A Guest Blog by PopUp Past Participant - Katherine Ledger
I’m Katherine Ledger. I am a brand storyteller and content marketer.
Two years ago, becoming a bit disillusioned with the corporate world, I left it suddenly, falling off a loft ladder, breaking my back!
Spending a year recovering, I decided to start a new chapter of my life, follow my heart and launch my business, Copy That Sells. I wanted to help smaller companies cleverly weave business storytelling throughout their marketing content, creating an emotional connection with clients, converting into potential sales. Copy that Sells.
However, every month my pockets became lighter as I invested hard earned savings, time and effort into building my perfect business.
Thankfully I realised done is better than perfect.
There is another way.
Enter the PopUp Business School in Reading! They are a wonderful business resource run by Alan, Simon, Henry and Jack. They go around the UK giving straight talking practical advice to small businesses starting out. It's full of inspirational people all wanting to succeed together.
Arriving on my first day, with many battle scars, I felt a huge weight lifting.
The coaches told me:
"You don’t have to spend lots of money building a business."
"You can get up and running from day 1!"
"We will help you!”
“We all make mistakes. We’re only human. You can turn a corner and change direction. You can rewrite a new chapter. You can have the life you choose. We can’t turn back time but we can regroup and re-evaluate.”
So I am pausing to regroup on the next (more cost-effective) leg of my journey. Here are some important checkpoints which might help you on yours.
1.Gather your thoughts and write them down.
However whacky or far-fetched, don’t discount a single one. Put them on a mind map or sketch pad. Enlist a trusted friend or two to help you do that. Keep reflecting on those random concepts and you will soon start joining the dots to form the basis of a plan, guided by your heart.
2. Get the right know how.
Look up and attend the next PopUp Business School in your area and join their facebook community or other resources available to you.
We are all in the same boat together (and we all wear life jackets!)
3. Get accountability.
Find someone on the same wavelength who can join you on the journey. No man is an island. You can share plans, dreams, hopes and disappointments and be cheer leaders for each other, keeping focused and motivated. My buddy, Heather Mills, Duck Soup HR keeps me on track!
4. Get a steer.
If you can’t work things out with friends on the journey, consider a coach who can throw light on why you’re stuck and help you turn around and get moving again. Richard Branson, 50 years an entrepreneur, wisely said:
‘Turning points, while they often come from moments of darkness, can steer us in the right direction of great light… or light bulb moments’.
5. Just do it… one bite at a time.
In the words of Brian Tracy ‘Eat that Frog’. Get out there testing your idea one step at a time. Find people to pay for it, so you can ‘accumulate to speculate’ rather than the other way round. The PopUp Business school taught me ‘Done is better than perfect’.
So it’s time to get this blog done and dusted rather than tinkering with every tiny detail!
Lastly, this new chapter is meant to be fun and enjoyable, so take time out to celebrate every checkpoint of your journey. If I can rise up like a Phoenix from the ashes after falling out of my loft and breaking my back, you can do this too! Take control and write your own life and business story. It’s yours, not someone else’s. You can have the life you choose as long you follow your heart.
Don’t compromise or procrastinate. Just do it.
Your time is now!
Katherine Ledger is a Content Marketer, business storyteller and owner of Copy That Sells. If your story doesn’t reflect your true personality and heart towards your customers she'll help you pan out your business's gold nuggets and write them into marketing content which emotionally resonates with and wins clients' hearts.
Find out more about her at http://www.copythatsells.co.uk/
Contact her at +44 (0) 77035 45117, email@example.com
Follow her on social media at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/katherineledger, https://www.facebook.com/CopyThatSellsUK, https://twitter.com/KatherineLedger
Highbridge Furniture are a couple of lovely ladies who had a great idea of wanting to help people by receiving donated furniture and selling it on at an affordable price to people who were on low incomes and benefits but didn't know where to start! They came along to Pop-up Business School in Weston-Super-Mare last October not knowing how to get this plan underway - however, with our ongoing support and their hard work and dedication they are now up and running and thriving!
This Saturday (8th June, 2013) they are holding a fun day and all are welcome to go along and join in!
What did we do? Alan's notes
Alan: The biggest challenge for Do Yoga was to get their customers to commit to coming regularly. How did we make sure they came week in and week out even if it was raining?
We did several things:
1. Gave a reduced price for signing up to a direct debit. We all need encouragement to exercise regularly even though we know it is good for us. What we did was to offer an incentive (cheaper classes and the ability to come to any classes) for people to sign up to a direct debit, this gives extra motivation to turn up every week and get healthy. It also allows Do Yoga to know how many people are signed up each week and what income they are going to get
2. Secondly we looked at starter packages - when someone first comes along to a class; instead of just letting them come and go when they like they are offered a six or twelve week package for a reduced price. This package gives them an incentive to come every week and also turns Yoga into a habit for health. it also means that they commit to long enough to see the benefits of Yoga really start to shine through. For Do Yoga it means that new clients sign up to an introductory course and keep coming back
What incentives could you offer your customers to get them to come back more regularly?
Do you bundle your products or services? What Bundles and discounts could you offer?
Can you get your customers to sign up for a course up front? (this has to be in your customers best interests!)
Test and try new things, bundle your products or services and remember to have fun in business every day