Running Your Business
This series is written by creative entrepreneur Meaeri Howard, founder of The Make and Do Studio in Cheshire. In it she shares the many lessons she has learned from running her business.
When Fiona first asked me to write a blog post about my experience starting and running a small business, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to share the pitfalls and successes of running a small business as I genuinely from my heart believe that small, well run businesses have a place in our ever changing economy. As I started to flesh out what I was going to write about, I started to see a pattern emerge. My small business actually developed in three distinct stages (hindsight is a wonderful thing!). If I had known this when I started, it would have given me a bit more clarity about where I was and what to expect next.
I also realised that woman who create businesses often times do this in the throes of starting a family and raising children. The perversity of it is that many small businesses are started because you have children and feel the pull to be able to spend more time with them but that you can still struggle to get the work/life balance to…well, balance.
Enter the concept of the family year versus the normal year. However, a “family” year is one that can be encumbered by sick family members, spouses whose work schedule takes priority over yours, third party helpers (cleaners, child minders etc) that don’t quite give you that extra mental
space you had hoped for and what seems like a constant stream of interruptions. I think it is safe to say that most of my time has been spent in the "family years” section!
So when you are looking at your business and how it has grown over the three stages that I write about, don’t be afraid to adopt the time frame of the “family year” to see your development in the right context. It is very easy to compare your steps with other entrepreneurs strides and come out feeling that you lack something. But your situation is completely unique to you and your circumstances so don’t try and compare it to anyone else’s.
I hope you enjoy reading about my small business journey and that you too, become part of the incredible wave of small business ownership.
Maeri Howard is the founder and owner of the Make and Do Studio, which was started in 2009 as Cheshire’s first boutique crafting studio. Since then, the Studio has helped 100's of women and men learn to make their Pinterest boards a reality with their unique brand of creative workshops. When not busy helping people make time to be creative, she loves to figure out what all the buttons on her DSLR camera are for as well as walk the newest member of the family Janie Dawg, whilst talking to herself with wild abandonment (it keeps her sane!).