Louise Dover, Beautique, Ryde
The best decision I made was taking the leap from working for a top beauty salon, and going self-employed, said Louise Dover.
I have never looked back since making this decision and the business is now growing stronger every day.
I always knew I wanted to be in the beauty industry from a young age. I studied Beauty and Holistic therapy at the Isle of Wight College. I ended up working for one of the Island's top beauty salons for nearly 5 years.
Then I wanted to progress and start a new journey. I started working at home.
Making that first push was the scariest part of creating my business.
After 18 months I had so many clients I thought I could do it in a salon. I found an empty shop in Ryde and created Beautique.
The advice I would give to anyone is 'don't hold back'.
I admire all independent businesses now. Since starting self-employed, I realise just how much work people have to put into their business to make it work. It doesn't come easy!
If you feel like you have a true passion and want to start your own journey, try it. Don't hold yourself back from creating what could be the best thing for you and your customers.
as published by IW County Press, Column by Dave Simon
Survive The Second Step
Commentary from Dave Simon
Good news from the micro-business economy.
The number of people going self-employed is rising.
One in eleven people of working age are either running or starting a business these days.
And more UK start-ups are surviving their first year of business than their European cousins.
Going self-employed is the first step on the journey for many. The second step is the decision to employ someone else.
But that first member of staff is the most expensive recruit you will ever have. All the costs, and all your time, is at its highest. It gets easier as you get more employees. (But you need the work for them!)
No wonder lots of new entrepreneurs put it off!
Research shows that the most successful employers are the ones who've done it before – experience makes the difference.
So first time round, be nervous of legal and financial implications.
Build up work using friends, family, volunteers and freelancers first.
Aim very deliberately to recruit and train staff to work the way you want.
Get expert local help with employment law and costing.
Calculate the benefit of your new employee.
Prepare your Training Programme ASAP.
Avoid the temptation to hire your best friend!
More about Louise Dover's experience
I didn't have a mentor as such, but I have had huge amount of support from family and friends, and influence from other small independent businesses.
With the economy, it is so sad to see there isn't enough money being injected into small businesses, and the amount of empty shops there are around in our main town centres.
As a unique island, there seems to be a lack of holiday makers around due to cost of travel on/off the Island. It seems that people can't justify spending such high prices for boat travel. I think this is a real shame and something I would personally like to see change.
There are some amazing events and attractions that do bring people here, I just hope we can all continue working as a close community.