small business support

Start As You Mean To Go On - New Year Pep Talk For Small Business Owners!

Digibloom new year pep talk for small business owners

Here's my personal small business new year's mantra: "ASBO".
Thankfully nowt to do with an anti-social behaviour order.

Achieve more with planning
Stay healthy by switching off
Be more productive with time
Organise like a fiend.

Here are some more of my tips for starting 2017 as you mean to go on:

  1. Plan a (healthy) daily routine
    Plan your days in advance, ensuring to begin in the morning as you mean for the day to go on. Get up and dressed, have breakfast, prepare for the working day as if you are going to work (because you are, even if it's in your home!)

    Have regular breaks, perhaps pop out for lunch to get some sunshine. End the working day at a reasonable time, switch your computer off and clear your workspace ready for the following day. Maybe even prepare meals one day for the rest of the week. Planning can help your productivity sooooaaaarrr!
  2. Create an inspiring workspace
    Whether you work from home, an office, studio, library or cafe, try to create a working sanctuary. If you are easily distracted by other people in the room, invest in noise-cancelling headphones. If you waste time searching for your tools, have them organised in a storage system.

    Have your computer-based work organised into a filing system, not a bunch of files scattered all over your desktop. Guilty! Surround yourself with inspiring imagery such as artwork and photos. If you work from home, try to use a separate area from where you sleep and eat. Keep your space tidy and inviting so that you feel like working.
  3. Know when to unplug
    As a small business owner, it's so easy to fall into working long hours as there is always so much to do, it never stops! However - you need to protect your health and wellbeing by finding your work/life balance.

    If you rarely unwind, your spring will be so wound up that you pop! Please don't pop. Take the breaks you deserve, get outside and away from your screen, and when you unplug, really unplug! Don't think about or talk about work until the next day. Easier said than done, I know! But I have personally experienced ill health in the past due to always being 'switched on', and it can negatively impact your business. Not worth it.
  4. Socialise
    Talk to like-minded thinkers, whether going for a coffee, chatting on the phone, or meeting for an exhibition. Inspirational people, discussions, and places will surely aid ideas and motivation. Sometimes you can't just rely on the cat. I said sometimes!

    Do you have any tips towards a healthy and happy work/life balance?Share with us in the comments below!

Small Business Spotlight: Knitted Story


Digibloom Small Business Spotlight interview with Vira from Knitted Story

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi! My name is Vira. I'm the owner KnittedStory. I live in the Kharkiv, Ukraine, with my boyfriend and two cats. The huge part of my life - my small business - is crocheting teddy bears. I've been crocheting since 2011 and in the summer of 2015 I set up a shop on Etsy.

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

Describe your business

My brand name is KnittedStory. I make small crochet teddy bears and sometimes other animals. The bears make good presents for your friends, loves ones, and yourself. In the shop you can find many kinds of designs and I'm trying to invent and add new designs, so that everyone can choose a bear for themselves.

Also I want to make the choice of bears more individual. I'm working on personalised design ideas, I hope that it will become a reality very soon.

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

What inspires you?

I like a lot of things. For example, I really like autumn. Autumn here is yellow and orange, with red leaves that fall from the trees. It is very beautiful and inspires me. I often walk at this time and have a lot of new ideas in my head.

I like going to the yarn store and look at the colours of yarn. I like choosing yarn for accessories by colours. 

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

Why did you decide to start a business?

My boyfriend is an active person, he has his own business. Seeing that I like to create toys, he suggested that I sell them. He is my great support in my small business :) He helps me to be in good shape, do not give up, do not stop there, and critically assess the opportunities.

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

Has the direction of your business changed over time?

In the beginning I was trying to make crochet jewellery. After two months, I started making the crochet toys and this is what I'm continuing to do.

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

What challenges have you faced as a small business owner?

I need to do a lot of other things, not only crocheting. I need to take a photos, advertising, to do internet companies, manage websites etc. This takes very much time. Anyway I like it, it is very interesting to learn something new! 

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

What’s the most rewarding aspect to running your own business?

The opportunity to express myself and contribute something to the world. I like meeting new people who will become my close friends! 

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

What advice would you give to new businesses that are just starting out?

Just do it! :) No need to wait.

What's next for your business?

I have many ideas! As I said before I want to make the bears more personalised for customers. I'm trying to achieve this.

A photo posted by @knittedstory on

Learn more about Knitted Story and connect with Vira via social media using these links:

Etsy Shop:

If you're a small business owner and would like to be considered for a future Small Business Spotlight feature, here's how to nominate your business.

Spread The Love By *Shopping Small* For Valentine's Day!

Buy gifts from and support small businesses for Valentine's Day 2016

I've curated a collection of unique gifts and cards for Valentine's Day designed with a personal touch by small businesses. Pin any items you love, share them, buy them - let's support small businesses this Valentine's Day!

Get Featured in Digibloom Small Business Spotlight!

Get featured in Digibloom's small business spotlight!

I'm looking for awesome small businesses to feature *FREE* in the *Small Business Spotlight* section of my blog! This involves an interview about your brand/business which will be shared via Digibloom social media, and a month-long spot on the blog sidebar. Nominate your own business via Twitter or Instagram by using hashtag #smallbizbloom on one of your posts.

I'll pick 1 to 3 businesses from all submissions at the end of every month. All submissions will be considered every month after that too!

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