The thought of setting up your own business from home used to be considerably more daunting than it is today. That’s because, thanks to the rise of the internet, you have information, resources, and endless marketing opportunities quite literally at your fingertips. Home businesses allow people who’d otherwise be unable to work – due to family commitments or health reasons – the real prospect of earning money from the comfort of their own home. Many, many people have gone on to make a success of their home businesses, here are seven successful women who did just that…
1. Wendy Richards
Wendy set up The Nappy Lady in 1999 – selling reusable nappies and accessories and offering comprehensive free advice. With more and more mums questioning how environmentally friendly disposable nappies were, she saw a gap in the market and a growing need for such a business to exist. The Nappy Lady has been a success because Wendy so totally believes in the products she sells, and the advice she gives. It comes from her own experience and she has harnessed that to help other mums tackle everything from finding the right reusable nappy to dealing with potty training.
2. Vanessa Pinkney
Vanessa set up Peach Pink with business partner, Helen Peachey, after realising that they needed to work to fit around their lifestyle – not the other way round. For them, the 9-5 just wasn’t viable – especially as they both have young children. The business supplies (and designs and produces their own) designer handbags.
Zoe Sugg – or Zoella – to her fans is a modern day example of what the internet can help you achieve. She started out blogging in 2009 and her blog has now had over 540 million total views. She’s a successful vlogger, author, and YouTuber, and is famous round the world with teenage girls. Zoe offers her viewers advice on beauty, hair, and fashion – something that most teenage girls are hungry for. From her website it’s clear she has a passion for the topics and her friendly, girl-next-door vibe has gained her millions of followers. She speaks directly to her audience giving her a trustworthy, ‘I’m your friend’ style quality.
4. Lorraine Smith
Lorraine ditched her accountancy job to set up GTB Natural. It’s an online skincare business with a focus on natural and organic. Getting a business like this to be well known is all about getting the message – and products – out there. From online networking, to real life networking, and making sure people have the chance to try out samples before they buy makes great business sense. Plus, you should always make sure you’ve got business cards printed up. Helloprint business cards are a great way to get your name and message out there quickly and effectively.
5. J. K. Rowling
Everyone knows the story of how J.K. Rowling got started. She sat for hours on end in Edinburgh coffee shops, tapping away at her keyboard, coming up with the story that would change her life forever. When she got turned down, she didn’t give up. She kept on preserving and eventually, boy, did it pay off! She said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all–in which case, you fail by default.” So whatever your plan, don’t give up!
6. Anita Roddick
She is responsible for the hugely successful, The Body Shop, and she is believed to have said, she didn’t have a clue what she was doing or how she got there! Her husband gave her the advice to make sales of £300 a week. She followed her mother’s WWII principles (and necessities) of reusing everything and her green philosophy came at the right time – just as Europe was waking up to the need to be green. She created products that people wanted, a recognizable brand, and an ethos that people could ‘buy’ into and feel a part of. Back in 1976 when she started The Body Shop its initial success would have largely been down to word of mouth. So creating a product people can get passionate about is hugely important.
7. Kathleen King
At the age of 11, Kathleen began her business much younger than most. She baked cookies from the kitchen of her parents’ farmhouse and sold them at a roadside stand. She used her age and ‘cute appeal’ to her benefit and customers loved the idea that they were buying into this kid’s cookie empire. Her business grew and grew and now her business bakes 1.7 million cookies each week!
All of these women worked hard to achieve their success and what they all have in common is a self belief in the product they are channeling. Without that belief, how can potential customers buy into the business? It takes determination, hours of work, and serious willpower to make a business succeed. And if you get the right advertising, marketing, and promo material, you’ll have a great supporting cast on your side too.