Starting up a new business – online

There is never a good time to start up your business, sometimes, you just have to go for it and to just simply get on with it.  These days you don’t have to sink a fortune into a retail or office space.  You can just start up an online business and be based anywhere at home or in a coffee shop.  It is amazing how technology, the internet and social media have transformed the business landscape and how we work.

My virtual office

My virtual office

For the past few months, I have been working on getting the structures together, the web site, the blog, the online shop, registering the company, sorting out a business bank account, researching suppliers and customers.

I must not forget, I am also still a house wife, so I still have to do the school run, escort the kids to their extra curricular activities, cook dinner, do the washing and the ironing, plus cleaning. It is a real juggling and balancing act!

Having the right attitude is crucial, life is about learning and I am enjoying the journey and the challenge.  I still have a lot to learn, but I have never been much of a techie, but putting together this blog, website and all the other social media tools has been very interesting, especially, as I am on a very limited budget and I am doing it by myself.

Being a knitter has really helped, as we know there are always a solution to a problem and we enjoy figuring things out, but also as a member of a few knitting groups, there is always someone who can help and fill in the missing pieces.

Social media and networking

Be Inspired Fibres

Be Inspired Fibres

Without a physical presence, an online business has to rely on other means of reaching people. Online social media is great for spreading the word, but it is also important to physically meet and see prospective customers to understand their preferences. I am therefore really grateful for the opportunity to exhibit at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in a few weeks time. Read my 60 sec interview with the organisers here: www.edinyarnfest.com/60-second-interview-be-inspired-fibres

Shop update

Just in time for the Edinburgh show, the online shop is now opened for browsing and shopping. I can only do minor tweaks on the web site, but the tictail online shop solution, I am using is perfect, because of its simplicity and especially for a start-up like me.

A new year and a new beginning

BE INSPRED FIBRES

Finally, I have managed to get myself started on the blog scene and it is because I am beginning a new adventure into business and self employment. The whole process fills me with both fear and excitement, but I really do feel very passionate about knitting and selling wool. There is no going back now, I have to continue what I have started: the business is incorporated, the online shop is being prepared and I have signed up to the Edinyarnfest on Sat 16th March. It will be the launch date for “Be Inspired Fibres”. The festival would be a great starting point to showcase a selection of unusual yarns. I have to thank the organisers, because they have given me an impetus to get things moving, no more procrastinating.

The internet and social media have really changed how we reach out to people and to create communities of like minded people. Before embarking on this yarn business venture, I was a complete technophobe and dinosaur, but within a month, I have managed to put together a social media strategy and an online platform to showcase the yarn collection and it is now time to implement that.

Why wool and knitting – a background?

Cotton Fairisle Cardigan

Cotton Fairisle Cardigan

I learnt to knit when I was 7 years old from my mum and at school in Co. Down, N.Ireland. I remembered vividly always making things. I did stop knitting for a while and then only resumed after the birth of my second child in 2005. I remembered I was really nervous picking up the knitting needles again and in particular reading patterns, I was afraid that I had forgotten everything. But I soon got into the flow of things. Small toy projects were quickly followed by children’s garments and a subscription to Rowan, inspired me further to complete a fairisle cardigan. Knitting and buying wool immediately became an obsession, but it was also totally therapeutic, as it kept me busy in the evenings, as I was home alone with the kids most of the time, whilst my husband was working abroad.

Actually, it was while I was living in Beijing, China, that I got to know a Chinese cashmere yarn company and started to help them with distributing their yarns abroad and supplying the local SnB knitting group in Beijing, that was how I got involved in the yarn business.

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The new company is called “Be Inspired Fibres”, because, I aim to supply knitters with a choice of unusual, hard to find and beautiful fibres and yarns, both undyed and dyed. I hope knitters will be inspired to make things which they will treasure and keep or to give as a special present. We are surrounded by so many pattern resources these days, and are totally empowered to be creative.

Currently uploading goodies onto the shop, http://www.beinspiredfibres.tictail.com. I will keep you informed when it is actually opened.