I asked Eleanor to talk a bit about why she decided to start her own business and what it’s like:
“I have a garden maintenance business that I started in 2015 when I was 19 years old. I hope to develop my business by employing people and evolve a part of it into garden design.
People talk about the ‘freedom’ that comes with owning your own business, being able to take time off when you feel like it and working from home. I see ‘freedom’ as being able to evolve and change your business and make decisions without having to negotiate this with bosses/managers. This can be intimidating and involves taking risks but is fantastic when it pays off.
Reasons why I started my own business:
* There is a considerable lack of employment in horticulture in my local area. I was looking to be sub-contracted by an established independent company or in a garden centre/nursery.
* You are expected to gain experience before being employed. There is a lack of volunteer roles in my area and for some volunteering roles you need to have experience too; it is intimidating and becomes a vicious circle.
* Have to earn money to live and survive, you cannot be a volunteer if you have to pay bills.
* Personally, I had to fill my time. I became restless and useless whilst searching for jobs/volunteer work. I have the drive and energy to learn new skills but was unsuccessful in finding employment.
The hard parts of running my own business:
* Without being taught ‘life skills’ at school, you have to become your own ‘accountant’ and business advisor. You are expected to know about tax and finances. This was daunting.
* You have to be confident in your own skills and knowledge. Your customers hire you as the expert. Prove to them that you are competent.
* You represent your own brand. You want your brand to stand out and be well acclaimed. You must present yourself well and be smart.
* You must build good relationships with your customers, you are your own boss so customers must be able to praise your work but also confide complaints to you (on the odd occasion).
The best parts of owning your own business:
* Being independent with own brand pushes you to be your best everyday.
* It pushes you to make constant improvements to expand your knowledge and improve your business.
* You have control over expansion: who you employ, who your clients are etc. You get to choose the services offered and get to enjoy working.
* You won’t become a ‘dogsbody’: what younger people usually become when starting out in an industry. You have control over the business environment and can make it positive.”
Filming & Editing: Molly Aldrich-Wincer
Music: Rock Angel by Joakim Karud https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud
Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported— CC BY-SA 3.0
Music provided by Audio Library https://youtu.be/K8eRXvLL7Wo