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Archive for October, 2016

My Quest for a Laptop Before 8.30am

Sunrise over Leeds

Have you ever needed a laptop before 8.30am? No? Your time will come, my friend!

My Dad brought round some old laptops for us last weekend, but he didn’t have the charging cables so we hit up Amazon and bought the right cable for the job. The cable arrived at about 8pm the night before we needed the laptop (I know, who delivers at 8pm!?) and it only worked on one of the old laptops, which should have been fine! Should…

Annoyingly the laptop was locked to my Dad’s corporate network and despite naively thinking I would just be able to reset it to it’s factory settings, no amount of Googling or Youtubing brought us the solution. We came to the conclusion that the laptops didn’t work around 1am. Where do you buy a laptop from between 1am and 8.30am? Not even the giant that is Amazon could solve that dilemma!

I set my alarm for 6.30am and trudged out into the morning in search for a laptop! The sun rising over Leeds made for an incredible wait at the bus stop, making the whole plan kind of worth it there and then. I got to our local Tesco Superstore just after it opened and headed to the electronics section – lack of caffeine and very little sleep made me very irritated that I could buy a TV or a printer, but not a laptop! From there I got a bus out to my nearest ASDA Supercentre, getting off in the middle of nowhere and having no idea where I was with 11% battery – what did we used to before technology?!

I found my way through to ASDA from round the back of the building where all the offices are, hah! When I got inside I saw a familiar sight – TVs, printers, but no damned laptops! Thankfully they were hiding out the back with just an info card on display on the shop floor so I picked up a decent Acer laptop at around 8am. The best part was, it was £50 cheaper in store that it is online! I got back home for bang on 8.30am with a laptop and an intense thirst for a cuppa.

So there you have it! If you need to get yourself a laptop before 8.30am, head to the biggest supermarket you can find.
Don’t forget to give yourself a break, too. We all have those insanely unorganised moments, we’re only human after all.

Loves x xx

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Indie Biz: Starting and Running a Business From Home

Starting and running a business from home

We’re coming up to the biggest season of the year for indie designers and hand makers with Christmas approaching so I’m using what’s left of the quieter weeks to prepare my space at home to be the best possible working environment. It can be really difficult working from home, with so many distractions and real life spilling into your work and vice versa, but there are a lot of benefits to running a business from home too. Flogas, the energy supplier, asked me to share my top tips and advice with you and these apply whether you’re just starting out or have been running a good few years like me. We recently bought a new house so I had to revisit all the important things I need in business premises all over again.

// Having a dedicated space for your business is my number one must have for running a business from home. I’m not saying you need a flashy office with all the mod cons, but you do need at least an area where you can keep all your work. It’s nigh on impossible to be able to concentrate with your laptop in the living room or to be able to relax with your papers cluttering up the place. If you can only spare enough space for a desk, that’s a good place to start, but being able to shut the door to my office at the end of the day has been the best thing for my business and well being so far.

// Working alone all day can be really lonely and difficult so get some interaction and company from wherever you can. It’s nice to pop out to a coffee shop or hot desk at your local co-working space, but you could also head over to a friend’s and co-work from there. I really enjoying working with my brother every now and then, just sitting side by side on your laptops can be really refreshing compared to working alone. If all else fails, I love to start a new TV series while I’m working and the characters on the show become my ‘colleagues’ for the day. I know it sounds sad, but you feel a little less isolated.

Be Awesome or Don't Bother // Small Business Quotes // Motivational Quotes

 

// Social media is so important for any growing business, especially if you have a limited marketing budget, but it’s also amazing to connect with other people who do what you do. If it wasn’t for some of the friends I’ve made on Twitter and Facebook I’m not sure I’d still be running my business today. Put yourself out there and be excited about what other people are doing and you’ll find your people, even if you don’t actually work with anyone in the office.

// Make sure your fridge is well stocked. I had this crazy idea that when I worked from home I’d be able to cook amazing lunches every day and eat super healthy, but of course I am still as busy (if not more so) as when I worked in an office so I really only have time to grab something quick. There’s nothing worse than getting to lunchtime and having to go out and do the weekly shop, so be prepared!

// Keep your space clean and warm. One of the benefits of running a business from home is mains gas, which is something you totally take for granted, but when I worked in an office it was always freezing and it’s so hard to concentrate when you’re cold. We would huddle around the heaters and oil radiators at my old job whenever there was a spare moment, but it’s so nice to sit at home in a t-shirt and jeans instead of 17 layers and just set my mind to work with no distractions.

// Get up, get showered, get dressed. It is oh so tempting to work in your pyjamas or even take your laptop to bed, but on the days when I get myself dressed smartly, do my hair and (oddly!) put on shoes before I sit down to work my productivity levels go through the roof. It’s all in your mind, so if you feel like a useless blob, you’ll start to believe you are one and if you feel bad-ass you’ll act bas-ass!

Feeling like starting a business? It’s the best thing I ever did! Read more advice for becoming self-employed.

Loves x xx

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