Get yourself sorted from the start, admin wise!
Here I am, three years down the line from when I was getting serious about turning my making-some-pin-money silver jewellery hobby into a business. Things are getting quite busy now, and I am finding myself in a bit of a muddle with my admin. At last I have spreadsheets for customers, suppliers, stock, etc on my lap top, only wishing I'd done this right from the start. But being an 'arty' creative sort of person, these things all seemed so boring!
To go back to the way things were three years ago, admin didn't appear to be necessary, there were not many invoices to print, lists of materials and stock to make, customers details to be recorded, and the way I thought was .... once I get busy I will get this all done - BIG mistake!
Once you get busy there won't be any time for this. If you have not got yourself into a habit of entering your records every week, it is so much more tricky to do this when there are commissions to see to, materials to order, workshops to plan and advertise (in my case).
So hear it from someone who has been there, done it wrongly and learn - I will have to spend a lot of my 'holiday' time entering details into my spreadsheets, because the next 5 months are going to be quite hectic, if last year's experience is anything to go by.
As schools get ready to break up for the summer and you start packing your suitcase ready for a fun packed fortnight in Benidorm, it’s worth familarising yourself with a recent Court of Appeal decision.
In the case of Huzar v Jet2.com, the Court of Appeal held that the airline, Jet2.com, was liable for a “technical fault” and Mr Huzar was entitled to compensation for his delayed flight.
Mr Huzar originally brought the claim against Jet2.com when they refused his request for compensation when his flight from Malaga was delayed by 27 hours. Under European Regulations, any passenger who is delayed by more than 3 hours is entitled to receive compensation of up to €600 from the airline. However airlines do not have to pay if there are “exceptional circumstances”. Jet2 argued that they were not liable to pay as the delay was due to a technical fault with the plane and that amounted to “exceptional circumstances”. Many airlines reject compensation claims on this basis.
The Court of Appeal however ruled that technical faults are inherent in the normal activity of an airline and therefore do not constitute “exceptional circumstances”. Mr Huzar was awarded compensation of £526.
This may provide you with some comfort when faced with that all too familiar flashing notice board indicating FLIGHT DELAYED, now where did I put my passport....
Dealing with the doubters
“Why don’t you just go and get a job?”
Creating and running my own business has always been a dream and, discussing my business plans with friends and family, I fully expected them to be absolutely 100% behind me, emotionally supporting me every step of the way. Surprisingly for me, not true. Enter the doubters.
You do know you have to earn a living?
My parents thought that running my own business would be a phase, a fad that I would grow out of, like leg-warmers or novelty pencil sharpeners. Little did they realize that their daughter was serious, determined and committed, no matter how hard it was going to get. I was discussing with my parents a particularly busy week networking and meeting potential clients one day and they said to me “you do know you have to earn a living, don’t you? You can’t just drink coffee all day” Seriously? It took all my efforts to swallow the multitude of sarcastic comments that were trying to get out, wanting to scream, “oh really, I didn’t know that!”
My friends seem to think that by running my own business I can get out of bed when I feel like it, have a leisurely breakfast and work in my pyjamas until lunchtime, oh and have plenty of time to watch Jeremy Kyle! And of course, I’m free to childmind on teacher training days too, because I’m just “messing about on the computer.” On a recent down day when I was doubting myself and wondering what to try next, a friend very kindly said to me “why are you putting yourself through this”. “Why don’t you just go and get a job?” Those very words made me shudder at the thought of being part of the corporate game again; office politics, commuting nightmares, KPI’s and endless policies and procedures.
Learning the lesson
My entrepreneurial days are in their early stages but already in this journey of self-discovery and personal growth I have learnt a valuable lesson. Now, I don’t discuss the nitty gritty of my business with potential doubters. I love my family and friends dearly but its like-minded individuals at my local networking club I turn to instead in my hour of need.
Four Magic Words So when things are going awry (and they do quite often!); computer breaks down, business is quiet or I’m just having a lack of confidence day, I know that the people to turn to are not my friends and family but other networking club entrepreneurs who believe and understand what I’m doing and say “you CAN do it”. Four simple, but magical words that set me back on track and invisibly carry me forward.
If creating and running your own business is your dream, join a networking group and get advice and support from like-minded individuals because the doubters will be there. In times of low confidence or when things go wrong, the doubters will be telling you to do the sensible thing and “just go and get a job!”
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