What did you used to do?
One of my first jobs was selling typewriter ribbons to businesses! As more people were moving onto computers, I got straight in on the action and went on to be a desktop publisher in a printing firm. Then brushed up on a few more skills and computer packages and contracted to several large companies doing design, presentations and multimedia projects. Working for these big corporate companies didn’t sit well with me ethically and I decided on a complete change in career. For the next 7 years I worked in the travel industry.
What made you want to change?
I wanted to work for myself and co-founded a successful creative agency, which gave me the opportunity to really focus on websites, design and online marketing.
I wanted the freedom to be flexible, choose my own hours and location and help solopreneurs and small business owners to promote their business online using all the skills I have learnt over the years, so with my move to Norwich in 2014, HubFizz came to life.
How did you make a start?
When I moved from travel into websites and marketing, I started just helping people that I knew, build their websites and design their logos and business cards. I continually taught myself online through blogs or trial and error how to use various technologies. The business grew by word of mouth, networking and social media. When I finally set up HubFizz we split the client lists and I took my contacts with me.
What were the challenges?
It is always a bit scary going on your own, as the stress just falls to one person, not two or a company. However it also gives you the freedom to make your own decisions, decide when you want to work and who with and how. There is the stress of not knowing if it will work or not, cashflow problems and also extremely difficult to turn off and not think about the business, but that is exciting too!
How long did it take?
I pretty much hit the ground running. Being an online based business there was no big need for investment or offices or such and luckily I could design my own website and marketing collateral. The only overheads were really domain name, hosting, business cards and of course time!
What would you do differently?
Definitely work with a brand expert to get the right foundation in place which would make it easier on what to say, how to say it, who to target and so forth. Also advice on how to price up services and create regular income. Streamlining processes in the business, because as a solopreneur you have to be all hats in the business.
What do you do now and what does that look like?
I still work from home but am going to be working a few days a week from a co-working space as well soon, not that I get lonely – I love working from home. It is more about getting away from the desk, having a good central location as an office for my business listings and also hopefully meeting other like-minded people to collaborate with.
I am in the process of going through a rebranding of my business and I have a much clearer idea of my niche audience and what I can offer them. I am focusing on my passion which is to help eco, wellness and local businesses that are eco-conscious with website design, online marketing strategies and tech support to help elevate their business.
How has your life /work changed?
I take more time off now than I used to. I sometimes worked till 11 at night. Now I start at 10 and mostly finish at 6 and take odd days off here and there. I am trying to improve work-life balance and self-care all the time.I also try limit the time I am on social media. It is really great to choose who you can work with as well and who not. That for me is a big thing.
What top tips would you give to someone who really wants to change career?
You need to have confidence in what you do and the price you charge. Also be clear on who you are, what you stand for and who your target audience is. Go niche if you can, it makes life and marketing a lot easier!
If you don’t feel you can cope working from home on your own, look into co-working spaces or go to cafes sometimes to work.
Don’t try to do what everyone else is doing and also trust yourself. People will tell you do this do that and you can get overwhelmed and burn out. Start simple and don’t overstretch yourself.