1.What is your “day job” and how many hours do you work in a week?
I am a community engagement manager for a leading environmental organisation and I work full time (38 hours a week).
2.What is your business? (What do you sell/who do you serve and why?)
On the side, I run Lemon and Lime Business Solutions; offering virtual assistance, social media management and corporate event planning to small-medium businesses, not for profits, entrepreneurs and online businesses. I love working with a variety of people and this allows me to do so, and I get to put my skills and creativity to work across many different sectors and platforms!
3.For how many years have you run a business alongside your regular job?
My side business is still in it’s infancy, having just ticked over the 6 month mark.
4.Why did you decide to start a business?
There was a couple of reasons why I decided to start a business;
- the environmental sector where I live is a small field and there are not a lot of opportunities and it is highly dependant on grant funding, therefore long term job security is not guaranteed.
- after 10 years in the one sector, I am feeling a little bored, and I don’t think my skills are being used to their full extent (not through any fault of my boss, it is just the way it is in our business)
- I really don’t want to have to go to work at 8am everyday in the same office, doing the same things!
- I want to be able to travel freely and more often.
5.In your first 6 months of starting your business, please list out the top 3 pain points you struggled with:
In no particular order, these were the trickiest things for me;
- family and friends not understanding (or not being fully supportive of) what I was doing, or offering as a business
- working out how I would price my services
- business logistics- registering for GST, applying for business names etc.
6.How did you overcome these pain points?
Price wise, I looked at what I was currently earning and what other people were charging and came to a figure that I was comfortable with; that was realistic for clients, but accurately reflected the service/ products that I was supplying.
Business logistics – it just takes time and plodding through it all, and reaching out to others to ask for guidance.
Family and friends wise – I am not sure that they get it still, but one day!
7.How good are you at delegating tasks to others?
Generally speaking, I am pretty good at delegating tasks, but there are some things I prefer to do myself.
8.Do you feel you have a good balance between your job, business and personal life. If yes, how did you achieve this? If no – why not?
The balance is getting there, I would love to be able to step away from my job for a day or so a week to be able to focus on my business and be able to conduct phone calls/ meetings etc during normal business hours, but that isn’t possible yet. My husband is hugely supportive, so that makes it easier on the personal side – and I make sure that I still have time to do things that are not business/ job related!
9.What are your top 3 tips for people starting a business alongside their regular jobs?
- Just chip away at it – you do not need to achieve something big in your business everyday, every little bit counts! And if all you can manage some days is to read a short article, or respond to an email, then that is ok!
- Have a clear vision of why you are starting a business and really keep that at the forefront. A vision board might help some people with that!
- Have fun! Creating a business is exciting! Share and celebrate your successes! If you love what you are doing that will rub off onto the people you work with and that can only be good for business in the long run!
10.If you could change one thing about your start up process when you started your business what would that be?
I would have got started when I first thought about it! I felt like I had to have everything lined up before I started (logo, website etc.) but that really isn’t the case.
11.Do you have plans to transition to full time business owner? Why?
I definitely plan to become a full time business owner, but I know that there is a realistic pathway to that point. I am looking at it in small steps; drop back a day a week by the end of the year, have a goal amount in earnings by end of financial year etc. I want to be a successful business owner, and if it takes 2 years to get to that on a full time scale, then I am going to have to persevere! But that is all part of the challenge and excitement!
Learn More: My aim with my business is to add zest to your business! How do I do that, by taking on the most time consuming, demanding, and let’s face it annoying tasks, so that you can focus on the core of your business! Check out my website for more information!