Everyday Tales of Business Folk: a business story for business people – Episode 14

Our hero Katherine has been made a very nice offer by her father. He’s going to pay most of her start-up costs for her, including 12 months of working with his business adviser, Julia Chanteray and a new website design.

After they argued yesterday in the pub, she agreed to try it for six months and see if she can make a living from working for herself. And in return for all of this, her first client will be her dad, at no cost.

It’s only the next day that she realises that this was part of his bargaining scheme all along and that he knew that she’d only accept his generosity if he accepted something back in return. She starts to get angry at his manipulative scheming all over again but then realises that she could learn a few influencing techniques from her dad and that she’s been incredibly fortunate to have this offer.

She books her first proper session with Julia and starts doing some research into which companies she’d like to pitch to. She sends Julia a huge chunk of documents, target clients list, proposed service offering, drafts of website copy, and does a ridiculously optimistic profit forecast.

She interviews the web developer her dad has been using and realises that she’s not going to get on with him at all, so she looks for another one. She joins the Brighton Chamber of Commerce, and goes along to her first networking breakfast, with her new business cards in her pocket. And that’s just her first week.

Of course, Katherine is just getting started. She’s got everything she needs, a good business idea, a strong track record from her previous job, and the ability to use her marketing skills on her own business. And, of course, probably the best business adviser she could find.

But if the last few months have been difficult for her, the next 6 months are going to be full of trials, mistakes and challenges. That’s what makes running your own business the most exciting thing you can possibly do.

What would you advise her to do next? When you were in Katherine’s position of just starting out, what did you find the most difficult? What other support will she need?

I’ve written 14 episodes of Tales of Everyday Business Folk now, so that’s now the end of series 1. I write many other (shorter) business stories on my blog and in my regular email newsletter, so you might want to subscribe to that as well if you think that you’ll miss your daily episodes of Katherine’s adventures.

And do tell me what you think might happen to Katherine next – I need some ideas for series 2.