How to take the first steps towards being your own boss

This is an advertisement for October 2021.

Ever dreamed of running your own business, turning your hobby into something you can earn from or have a business idea but don't know where to start? This post is for you and will share a few tips plus information about a fully-funded initiative for residents of Northumberland and Tyne & Wear which is packed with advice to get you started. 

How to take the first steps towards being your own boss

Back in April, I shared this post in collaboration with Learn Smarta. The post shared information about a fully-funded online business course for those looking to change their life and start a new business / explore a new business idea / were in the early stages of starting their own business.

I am delighted that some of my readers signed up to the course and found Learn Smarta to be super useful in providing the tools, support and information needed as well as building confidence and knowledge in their business or idea (you can read some of the success stories further down this post).

One of the key reasons for Learn Smarta's success is that they are flexible in their approach and now that restrictions have eased, they are able to provide training both online and in-person. They are looking for new candidates to take part and I am happy to be sharing the details with you again. 

This time around, Learn Smarta is offering two ways to learn: 

  • Flexible online, on demand training covering business basics at your own pace (perfect for those who are time-short, have lots of other commitments or are not ready for in-person events). 

  • Intensive in-person training providing a fast-track to learning over two days. This option is ideal for those who want to dedicate a set amount of time away from other distractions to really focus and get their head down and are available on the course dates. This training will take place at The Common Room (beside Newcastle Central Station) on the following dates from 9am-4:30pm: 

    Saturday 13 November 2021 & Saturday 20 November 2021 


    Saturday 29 January 2022 & Saturday 5 February 2022

The courses are fully-funded and you won't have anything to pay (subject to acceptance/criteria which I will discuss later in this post).

I know lots of my readers have their own hobby business or started something new during furlough and that many of you may have found the last 18 months have been a chance to evaluate your life and what you want to achieve. If the chance to be your boss is something you are keen to explore, Learn Smarta could be just what you are looking for to give you the confidence and knowledge to take the next step. 

On a personal level, I have been a business owner for almost 10 years now and changed my side hustle to my main hustle 7 years ago. There are (many) parts to running your own business that I still find challenging (chasing late payments and the fact that you rarely switch off for example) however the positives massively outweigh any negatives and I can't ever imagine working for anyone other than myself now. 

Winning a business award back in 2014

I love that although my earnings can fluctuate, I have the power to make any business changes I want and always have the potential to earn more rather than a flat salary with a pay rise when I'm lucky.

If I want to change the direction of my business, I don't want to work with a particular brand or I want to change my pricing/what I offer, I can do that instantly without having to go through lots of red tape and meetings. I can work flexibly and now work a 4 day week. My work-life balance has never been better. I can exercise in the morning and it doesn't matter if I am sitting answering emails in my gym clothes with a cup of coffee after a workout. If I am not feeling productive or I am feeling unwell, I can easily take an hour off, take a walk and then come back to work refreshed. 

I also really appreciated that during the never-to-be-mentioned again remote school era, I didn't have to juggle an employer's needs too and could continue to work flexible around helping the kids when needed. 

One of the main reasons I left my employed job (with one of the UK's largest employers) is because I felt stifled and like I couldn't reach my full potential. I could see changes that would benefit the business but trying to implement any kind of change in a business that isn't your own is easier said than done. 

Does any of this ring any bells with you? If it does, read on and consider taking the next step to being your own boss with Learn Smarta. 

Fully Funded Training from Learn Smarta 

Learn Smarta is run by a local entrepreneurship organisation, Transmit Startups, who have helped over 10,000 UK people get started in business. Over the past 18 months, they have witnessed applications to Government Start-Up Loans skyrocket and know that there are lots of budding entrepreneurs out there. Learn Smarta has been designed to give people the best possible start with their business and best chance of success. 

Funding for Learn Smarta is provided by the European Social Fund and fully-funded places are available for residents in Newcastle and Tyne and Wear (subject to eligibility checks) 

What Does Learn Smarta Entail? 

Online learners can move through an accredited business start-up course at their own pace from home (or anywhere you can connect to the internet).You can join the course at any time and most learners take around 6 weeks to complete the course.

There is a mix of pre-recorded sessions alongside live online group tutorials, online Q&A sessions and 1:2:1 coaching time with your personal tutor. A choice of live sessions are available for those with busy schedules. Lots of extras are included including free access to Bossing Business Workshops. You can find out more and sign up to learn online here. 

Meet Tracey and Colin - the Learn Smarta course tutors 

In-person learners will attend an intense two day course which will cover business basics in a friendly and informal environment. There will be a chance to meet tutors and others starting the same journey as yourself in person. Sessions will be focussed, away from distractions and designed for intensive learning and creative thinking. You can find out more and sign up to an in-person event here. 

Some of the lovely ladies I met when I was first starting out as a full-time business owner

I am so happy that there is such a flexible approach to learning. Everyone's circumstances are different but personally, if I was at the start of my business journey, I would 100% choose an in-person event if I could. The connections I made during similar events when I was first starting up were invaluable to me and I am still friends with those people and lean on them for advice from time to time now. 

Who is Learn Smarta For? 

Learn Smarta is for anyone who has a business idea they'd like to explore or who would like to be their own boss, those in the early stages of their business, people who want to turn a hobby into an income stream or anyone looking to top up their business skills.

It is ideal for those who feel like they are stuck in a rut with work, want to earn £ on their own terms, have recently been made redundant or are looking for a big change. 

Let's take a look at some of the people who signed up to Learn Smarta last Summer......... 

Meet Helen 

Helen from Knitted Up North signed up to Learn Smarta last Summer. She wanted to find out how they could transform their side hustle into their main hustle and especially how to achieve working part time.

Helen explains that Learn Smarta helped her to face their business fears, compile a business plan and learn about cash-flow forecasting in a way that didn't use jargon and was really clear.  You can read how Learn Smarta transformed Helen's business here. 

Meet Annie 

Annie was furloughed last year (from a job as a theatre producer) and dreamed up a brand new business idea around loose leaf tea during the pandemic. After signing up to Learn Smarta, Annie was grateful to have someone there to assist during the very early decisions of their business which provided lots of reassurance and confidence. 

Annie also mentions that the practical advice on the course was invaluable and there were lots of tips that they could put into place straight away. 

Finally, Annie recommends Learn Smarta for being flexible with a mix of training options and being easy to fit into everyday life and other commitments.  You can read more about Annie's experience of Learn Smarta here. 

Meet Emma 

Time on furlough gave Emma the chance to realise they weren't happy with their current job and to really think about what she wanted from life. Turning to Learn Smarta helped Emma to develop a business based on her passions (health and wellbeing).

Emma recommends Learn Smarta as she was able to dip in and out of sessions online and spend more time on areas which required more focus in their own time. 

Learn Smarta was able to provide a supportive community and a place to discuss ideas as well as sharing the importance of marketing and how to stand out in a competitive market. You can read more about Emma's story here. 

These ladies are so inspiring and I really enjoyed reading their stories. It sounds like the support and advice from Learn Smarta was extremely helpful to them. 

If you're interested in taking the next steps and would like to find out more / sign up to Learn Smarta, you can find everything you need and register your interest here. 


No comments

Post a Comment

© North East Family Fun | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig