Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
9:30 AM 11th August 2017

How I Grew My Business

Okay okay... So before I begin typing out a long lengthy article the first thing to be aware of is that I don't have a fleet of people working for me!

It's still just me behind the scenes doing marketing, writing, attending events and running my little shop in Leyburn Market Town.

I had the idea for this article last week when someone presumed I had at least 10 staff which I must say made me giggle!

I still see my business as a smallish business but I believe it's bigger today than it was 3 years ago.

I've gone from having a small desk in my bedroom to having a medium size office and a shop in my local market town, which makes me feel pretty proud, but like every business owner I still have dreams and goals to reach .....

So how did I do it?

The simple answer is probably going to be, 'Hard work, determination and a lot of coffee'.

But there really was a lot more to it than that and it has not always been easy.

I've made lots of mistakes along the way (Don't we all?)

But I don't class these as mistakes any more as they have turned into learning curves and have helped me grow my business and helped me understand the business world a little bit more!

Although sometimes I have those days where I feel like a fish out of water and completely confused by the whole business industry, but I am constantly learning and I think that's one of the most exciting things about having a business, especially if you're passionate about what you do then it never feels like you're actually 'working' (until you have those meltdown days).

Initially when I started my business I was completely 'online' so all my sales were through online marketing.

I had no idea how to sell a product over the internet but I had to learn and it's probably taken me just over 2 years to learn the basics.

Here is what I know now which I didn't before...

1. You have to build your brand!
Quite a simple sentence but not as easy as it sounds. Branding is very much your choice, it's about your logo, colours and strap lines. You have to think about something that will instantly tell people what you do and think about your target audience.
My initial first logo I designed for my brand was quite simple but didn't really tell people who I was. It wasn't until much later that I decided to add text to my logo.
It's great now as people will see a sweatshirt and read the logo 'Little Alf' and so gets my brand known.

2. Website
For me my website is everything. It has to tell people who you are and what you do in one simple glance. It has to capture your audience. I've had 3 websites for my company and I'm now on my 4th which is due to go live next week.. .Mainly because my business has grown and it is expected that you will have to add things to your site and then take things away as you grow but it plays a key role in your brand!

3. Social media & Content
I actually don't know where I would be without social media! I use social media to market my brand, tell people about new products and post content. It's a fantastic tool and I think it's an every business 'must have' if you are wanting to tell people about your business. Social media is the way forward into capturing a new audience and reaching people not just on a regional scale but also on an international level.