Karlene Rivers | Implementing efficient systems and processes for small business owners
This week’s #selfstarterstory features Karlene Rivers, Founder of Organised You.
Pick Yourself UK caught up with Karlene to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey…
What was your last job?: I was the Operations and Compliance Director for a Financial Adviser firm based in Sussex.
What motivated you to start your own business?: After the birth of my second child, and my eldest starting nursery, I wanted and needed to be around more. I didn’t want to miss the school runs, sports days and nativity plays, but I still wanted to do interesting and challenging work, and earn some money!
At first I struggled to come up for an idea of what I wanted to do - so many people have great skills, ideas for products, or can make amazing things to sell. The only thing I knew how to do was run business operations efficiently. It took me a while to realise that it was a service people would pay for.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: Believing you can do it, and putting yourself out there. I remember walking the high street one day and going in local businesses to tell them what I did. It was terrifying!
What is your favourite business book and why?: Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy. I’m all about efficiency and organisation and totally agree with a lot of the suggestions in the book. It’s an easy read and I often buy it as a gift for clients!
How do you market your business?: We don’t advertise really, other than the occasional boosted post on social media. Our clients come from referrals and word of mouth within the fields we work in.
How did you get your first paying customers?: Social media! I updated my linked in page with my new business then sent some messages to people I’d worked with previously telling them what I was doing. I also created a twitter account and started posting. Both things led to old contacts getting in touch and asking for help.
How did you get your first traffic to your website?: Due to the nature of what we do, web hits haven’t been a priority for us, but we have regularly created blog posts and I’ve found, particularly with our new website launched in December, that these create traffic and interest in what we do.
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: I wish I’d done it sooner! It will be hard work but the pros definitely out weigh the cons.
If I were to give any advice it would be to ensure you plan well. Set goals for yourself and your business and make sure you check back to see if you’re on track against them.
If you’re ever in doubt about a business decision, trust your gut instincts.
Why would you like to win Pick Yourself UK's Small Business Entrepreneur of the year 2019?: For my business and my team. Everyone at Organised You works on a self employed basis, and we’re all parents, working flexibly around our children. Every new client we get gives me the pleasure of being able to give a parent some rewarding work to do in a supportive and flexible environment, and that is the best thing in the world!