#SelfStarterStories: From being an investment assistant to becoming a virtual P.A.
This week's #selfstarterstory features Pippa Shaw, founder of Pink Spaghetti
PickYourselfUK caught up with Pippa to find out more about her entrepreneurial journey.
What was your last job?:
I was an Investment Assistant in a stockbroking firm
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?:
Once my business was up and running and I started to get some regular clients and positive feedback. You can't sit around and wait for things to fall into your lap, you have to grab any and every opportunity when you can.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?:
Probably the most challenging part was worrying about the financial side of things - I am responsible for all my bills, mortgage etc. so it is really important that my business works!
What is your favourite business book and why?:
The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon - it's accessible and a good read for someone who has just started their self-employed journey.
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?:
I do everything myself.
What is your favourite marketing tool ?:
Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and also Mailchimp
How do you market your business?:
Social media, free listings and networking. We're lucky to have so many amazing networking opportunities in Norwich and there's something for everyone.
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?:
Just after I launched, I was lucky in that a local newspaper picked up my story and wrote an article about me on their online business page. It went out on a Bank Holiday Monday so I thought nobody would see it, but luckily someone did and they were my first client. The majority of my other initial clients came through networking.
How did you get your first traffic to your website?:
Through social media.
Nominate one person/friend who believed in you from the start, and what would you like to say to them today?:
My Dad - I can always rely on him to tell me straight what he thinks about my latest idea. I've called him up a few times to say I'm leaving a job and moving to another country to start something new and he's always so supportive and calm!
When I told him I was thinking about setting up my own business we spent ages going through the pros and cons and he put my mind at rest and told me to go for it!
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?:
I would say, ask yourself if you are happy doing what you are doing now. If not, then as long as you have a good idea, a plan in place, the finance to back it up and enough confidence then do it!
You also need to be prepared for the quiet times, when you will question whether or not you have done the right thing - during these times you need a support network and perseverance.
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Richard Branson - to me he is the epitome of a successful entrepreneur.
He is always looking for ways to do things better and bring about more inclusion.
Pippa Shaw 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.