#SelfStarterStories: From Marketing Manager to becoming a Lifestyle Entrepreneur
This week's #selfstarterstory features Beckie Andrews, Founder of Not For Ponies.
#PickYourselfUK caught up with Beckie to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
What was your last job?: Marketing Manager
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: I firmly believe that if you don't put yourself out there and make things happen, things won't happen.
We are all masters of our own destiny. Great things happen when you are confident and believe in yourself, and most of the time the only person holding you back is you...
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: Marketing the product without an advertising budget
What is your favourite business book and why?: 100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises for Successful Living | And also Happy by Fearne Cotton
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: I do most things, but have recently sourced new logo design and photography styling. As the company grows I may also outsource book keeping.
What is your favourite marketing tool ?: Twitter and Mailchimp
How do you market your business?: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email marketing, PR, flyers and leaflets, and events (fashion markets and Christmas markets)
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: First I sold to family and friends, then I opened an Etsy Shop, after that I opened a shop in Afflecks Palace, Manchester
How did you get your first traffic to your website?: From Etsy, and handing out cards / flyers in the Afflecks Shop.
Nominate one person/friend who believed in you from the start, and what would you like to say to them today?: My nan - She's always told me I can be whatever I want to be, so thank you for believing in me when others were skeptical.
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Spend your pre-start time focusing on market research. Whether that's surveys, interviews or focus groups, spend some time unearthing what your target customer really wants - what you think they want, and what they actually want might be quite different.
It's also a good chance to get feedback on products, then you can fine tune them before you have the pressure of overheads when you are start up in business. And be bold, be confident and don't be afraid to do what feels right. It's always a bit nerve racking when you finally take that leap from employment to being self employed - just go for it, and never look back!
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Catherine Isabel Audrey Kidston AKA Cath Kidston
To stay up to date with Beckie's entrepreneurial journey, please find her on Facebook below:
Beckie Andrews has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2018. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.