What do you do when you realise that things have been feeling a bit 'off' lately?
When the work you are doing isn't quite working in the way you wanted it to work?
When you become aware that you aren't getting the sleep and the rest that you need?
When you are in the same room as your children physically but not mentally?
When you are told that your stress levels are too high and your anxiety has now developed into OCD?
If you are anything like me then you panic, work even more, up your medication, and bury your head in the sand!
I could see the potential that Women Rocking Business had/has and I thought if if I just push through it and keep on going I could make a really awesome and successful business!
But, you know. It's OK to know that you need to change your original plans.
I left my corporate 'high-powered' job in 2016 because I knew I wanted more out of life than just work. I wanted to spend proper time with my children, I wanted a job that fits around my life and my interests (not the other way around), I wanted to make a difference, and I wanted to feel less stressed, exhausted, and overworked.
So, I have decided to walk away from all those things that I SHOULD be doing, and focus only on the things that I WANT to be doing. - I am going to re-claim my life and my energy levels!
But to cut a long story short, what does this mean for Women Rocking Business?
Essentially, you should hopefully not really notice much of a difference your end. The biggest change is my end. - I am going to stop worrying about making a 'successful business' and focus on making a happy rested Jenny and letting the WRB community develop.
To do this I am going to be making a few small changes.
But first, let's talk about what WRB means:
Women Rocking Business means women supporting women. It means community over competition. It means helping others out where you can. It means talking about real issues that can affect self employed women such as loneliness, stress, anxiety, burnout, and worry. It means celebrating in our wins and successes. It means belonging to an inclusive and non-judgmental community where we always feel welcomed and supported.
As such, Women Rocking Business is so much more than just me, Jenny Ryan. Women Rocking Business is also all of you who also believe in these values!
Women Rocking Business is a social movement of support and community!
I would therefore like to create a set of values that we can each sign up to to promise to further this attitude and ethos, and to show people that we believe in these values, that we will belong to #teamwomenrockingbusiness.
There will be more information on this and #teamwomenrockingbusiness to come, (including how you can all get involved!) so do stay tuned! Head over to the new Homepage and the #TEAMWRB page to learn a little bit more. (It's not fully finished or anything, but is a start!) But I just wanted to share a just little bit of this underlying shift with you now so that you can further understand the background to the changes seen in the areas below:
The Women Rocking Business Instagram page:
I will be changing my Instagram page from a business page to a personal page.
This means I will completely relax what I post, how I post, and when I post. I will no longer be talking about photoshoots, business, workshops, and so on. I will just generally be sharing my thoughts and my activities, and my journey to feeling better and juggling life and work. I won't need to worry about only sharing polishes posts and polished professional imagery. I will post only when I want to, and I will happily post phone snaps and not feel bad about it.
Now, this will probably mean that I lose followers, and so be it. I have no problem with that. Instagram has had too much of a hold over me for too long! But no more! Yay!
The Women Rocking Business Meet Ups:
These will absolutely still be continuing!
Thanks to the many responses to my Feedback Questionnaire, I have seen first hand how valuable you guys find these relaxed networking meetings! I have also really enjoyed seeing how many friendships have been formed, and collaborations have taken place, and how much support has been given out, as a result of people meeting at the WRB Meet Up!
So, the monthly WRB Meet Up will be continuing in the same style and location (people seem to be liking the Penta Hotel, so I'm going to see if we can continue to hold it there for the near future) but there will be a small ticket price of £3 introduced, in order to cover the work and time involved in organising the meet ups etc. I really appreciate your support and understanding regarding the introduction of the small ticket price. I hope you will feel that this still offers you great value for money!
The Women Rocking Business Facebook page:
I won't be posting to or updating my WRB Facebook page any longer.
The Women Rocking Business Facebook group:
I will keep our Facebook group "The Women Rocking Business Family", as I would love for those of you within the WRB community to have a place where you can support each other and talk to each other and ask questions in a more private forum to Instagram. Please do go and make use of this facility whenever you like! It's for you!
Head Start Workshops:
I am no longer going to be organising or promoting any Head Start business workshops.
But I have had lots of messages about these, so I have decided that I will still offer my signature Perfecting Your Brand Message workshop (which will also contain social media and website help and best practice) on a consultancy basis to those that want them.
Meaning, if you would like me to, I will run this 4 hour workshop for you for £150. - All you need to do is organise yourself and your group of friends/fellow attendees, and your choice of venue. So if you have got 5 people together for the workshop, then the cost will be spread to £30 each.
If you have you and 2 friends, then it would work out at £50 per person.
If you want a more bespoke and focussed workshop then you can chose to hold the workshop just for you and your business. We will then have more time to focus specifically on your needs and questions.
You are more than welcome of course to use the WRB Facebook group and the WRB Meet ups to find people interested on coming together for a workshop.
Just get in touch, when you have your group together, to book a date!
Monthly Product Photography Club:
I will no longer be offering product photography on this reduced price monthly basis.
WRB Personal Branding Photography:
I will still be accepting bookings for Personal Branding Photography sessions on request.
I very strongly believe in the need for us women to exist in photographs. Furthermore, customers want to develop a relationship with you as the business owner; they want to Know, Like, and Trust you in order to invest in your services! So if you would like to book a Personal Branding Photoshoot with me, please feel free to get in touch.
NEW: #TeamWomenRockingBusiness Community Events:
As part of this shift in what Women Rocking Business is, and the overall set of values and ethos it represents, I will be sporadically arranging impromptu things like small meet ups, where we meet for a walk or a coffee or a cinema trip, for example. Whoever wants to come can come!
I will also be allowing other members of #teamwomenrockingbusiness to organise small free events for the community too, on request. Maybe you want to run a small free workshop? Maybe you want to organise a volunteering effort? Maybe you want to provide your services? - Just get in touch with your idea for your event and, if it fits with the ethos and values of Women Rocking Business, then you will be invited to go ahead and organise it, using the WRB name!
- Stay tuned for lots more info on what #teamwomenrockingbusiness will mean as it develops, but in the mean time, head over to #TEAMWRB for a bit more info on what I'm envisaging for now.
So there we have it! I hope that serves to clear up my thoughts on what Women Rocking Business will look like in 2019.
Essentially I am stepping back a little bit, and taking the pressure off myself, so that I have more time to recuperate and enjoy my children while they are still so young. I am also handing the baton over to you guys if you would like it!
Thank you THANK YOU so much for all your support and love and understanding! I hope these small changes mean that you can take a little bit of ownership of what it means to be a Women Rocking Business, and the wonderful supportive community it stands for!
- Jenny xxxx
So you've had a lightbulb moment. A great idea for a product which you just know will be fabulous. But how on earth do you make it into an actual real life product you can sell (and make some money in the process)?
Here at Sparke Club we specialise in helping and supporting small businesses bring their ideas to life via product development. We provide the practical steps that you need, no theories or fluffy stuff (OK, so maybe a bit of fluffy stuff 😉), just exactly what you need to do to get from idea to successful product.
Do you currently have an idea for a product? Here’s a few pointers on where you might like to start:
1. Take a Step Back:
Yes, of course your idea is the best thing since sliced bread. But maybe you could put the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the real finishing touch. You get the drift. By stepping back from your idea you can think about key elements and get some knowledge under your belt. So do your research, review your competitors, know your target customer and consider why your customers will choose YOUR product over someone else's. You need to know your vision, your customer and your USP. (Tip: Jenny’s Women Rocking Business ‘Perfecting Your Brand Message’ workshop will help you with this!)
2. Make a Plan:
Make a real and practical plan, which helps you to break down the development into easier to manage chunks. For example:
- Branding and Design. (Who will you use if you're not doing this yourself, what information will they need, create a mood board to communicate what you're thinking. Cue hours of Pinterest scrolling!)
- Packaging. (What type of packaging do you think would work? What materials could be good? Check out the eco credentials of the packaging you have in mind)
- The Product Itself. (Do you need to refine it? How exactly do you want it to look? Can you make a prototype?)
- Manufacturing. (You may make it yourself to begin with but think about if it sells like hot cakes what would you do? Could you outsource manufacturing? Would you take on some extra help?)
Reach out to your network for recommendations, make a plan and a proposed timeline (we find a Gantt chart or planner useful to log all the tasks and keep on track) and start to make it a reality.
3. Money, Money, Money!:
It sounds obvious but it's absolutely vital that you know your your costs and potential profit before launch. All too often we see fantastic small businesses creating the most wonderful products but failing to make enough money for it to be sustainable. Don't forget to factor in your very precious time to make sure that your passion can not only bring you joy but earn you a crust too.
4. Your Team:
Especially important if you're the sole person in your company is to create a virtual team around you. Your team are there to bounce ideas off, challenge, debate, create and ultimately be your greatest cheerleaders. Your designer, supplier, stockists, manufacturers, marketing whizz, family and friends can all form part of your team.
Wherever you're at in your new product journey, it's always worthwhile taking a moment to step back and think clearly about what steps you need to take to make your product come to life. If you're a bit stuck ask for help (drawing on the collective knowledge of a networking group like Women Rocking Business is a great place to start).
Creating a product is a huge undertaking and you can rarely be an expert in every element involved.
And most importantly, keep faith in your idea! There’s a reason why you're so passionate about it! When things get a bit tricky and it would be easy to give in, have a breather and remind yourself just why you think your product will work and visualise what your customers reactions will be. Then keep going!
About Sparke Club:
Based in Derby, in the East Midlands, Sparke Club came about after many years of us both (Hayley and Emma) itching to start our own business. We had a gazillion ideas before we eventually realised that NPD is not only what we're great at (and have over 35 years experience in) but also what we're passionate about.
We adore working as a team; we challenge each other, pick each other up, cheer each other on and most importantly have tons of fun together. We celebrate each tiny win and are genuinely so excited to work with such fantastic small businesses. We see ourselves as part of our clients virtual teams, we love collaborating with them and can be as involved as our clients wish us to be.
Since we both started our families it became clear to us that we wanted to champion other women and their passions. We want to help them make their products the best they can possibly be to give them every chance of success.
If you would like to have a chat with us to bounce some ideas around or to see if we could help you bring your product to life then don't hesitate to get in touch!
- Emma and Hayley xx
Visit us: www.sparkeclub.com (And see our fab Branding Photographs by Women Rocking Business too!)
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us: www.instagram.com/sparkeclub
Jenny Ryan is the Award Winning photographer behind Women Rocking Business and Indigo + Violet Photography.