How I started my business
In March 2012, I was Head of Marketing for a national accounting firm that was on shaky ground.
The business had gone through lots of changes, and it’s future was uncertain.
I had a decision to make: stay in the corporate world or go it alone.
I chose the latter, and it’s a decision I’ve never once regretted.
Before making that decision, I didn’t have any inclination towards being a business owner – I knew NOTHING about it and was starting from scratch.
The best piece of advice came from my husband when he suggested I start with a Business Plan.
He explained that the Business Plan should, at the very least, include:
- exactly what I was going to offer
- who would buy it
- how big the market was
- how I’d sell it
- and how much I’d charge
- how much it would cost to get the business set up
- a forecast of how long it would be until I started making money.
Sitting down to research Business Plans and starting to pull mine together suddenly made it all very real for me – and I’m so glad it did.
Creating that plan forced me to really consider what I was going to do, how I’d make it work, and set me on a very strong path right from the beginning.
It took a few months to get my plan done, because essentially I was designing my entire business from scratch – something I know I wouldn’t have been able to do without my strong marketing background!
I felt nervous when I presented my plan to my husband, but he could see the strength of the opportunity and encouraged me to go for it.
So I did.
I handed in my notice (4 long months) and started saving every penny I could, because I’d calculated that, with minimal actual start-up costs, I’d need at least £6k to keep me going until the money starting coming in.
During my notice I started to really get my teeth into LinkedIn, because I’d realised that, without any mailing or prospect list, this was going to be the ONLY way I’d get the message out there and win work.
I’d decided to stay within professional services, because it’s all I’d ever known, so in those few months I connected with every single Yorkshire-based Managing Partner and Chief Exec I could.
I also learned how to use LinkedIn so that as soon as my notice was up, I could hit the ground running.
I’d started to share some articles, but back then didn’t really write any posts or even comment on anyone else’s stuff.
LinkedIn was very different 7 years ago.
People were more open to the fact that it was a business development platform, and direct messaging people with an offer had a better hit rate than sending an email.
People were also just more open to it.
The day I left my job with no ‘job’ to go to was very strange. I’d been an employee since I was 15, so this was really a step into the unknown.
I’d cobbled together a second-hand desk, chair and filing cabinet, and bought a huge, clunky laptop. I had my trusted Blackberry…and that’s all I had.
Even today, all we need is a laptop and a phone to get our businesses up and running. It’s incredible really.
So on that first day, I started direct messaging every LinkedIn contact I’d made.
I explained my background, and that I’d just set-up on my own, and was offering a consultation meeting where we’d chat about their marketing and business and see if I could give them any tips or advice to make an improvement.
I scheduled my first meeting for a week after I opened my doors, and in that first year I probably met with at least 50 professional service business leaders.
I was tenacious – I followed-up every lead, every chat, every meeting. I sent proposals and followed them up too.
I worked my ass off and never let-up, not for one minute. So strong was my determination to make it work.
I landed my first bit of work within a month, and set out to stun them with my business and marketing genius.
My business grew – it was working!
It wasn’t always plane sailing, about a year in I went for 3 whole months without any work at all, which was terrifying and made me realise that I needed to win more reliable contract work – so I did.
Over the 7 years I ran my marketing consultancy, the ONLY way I won work was through LinkedIn or recommendation.
Funnily enough, I was so successful at winning work on LinkedIn, people started to ask me to train them how to do it too – and LinkedIn for Business Development training was my most popular service!
I’ve also been completely bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, so much so that I’ve stared a few side-businesses to hone my own skills at starting again in different markets, and now I work exclusively with independent business owners as opposed to large corporates.
I’m incredibly passionate about making the entrepreneurial journey easier for my fellow business owners, and draw on all of my experience and my extensive business and marketing skills, do to it.
And I love it.
I’d love to hear how you started your business, and what it means to you.
If you are a business owner without a business and marketing plan, or if things aren’t quite working out the way you’d hoped, let’s hop on a call and I’ll see if I can help you improve things.
With HUGE amounts of respect and admiration, Sally xx
I'm Sally Oddy
I'm a girl who fell into marketing 20 years ago and never looked back! I love popcorn, reading and working from home with my cats on my keyboard! (if you know, you know!) My mission? To help others express themselves in their businesses enjoying the impact and income they truly desire!
Let's do this together xx
MEET SALLY ODDYBUSINESS MENTOR + FOUNDER OF FIVE FIGURE FOUNDATIONS
Sally works with soulpreneurs, pouring over 20 years experience into their hearts, minds and businesses.
Passionate about living life on purpose, Sally is all about honouring and accepting the fullness of self.
In-powering her clients to experience life in beautiful, bold, expansive ways is how they create and attract abundance and success into their lives.
Guiding her clients to dive deeply into their vision and mission, Sally shares her aligned approach to building online businesses that have a deeply positive impact in the world.
Sally is a Yorkshire Lass who grew up in 80's South Africa and is on a mission to inspire you to fulfil your dreams and potential in order to create a more in-powered and happy world.
Next Step: Book a 20-Minute Marketing Brainstorm with Sally!
If you're a coach, consultant or online soulpreneur doing under £10k a month, you might be just a few strategies, tactics and tools away from doubling your leadflow, revenue and impact.
In this fast-paced 20-minute brainstorm, we'll...
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