This Saturday night there will be sparks flying everywhere! Colourful bolts of fire launching up into the sky and creating beautiful imagery that leaves us all standing there with our mouths wide open ...
This Bonfire Night, why not think back to the explosive spark that started your business?
Strangely enough, I often think about the creation of new businesses in a very similar way. Although sometimes companies are created unintentionally (and some very successfully), most are started due to a conscious decision made by the founder.
"For me, it was a bit like a firework, a sudden spark that made me realise that if I wanted to, I could do it!"
At the time, my husband had been his own boss for 2 years, painting and decorating stately homes, houses and offices, near and far. I was helping him out with the administrative side of the business alongside my full-time job and was concerned when he was struggling to finish jobs in time leaving him unable to invoice for them.
After a brief discussion, we were able to conclude that answering the phone while going up and down ladders wasn't the most time efficient and that realistically, he needed someone else to do it for him.
Suddenly, in came my bright idea! The spark had been lit, and my business plan was immediately spinning around in my head like a Catherine Wheel and thus, The Office Genie was born.
Now, I'm not saying that doing something as bold and risky as starting your own company is a decision that is made instantly, it takes a long time to calculate whether you can afford to take that risk. However, I believe that the spark that initially creates your urge to pursue it and see it within your reach is a defining moment in the birth of any new business.
There are millions of great stories out there about the moment entrepreneurs chose to take their life in their hands and start up on their own. Some are due to personal influences, some are due to things that have been seen or heard, others are simply businesses that were almost stumbled upon.
I very rarely think back to why I started my business, yet that's a very foolish thing for me to do. I may have started my company to help my husband, but my business is still here because I want to help other entrepreneurs. Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of everyday office life, I think it's easy to forget why we are where we are, what got us here and how far we've come to be the successful business owners we are today.
"This is a gentle reminder!"
On those days where you may be feeling low and wondering what the point of it all is, think back to the moment the rocket went off inside you and how you knew you could do it, but still had to work to get there. You're there now and we all have so much to be proud of!
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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