Welcome to Natalie Jane's first blog post!
I'm Natalie and I am a mobile beauty therapist. I'm writing this blog hoping that someone will read it and relate to it. I don't have a degree in English language so please try hard not to judge my grammatical errors. In return I will try my best to write truthfully about my life, my business and the ups and downs of both.
I set up my business originally named "Ciao Belle" in 2014. I'd spent almost 18 years of my life in Herefordshire but moved to Birmingham when I turned 18 to start a life long dream of working as a cabin crew member.
During this time I met my now husband-to-be, we moved in together in 2011 in sunny Shropshire. Shropshire, in my opinion is very much like Herefordshire. Farmers, fields, cows and busy market towns. The difference was that I didn't know anyone in this new town.
Finding work proved much harder than I thought. In fact, it took me nine months to land myself a job. I spent the next two years working for "big" companies and to put it frank, I hated it. Having the concentration span of a fish, I am not a creature of routine. I like to be doing something different everyday and these 9-5 jobs were not cutting it for me. I felt unmotivated, deflated and generally quite lost.
I have always loved the beauty industry. Many of the women in my family had trained as hairdressers or beauty therapists. My mom in fact had her own salon in our family home. I used to sit on the stairs and listen to her answer the phone, watch her greet clients and mix hair colour's and products. I believe my mom has had a huge, probably unknown role in making me want to be a business owner.
2014 I went around nearly every business in Ellesmere, Oswestry and Shrewsbury handing out flyers printed on a flimsy piece of paper. I couldn't afford to have them printed professionally so I had to make do. I walked into a Bridal shop on Shrewsbury high street thinking it would be the perfect place to hand out a flyer. I was greeted by a very rude shop owner who picked fault in every inch of my flyer. She even told me to dress more professionally when approaching business's like hers.
I was shocked. I stood and took her constructive criticism for around 10 minutes said thank you and left. I walked out of the shop (surprisingly not crying) and was actually very grateful that this rude, arrogant woman had given me a boot up the bum that I needed. From then on my business started to grow.
It took a while for me to gain a handful of clients. I used as much free advertising as possible and relied heavily on clients to recommend me to their family and friends. Within the space of 6 months I started to rent a room at a local gym. I stayed there for nearly 3 years and built a lovely client base that have stayed by my side and have become more like my extended family.
I feel I have only just scraped the surface when it comes to my business plans and goals but if I could give advice to my younger self I would say:
Be patient, don't rush and do something half hearted. It must look professional.
Get a diary and a planner and put your life in them. Being organised is key.
Do the very best treatment/service every time for every client regardless of their monthly spend or how busy you might be that day. Without them you have no business.
If you are reading this thinking of starting a business I wish you the very best of luck. If you already have a business then I congratulate you. For those that are feeling the strain this time of year keep going, it will be worth it.