebook page? I can physically see the number of people who have interacted with the post featuring the competition but why no uptake… baffles me. Enough of my puzzlement, moving forward, I’ve invested in Facebook advertising with the hope that’ll increase the number of people participating. I am aware that this is a huge process. I will learn and understand more about customer acquisition. I appreciate it is an important learning curve for any developing business knowing how to hook customers, it does not happen overnight however much I would like it to be. Again, as mentioned previously it is my journey of learning lessons of patience and perseverance.
Flyers have now arrived and look really good. Now though the physical promotional task is honestly what I hoped I would be looking forward to as I do love meeting new people. However, I am struggling at the moment to crack-out of my hibernation shell. I am a professional hermit as of late; very much a breathing oxymoron. I desire to socialise to combat the loneliness of being on my own but also do not want to leave the confines of my snuggly home. Depression has its teeth sunken in. The plan is to pry them off and escape - my other half Chris is great at helping and supporting me through these episodes. I am positive he will guide me through this scary, hopefully, short-term phase even if I am a total misery guts. Wish me good luck; one thing for sure is, it is only the beginning, I will not give up and succumb however rotten I may feel at times. I suppose it is kind of poetic and the beautiful aspect of being self-employed.
Signing off for now, I will check back in most likely in a fortnight.
Take care of yourselves and…… get sharing our business Facebook page!
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