On Friday 25th April 2014 Mumsnet Oxford hosted their very first event – ‘Spring Clean Your Business’, a networking workshop. Sponsored by Journl, held at the lovely Iffley Blue restaurant and with free childcare from Contented Childcare, every detail was designed to make the event as accessible as possible to anyone who works from home and/or runs a small business.
We had speakers from Oxfordshire Business Enterprise and the Fredericks Foundation giving us information about getting a start up loan and where you could access further advice to start or boost your small business, as well as tips from IndigoBird Web Design & Preece PR on how to keep your website fresh and making social media work for you. These companies have very kindly said we can reproduce their speeches here, so keep an eye out over the next week for their expert tips.
The most interesting part of the event, however, was the discussion that took place afterwards. With prompts such as:
– How do you price your services?
– What have you found to be the most useful way to find new clients?
– How do you manage your time efficiently?
The issues were debated with vigour, especially the one about time management and that seemed, without question, to be the topic that got everyone going. How do you stop yourself working late into the night? How do you balance family life, maybe even full-time stay-at-home parenting with running your own business? How do you switch off from that? We didn’t come up with all the answers, but good tips were shared and if you would like to join the debate we have a thread set up to do just that:
The self-employed/work from home talk thread
We’d love to hear from you, as the one thing that everyone agreed was that working on your own was both lonely and hard work, because sometimes you just want to talk to other people, share ideas, inspiration, jokes. Yes there are definite downsides to going off to work in an office at set times, but you can really miss the sense of solidarity and stimulation you get from working with people – and fighting a toddler off your laptop as they shout “Put it away, Mummy!” is not at all the same thing!