As we hit December it has been a good time to reflect on my business journey as a lockdown start-up and think about what 2021 may hold.
Starting a business at the beginning of a global pandemic may seem a bit bonkers to many but it has been an incredible year for me and Dot & Stripe in so many ways.
None of us could have imagined what 2021 would have in store for us and at the start of the year I was happily doing some freelance marketing work and juggling a 3 and a half year-old and a new baby. For a long time, the idea of setting up a ‘proper’ marketing business was on the cards, but it never felt like the timing was right.
Sadly, as lockdown loomed my freelance work went on hold and it was the metaphorical butt kick, I needed to get my business started. I met with a fantastic business coach (Lisa Sheppard Coaching) who helped me get started and come March I had my business set up.
Lockdown turned out to be a boost for my business rather than a hinderance. My husband was working at home so we were both juggling the children, I was able to attend LOADS of networking sessions which had moved online , meeting people from across the country and many businesses were looking for advice on how they could adapt and grow, so I was able to jump in and support them.
By May 2020, my website was officially launched, and I was counting down to hosting my first workshop helping small businesses build up their ideal customer personas and build better content plans. I managed to get some speaking opportunities in networking groups and even a podcast, and I threw myself into get my business out there.
In July 2021 I attended the first ONline Showcase hosted by Polka Dot Events exhibiting what I had to offer and another opportunity to network.
By August, the opportunity to take on running my own networking group landed in my inbox and so I signed up as leader of MIB International Networking Northampton, aimed at mums and women in business in the local area. That has been hugely rewarding, and as we approach the end of the year, we have hosted 4 networking sessions and the group is almost at 300 members.
Throughout the year I supported many businesses with content planning workshops, social media management, content creation, marketing clinics and lots of other marketing support. I have even been lucky enough to work alongside PR agencies and digital agencies helping with their clients too.
I am excited to see what 2021 brings for Dot & Stripe. It will officially be my first year in business by April 2021 which is just incredible. I have achieved so much in such a short space of time, all whilst managing childcare and a global pandemic (which has not always been easy) but I have BIG plans for levelling up in 2021. So, watch this space!
Here are a few groups and people that have really supported me, and I want to say thank you:
- Lisa Sheppard Coaching- not only did Lisa help support me right at the start of my journey but she has also been one of my biggest cheerleaders. Her IMPACT 90 goal setting workshops have also been just what I needed to stay on track.
- Busy Women Networking – led by Aruna, this group has been invaluable to my business. I have ended up meeting and working with clients who have also become great friends and mentors.
- Kettering Business Network was a great boost when I got started. Every Monday morning at 9am, it was a great way to start the week and connect with other local businesses.
- The Goldilocks Creative– I met Lauren through networking and I am thrilled that she has trusted me to work alongside her on many client projects. Not only this but she is a fantastic business mentor and all-round lovely person.
- The Social Media Managers Inner Hub– I stumbled across this incredible group and invested in a monthly membership to the Inner Hub, and it has been worth every penny. The Laura’s (who lead The Social Media Manager Hub) source the absolute best in masterclasses and I have learnt SO much. The group is also full of other social media leaders who want to raise you up with support and advice. I cannot wait for what else they bring for us in 2021.
- My husband- corny I know, but I cannot reflect on 2021 and not say thank you to him. Thank you for giving me the boost to set this business up and for helping with the juggle struggle throughout 2021.
Keep your eyes peeled on what is to come from Dot & Stripe in 2021- I cannot wait to see what happens next!