Setting up a business: From a professionals' perspective
Updated: Nov 15, 2020
Edit. By Elizabeth has teamed up with award-winning countryside blogger and business owner Chloe Bucknell, to explain how we ventured on to our dream career paths.
I don’t own a business; I don’t have the first clue how set up a business, however what I do know is creating my blog built the foundations for my career and played a crucial part in my job progression.
Chloe has kindly shared her top tips on setting up her business, CB Digital Design, but also how much her blog taught her in relation to making that step.
I will begin by explaining how starting this blog allowed me to showcase my skills and got me my perfect job!
Dear Diary, (entry made on 23rd October 2020)
I am currently 21 years old, turning 22 next month!
The world is going crazy, there is a climate crisis and a global pandemic amongst many other issues.
During a national lockdown I graduated with a degree in Journalism. It was tough but the class of 2020 got through it and deserve a massive pat on the back.
I also started my own blog, Edit. By Elizabeth. It is a fashion and lifestyle blog which I set up to help struggling businesses gain some free publicity during the pandemic.
MUM I GOT IN THE NEWSPAPER… Burton Mail covered my story to give my blog some recognition.
Just when I started to lose hope in finding a job, earlier this month I landed my dream job at a digital marketing agency.
How did I stand out from the crowd of all the other applicants… my blog?
Setting up a blog allowed me to showcase my skills and for employers to see that I am hardworking, innovative and productive.
I now want to help others in setting up a blog and kickstarting their career.
You have just read how my blog helped me land my dream job. This can also be your reality!
I started my blog because I knew I wanted a career in marketing. However, I was worried that because my degree was in Journalism employers wouldn’t give me the time of day.
I therefore created Edit. By Elizabeth which showcased my PR and marketing skills by reaching out to companies and providing them with free publicity during an economic crisis.
A blog is an extremely valuable tool to exhibit your talents. Whether it be photographic, copywriting, food reviews etc. A blog is so versatile and can fit around the industry you want to go into.
If there was one thing, I could tell my younger self it would be to ‘just do it’.
Previously, I had told myself I didn’t have the time to take on a commitment such as a blog… I was wrong!
Be passionate about what you are showcasing. If you’re passionate you will make the time to invest in your blog.
Don’t let other opinions and especially your inner-conflicting opinion stop you if blogging is something you want to do.
It might just be the reason why you get offered your perfect position…
Do you need help setting up a blog? Message me via Instagram (@edit.byelizabeth) or read my previous post ‘My top tips on how to start a blog’ for more information.
Chloe not only runs a successful country blog but also a successful Digital Marketing agency at 25-years-old.
Read more to find out how she juggles blogging to 8,000 people, running a business and taking a minute to breath:
Dear Diary, (entry made on 1st May 2017)
My name is Chloe Bucknell. I’m currently 22 years old, writing my dissertation at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I enjoyed my 4 year degree, but I have always been a hands-on type of worker. I much prefer earning money and achieving, compared to studying and revision. Last month, I decided to launch my first business The Gin Kitchen (www.theginkitchen.co.uk), a converted horse trailer, now a mobile bar.
The plan is to travel to various events across the UK, earn some money doing so and see where it takes me! The money earnt will help me save up for my first house. I’ve always told myself I will own my own home before I’m 25!
Dear Diary, (entry made on 1st November 2018)
I did it! I graduated with a 2:1 AND just moved in to my first house. Bought with my hard-earned money from a busy year running The Gin Kitchen. A business I thought would bring me a little pocket money turned out to be fully booked within 6 months, and we’ve just converted our 2nd horse trailer!
I started working full-time for an Events & Exhibitions company in Manchester. It’s going OK but I already know it’s not what I want to do in the long run. Can I make The Gin Kitchen work for me financially full-time? What else am I passionate about that I can be my own boss at?
I’ve also launched a Fashion & Lifestyle blog (www.chloebucknell.co.uk), talking all things inspired by the British countryside. I needed a space I could bring out my creativity, through my own words and pictures.
Instagram has become the next biggest social media trend and it’s bringing out my inner creativity on my little squares each day. Brands have started reaching out wanting to collaborate, I’ve even received my first gifted item in exchange for some publicity on my blog!
Creating content, social media and blogging is time consuming. I find every weekend and most evenings I’m either scrolling, responding to comments or writing my next blog post. I’m loving it though, maybe I can find my next career step through this?
Dear Diary, (entry made on 1st September 2019)
Oh my gosh. What have I done? I’ve just resigned from my full-time job, a well-paid, guaranteed monthly income to set up on my own…EEEEK!
This will either be the best decision of my life or worst, but first…I booked myself a solo trip of a lifetime. I’m spending 4 weeks of my notice period travelling Dubai, South Africa & Kenya. A little escape to work out my next career step and how I’m going to launch a business in a tough, competitive industry that I know little about.
I’ve packed tons of books, listened to hundreds of podcasts, stalked so many influencers on Instagram and scribbled a business plan in the back page of my diary. Time to put together a strategy, design myself a logo, build a website and market my business idea to try pay the bills!!
Soon after I got back, I launched Engage Events & Exhibitions Limited (www.engageexhibitions.co.uk).
Dear Diary, (entry made on 1st November 2020)
Well Covid-19 clearly had other ideas for my business. There is nothing more demoralising then having the buzz of launching a business and motivation of being successful, taken straight from you.
My first big exhibition booking was due to take place in April, but sadly the UK went into lockdown. What was I meant to do now? I hadn’t been trading long enough to qualify for any of the government grant schemes and being a Director, I couldn’t opt for furlough.
I panicked, the only thing keeping me sane was having a mortgage holiday for 3 months. I hadn’t been paid or been able to pay myself for 6 months now. Pennies in the bank were getting tight and my outgoings were still high. For the first time in my life, I felt I’d made the biggest mistake.
Sitting at home sobbing wasn’t doing me any good, and it wasn’t getting me any closer to my dream of becoming a millionaire by the time I’m 30. The Gin Kitchen wasn’t earning a penny and I couldn’t think straight.
I volunteered with the NHS for 3 months. It got me out the house. Just the 30-minute drive there and back, 5 days a week for 12 weeks was the time I needed to re-think my career plans. I re-found my passion for my Instagram, blog and creative design.
All my friends were launching little side businesses whilst on furlough, reaching out for a logo or web design every now and again. After a few successful jobs and some lovely feedback, I had another light bulb moment.
A Digital Marketing Agency…www.cbdigitaldesign.co.uk!! It’s 2020, every single business is needing to go online to survive. Within just 1 week of announcing what I was doing, I was fully booked. It took me 3 months to launch my own website, I was too busy designing everyone else’s. Why had I not thought of this beforehand?
Without a doubt, the first 80% of my business was through clients I had built relationships with through my blog. I had given them free exposure 2-3 years ago, worked with them on a gifted campaign or just gave advice on Instagram DM’s.
Within just 4 months of trading, it was time to expand my team. Elizabeth has become just the person I was looking for. I was a busy fool, working 20-hour days, 7 days a week to get work done and keep clients happy. We’re now streamlining processes between us, taking on new clients each week and for the first time in 2020, I’m paying myself a wage this month!
I’m super excited to see what the future holds for this business, and to see what great results we can achieve for SME’s online!
The moral of my story? It’s taken me 3.5 years since graduating to realise what career path I wanted to take. I’ve gone through some serious highs and lows to find it. Don’t ever lose your drive or motivation when you come across a hurdle. Ride the journey and it will be worth it.
Nothing worth it comes easy, and if it comes easy, it’s not worth it.
We hope this post has given you as insight into what it is like to start a blog or business.
Every success story started as an idea; it is important to remember that when you are stepping on to your career path.
We wish you luck in whatever step you are about to take! Dream big and don't be afraid to make those dreams a reality. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.