Starting your own business is an idea many of us play with during lunch hours and long meetings. But striking out on your own is scary – and often means taking a huge leap of faith.
We spoke with one Mum who recently did just that, Louise Turner, who left her secure job to go it alone. Here she tells us what it’s been like for her:
It’s been nearly a year since I took the biggest decision of my working life and handed in my notice with no formal job to go to.
I didn’t have a job to go to because I had decided to go it alone. I’d been part-time in a senior communications officer role for a government agency for more than five years along while doing a bit of freelance work on the side and had decided the time was right to try to create a proper business out of that freelancing.
The reasons will resonate with many people I’m sure. I wanted a better work-life balance. I wanted to walk my kids to school more often. I wanted more flexibility and variety. And more than anything I wanted to be in charge of what work I did (and what I didn’t).
I didn’t hand in my notice straight away. I originally had an 18-month plan to develop my business and grow it so that there wasn’t a massive gap in our family income. Those 18 months would have seen my youngest go to full-time school and that seemed like a sensible timescale as our childcare costs would plummet.
But things spiralled quite quickly once I started talking about my idea and I soon found myself in the position of having too much work on. I’m not complaining, it was a great dilemma to have, and being a put-up-or-shut-up kind of girl, I handed in my letter and looked forward to being the boss.
My working life has changed enormously since. Not least because what the last 12 months have taught me is that, although I love the media work I do with small businesses, I love to write more. So my business is slowly changing from one focused on getting SMEs the media coverage they deserve, to writing good quality marketing materials, websites, blogs and articles. Finally my parents will have some idea about what it is I do!
For those people weighing up their working like, perhaps wondering about starting their own business and perhaps worrying about the recessions I’d say this: there is never a good time to start a business, only the right time for you and your idea. So be brave if you want to, try something different, because in my book it is better to have tried and failed than to never have tried.