What’s your business called?
I run the Chelmsford and Billericay franchise of Mum2mum Market Baby and Children’s Nearly New Sales.
Can you describe it in one sentence?
I run baby and children’s nearly new sale, I hire a hall, people with stuff do sell book a stall with me, I promote the sale to buyers and run the sale on the day.
When did you start it and what inspired you?
I was looking for an opportunity to be self employed after my first business didn’t work out and came across the sales, they just made perfect sense to me.
How did you fund your start up?
I had some savings which I used.
How do you manage working around your children?
I’m very lucky that my Mum and my in laws help with childcare so I have two days a week to work on the business.
Can you describe a typical day?
If its not a sale day then I’ll start of by dropping my son at school and my daughter at my Mum’s. I’ll then usually pop out to promote the sales in local area, dropping flyers at nurseries, asking businesses to display posters or visiting toddler groups. Once I’m back home I’ll usually get a cup of tea (and cake if I’m lucky!) and deal with my emails, usually there will be some bookings I’ll need to confirm and some questions to answer. I then check the Facebook page and deal with any enquiries there, I usually schedule most posts in advance to make things easier. I’ll then get on with my other admin tasks like creating the newsletter, kissing with my venues or contacting businesses about promotional opportunities.
If it’s a sale day things are a bit different. I’ll start by loading the car with everything I need, clothes rails, goodie bags, bits for the play area, paperwork, tea and coffee making bits and then I’ll head to the venue. I usually get there about half an hour before the sellers to set up, once the sellers start to arrive I greet them and show them where they need to be. Just before opening time I’ll pop out and give out vouchers to the people in the queue before having a last walk round the hall to make sure the aisles are clear. Once the doors are open the first hour is really busy as I greet people and deal with the money, when things quieten down a bit I have a walk round to see how the sellers are getting on and take some pictures for the social media. Once the sale ends I tidy away my things and give the sellers a hand with theirs, it always amazes me how quickly the hall changes from bursting with bargains and people back to empty tables!
What have you found hardest?
I was fairly new to social media when I started and it’s really key to this businesses, it was a steep learning curve but now that I’ve got the hang of it I really enjoy that side of things. At the early sales I was terrified no one would show up but that fear really keeps you motivated.
What’s the best thing about being self employed?
Having previously worked for the council I’m used to new ideas and change taking a long to time to implement, I love being a able to get straight in to new ideas and try them to see if they work.
What are your plans for the future?
This business has been the perfect size while my children were small but once they are both in school full time I think I’ll want to take on a new challenge.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?
If there is a gap in your knowledge then find a way to fill it, don’t let it put you off.