By June 11, 2013 Read More →

From redundancy to business owner

Janine charts her emotional journey to small business owner

From employee to business owner, Janine BeattieJanine Beattie felt lucky working from home as a corporate employee – until she was made redundant. Here she charts her journey to small business owner.

How did the experience of redundancy make you feel?
Initially relieved as I hated the job.  I loved the company, the people I worked with and the clients I had – but I didn’t have any top management support.  As it was more of an informal redundancy and a choice to go – I didn’t for one minute think it was the wrong thing for me personally…. It was scary and the fact I felt like a failure was tough to overcome, even though I chose to go.
What was your first reaction, both emotionally and also practically?
I was angry that so many had been treated liked we had – our decision to take the redundancy was almost bullied upon us. My initial reaction was one of much sadness that a large corporate could get away with this… hence my belief I never want to work for one again! 

Practically I didn’t even think about it – I didn’t stop to think about what was about to change – company car gone, laptop gone, phone gone, broadband gone, healthy salary gone!  All I had was 5 months money and we were going to be fine… me and 2 kids against the world! I just knew we would be ok, everything happens for a reason.
What made you realise you’d be better off as a business owner than looking for another job?
I never thought initially about starting my own business. I was approached by an ex-colleague who had started his own business and needed some contract support and was prepared to pay me for it – I did it but still the penny didn’t drop.   I had some ideas but wasn’t sure – I managed to be lucky enough to get a load of courses under my belt just before Business Link ceased trading – all free and slowly the seed was planted.
I took on a 6 month contract (3 hour commute each day), and while doing that I was once again approached by someone to do some bid management support – finally the penny dropped …. Perhaps I could do something on my own! 
It’s a big jump from employee to business owner – how did Optimum develop?
It is a big jump – one I didn’t think too much about or actually stop to think about – it just became a natural progression. Optimum only developed because I started networking at Women In Business Network (WIBN). All of a sudden I had a purpose and some true networking friends who supported me.

Referrals started coming in, along with business.  It has been a long 18 months but every second worth it. I have grown and developed as a person and a business and gained some very valuable contacts and business along the way. 
What do you think was your biggest lesson from the whole experience?
I am a logical thinker, taking time to factually analyse each step in a process…. My biggest lesson was to go with my gut and not over analyse and JUST DO!    

But on a practical note – do your research, and find the right “virtual”  team around you (outsource what you can’t do!!) – accountant, web designer, bookkeeper, social media – I wasted soooo much money on these areas being sucked in and spending money where it wasn’t necessary. 

The  biggest lesson was how important networking is to my business. Get out there… word of mouth on steroids (along with social media of course).
What would you advise other people to do in a similar situation?

If you have an idea and you believe – DO IT!  It is hard work, challenging and scary, but if you want to be your own boss, control your own destiny and do what YOU love, it’s the only way forward.  Find your niche and market to them, be consistent and don’t give up. 

Janine provides marketing and business support to business owners and time starved professionals through Optimum Business Support. She also owns and runs four Women in Business Network franchises.

She has also talked to us about the differences in working from home as an employee and as a self-employed business owner.

2 Comments on "From redundancy to business owner"

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  1. Greg says:

    Great story, so pleased it worked out for you. Best of luck for the future.


  2. Sarah says:

    Almost everyone has a talent or strength that someone else is willing to pay for and this line sums it up.

    “I never thought initially about starting my own business. I was approached by an ex-colleague who had started his own business and needed some contract support and was prepared to pay me for it”

    In my book “How to Make Money By Working From Home” I talk a lot about this and how you go about finding the people who are willing to pay you for what you’re good at giving you the flexible life working from home.