Tag Archives: smallbusiness

Heaven Sent

So, in between all my rants, I do like to give a heads up for great companies. We are all about supporting small business in this household! If I can get something locally, or made by an independent business I will do my best!

hm3

Why buy independant? Have I covered this before? Because frankly, you are helping someone’s dream come alive. Without entrepreneurs we wouldn’t have many of the companies we know and love. While I agree that most companies won’t ever be the global behemoths that occasionally are created, it feels nicer to be able to help someone’s dream and vision. And often you get something completely unique. Are we all over the 3 for 2 offers on gifts yet? I know I am!

It is worth being a little opportunistic on social media, Twitter, with which I have a love/hate relationship, is one of the best. If you sign up to feeds that might be interesting to you, you might find a company, person, business being retweeted or referenced. It is a great marketing tool for business, big and small and often free. But that is for another blog! The reason I even mention it, is because a couple of months ago I saw a tweet about a small company and intrigued I had a little look at their website. Well… what can I say?

hm4

Let me introduce you to Heavenly Marshmallows and if you Click Here you will be able to check out their website and all the delicious recipes. Now I will hold up my hands here and admit – I haven’t had the pleasure of trying them. YET. It is on the list.

And I suppose that doing a review of a product that I haven’t actually had a chance to try (yet) but I have to be honest, every single person I have ordered these for have been beyond positive in their reviews. The first order was delivered to my home and I was blown away with the packaging and attention to detail. I have ordered a handful more for people and am so pleased with the level of customer care that I receive each time. This includes offering small touches that makes these stand out.

hm2

I remember getting a message after my second order as the lady behind HM realised that it was being sent to another address and asked if I would like a note included. Simple little things like this. This is a small company that truly offers those small touches that make small companies stand out in a way that larger companies often can’t compete with. But let’s get back to the subject in hand. Marshmallows. Not any marshmallows either, these are marshmallows in such a gorgeous selection of flavours. And I will repeat again, if you missed it. MARSHMALLOWS! Little clouds of heavenly flavours. Again, I am sorry I have no first hand knowledge but have reliable information informing me that they are indeed heaven sent. 

hm1

I really cannot recommend this company more, the price point is fantastic, the variety of flavours will suit every taste. The customer service is incomparable. And the variety of sweet treats available? There are not only marshmallows, although, why would you be looking any further? If you have an event, corporate, personal, need party favours? I would certainly give this company a look out. And the great news is that they also attend local market days, so it is worth checking facebook or twitter to see where they will pop up next and you might even snag yourself a freebie to try before you buy (one of each flavour). 

As well as the website linked in the body of the text, you can find Heavenly Marshmallows here: 

Twitter

Facebook

hm6

The experience of work

So on the show recently, we discussed business, and different aspects there in, and I wanted to look at unpaid work, and whether it is something you should seriously consider/does it actually help. We looked at volunteering on an earlier show, and I am no stranger to the concept of volunteering. I have done it in one form or another over most of my life.

But there is a difference between volunteering and interning – something which has been in the news for a while. In a job market where there are plenty of graduates and people with a lot more experience, it really does seem to be an employers market. But there is a difference between what is expected from a volunteer and an intern.

work2

Interning is more or less the same as the work experience weeks you will have done while at school and may have been part of your course at college or university. It is a chance for your to shadow people, to get an idea of what the job actually entails, experience the business environment. You gain valuable insight to the company, as well as training that can stand you in good stead for seeking a job. But internships should not be long term. They are an excellent way of getting your foot in the door, of giving the employer a chance to see if you would be a good fit for the company.

Now not to sound too negative, getting work experience is a great idea, it gives you a chance to learn new skills, a chance to network and figure out if the job is right for you. But you need to make sure that you are not being used. An internship should be a week, 2 at the most. It needs enough time for you and your potential employer to figure out if it is a good fit. However, having an internship does not imply there is a job at the end of tit, It is equally likely that the company has a busy time ahead and needs some extra hands.

work3

Remember you don’t have workers rights as an intern – this is why they are very short term arrangements. The moment there is a sign of a contract or agreement for full time hours and or responsibilities – you need to ensure that you are being paid, at the very least the minimum wage. No matter how much you want a job, don’t allow the employer to push you into a situation you can’t afford to be in.

But there is another angle you might want to think about – giving your time for free, because is something you love. It doesn’t need to be big, is a friend might be setting up a new business and you can help them with advice or an extra pair of hands. Or maybe you can help at an event, there are many different roles that need to be filled at fetes, runs, festivals. Could you run a stall, or a work shop, even be a steward? You can look at this as an opportunity to network, maybe get paid next time. If you don’t have strong enough skills or confidence to want to charge to your time, doing things for free can give you a boost and change to practise your skills.

work4

If you are starting, or running a small business, you will not have enough money to pay staff, don’t be afraid to ask your friends, put a shout out, discuss your business with people. You never know who might be able to give you a hand, often people will be able to give at least a little of their time for free. Just make sure you don’t push too hard or you might end up with people being resentful.But, and this will sound more like me, the self titled Social Media queen that I am (I love social media… its amazing!) – reach out. You never know what skills or connections people have. Often people forget as well and need a nudge.

What I would say, don’t jump into something feet first. You are going to need to have an income for at least the first 2 years, so take your time and gather skills and knowledge as well as the savings to help you on your way. If you are serious, make sure you are doing something you love, but not at the risk of ruining what you love. Don’t pick something you enjoy to unwind relax, or take a time out as a new career. Unless you have something else to do in the same situation, you will not only hating something you previously loved but potentially burnt out.

A signpost directing work life balance

Well to round up as I have covered a little ground here – if you are looking to change your career path, see if you can get a little work experience, shadowing. You can do this within the company you already work at. It is often encouraged and will help you make decisions about whether it is right for you. It will mean losing out on free time in the short term but will have long term benefits. Even if you realise it wasn’t for you, at least you know!

Next, offering your time for free – do you have a skill, a hobby, knowledge that you can pass on? There are so many places to do this, charities, local communities, schools, church groups often rely on the help of volunteers. It is important to make sure you are CRB/DRB checked if working with children. It is also worth making sure you know who is covering insurance, for example if you are going to help out at a local Family Fun Day by doing a workshop – are you already insured? Will the organisers cover you? Yes, it is boring but better safe than sorry! Even if you don’t feel you have a skill or knowledge to offer, ask around and see if there are any ways you can help out! It is a great way of getting to know new people, feel like you are part of the local community and do a little net working!

work7

Lastly starting a business – this is a biggie! It isn’t something i have every done, and therefore not the best person to ask. I have an earlier blog post covering help and advice from some very talented friends of mine. Remember, never be afraid to ask for help, you never know how might be able to help! Networking is fun, don’t overload people though. Make sure that you are making time for yourself and still have time outside your new business venture to unwind – starting your own business takes a lot of guts, it is ultimately rewarding though! Never be afraid to ask for help and advice though!

Have fun, remember, this is not the employers market, don’t let that attitude make you undervalue yourself! Don’t be afraid to try something new, it may not work out but equally you might find a new love! Have fun, enjoy yourself! 

Click Here to listen to the radio show on Mix Cloud 🙂

work6

 

Impulsively Cosmetic

So for a little change of pace, I thought i would do a do a quick review on a makeup brand that I was directed by a good friend, and amazing makeup artist MothQueen Makeup. I love a good indie company – not just makeup, although my makeup renaissance was in part due to an Etsy makeup store. It is nice to find small companies and see what they have to offer. Often they are more flexible than larger companies, and able to follow trends a little better because they aren’t as restricted in the same way, can try new things, be more experimental.

CHECK OUT IMPULSE COSMETICS

Now, I am not the biggest lipstick fan – I was never really a girly girl and could never keep up with reapplying lipstick. I have to say though all the gorgeous super stay lipsticks are calling to me. I do worry about how much wear I would get out of them, and what colour would make most sense? I would probably be doing makeup looks with them, what is my go-to…. so many thoughts.

c003cfe62749c95bb915a7aa6dfd3865

But because I am curious, I had a look at what Impulse have on offer – they have samples! SAMPLES! This is music to my ears! As my friends over at Jax n Boo can tell you! I am not sure why, just tiny anything… so I had to grab myself 4 colours, I didn’t actually pay much attention to the colours – whoops! But who doesn’t like a surprise?! (and what was I saying about being able to try new things and experiment!)

Now, I am working long hours, which basically mean I get no natural light while in my home so I have had to nab photos from t’interweb – but they are genuine products and I urge you to have a looksie at the website yourself.

lips1

I got 4 very different colours, a brown, purple, pink and a red – I was pleasantly surprised that picking them by name along gave me a nice range! It could have ended pretty badly! Like I said already, I don’t often wear lipstick but fortuitously I had an excuse to wear lipstick last Sunday as I had a day in London. I was a little terrified of ending up with just the remnants of the lipstick, so I ended up wearing the brown. Now, on top of not being a regular lipstick wearer, I also suffer from dry lips which makes me bite them. 

Now to back track a little, the colours are beautiful, they don’t change massively which is something that can happen when lipsticks dry. I love the matt, iridescent quality to them. They go on easily and are easy to blend in so will look good for ombre style effects on lips (it is on my ‘to do’ list). The only problem is, that I didn’t prep my lips, I didn’t use my Lush lip scrub or any lip balm. 

3_10 ImpulseCosmetics4

So please make sure before you put anything long lasting on your lips – that they are well hydrated and prepped. Long lasting lipstick by its nature doesn’t have any moisturising properties. That said, the brown lip stick did really well, I have to say that by the time I got on the train home, I was furiously biting my lips… but all told the lipstick did well! I am really impressed. The colour was great and survived a day out, on poorly prepped lips, where greasy food was consumed and some furious biting of now dry lips…. yeah they stick like glue! So I have of course bought some more samples to try out. I have also got some glitter to try out – an orange mix and a red mix – just thinking of the right makeup look. So I really hope that you have a little look at the site. I am officially in love and have found a fab new indie makeup store to buy from! 

eyes

I am so picking up the 8-Bit eye shadow collection with my next order!