Behind the scenes of running a Small Business
Posted on March 05 2021
Hello again, three/four blogs on the trot!! You'd think we have our sh*it together - don't be fooled, I'm definitely just procrastinating from ever the growing pile of washing that seems to miraculously double in size every time I look at it.
I promised a few weeks ago that I'd answer some questions on setting up a small business and quite honestly, I've put it off because more often than not feel like I'm winging it and I most definitely do not consider myself an expert entrepreneur.
That being said, the business turned 5 in January and I am so proud of how much we've grown and what has been achieved in those years that if I can encourage someone else to pursue their passion project then I'll try.
I have put together some of the more general questions that I often get asked and then I'll do a Business Q&A over on Instagram this week for any more specific questions.
How did you come up with the name 'Fox & Moon'
I get asked this all the time and I'd love to be able to tell you a really elaborate tale... but in fact, Fox is my surname and I just thought 'moon' sounded cool with it, 'star' was also a consideration at one point. I've often been told that we sound like a pub! Hahah
How did you get started?
On a kitchen table. I was on maternity leave having recently given birth to Harper and I was starting to think about losing a bit of the weight I'd gained whilst pregnant. I wanted a SW planner to track what I was eating but couldn't find exactly what I was after so I made one. It was only then I realised there was a gap in the market and 'hey presto' there was my business idea.
Do you have to spend a lot on equipment?
Not necessarily, but you do need to assess where your money is best spent depending on your business. For me, running an online, e-commerce business, it is important that I have a good laptop as I spend so much time online. Ideally I need one that is portable as I work a lot at home too. That's why I love this Latitude laptop by Dell. I can easily pop it in my handbag and bring it home at the end of the day. It has a quick charge feature too which is so useful because I always forget the charger! When running a small business, you are often coming up against challenges, last minute changes and it can often feel like you are working lots more than the 'normal' 9-5 so it's important to have tech that makes work more efficient. The touch screen makes it even easier to switch between your most used apps; anything to make life easier.
How do you come up with ideas?
9/10 I create something for me, something that I need or want.. you need to absolutely love your products for them to be a success. If you don't love it then how can you expect someone else to? As I mentioned just now the food diaries have all developed and grown from the first planner I made. The budget planner I created when we were renovating the house and paying off kitchen debt.
Do you design the products yourself?
Absolutely, they're not bought in from elsewhere. I come up with a brief and draw up some initial ideas, I then work really closely with a graphic designer - we go back and forth with ideas, make changes until we're both happy with the end result.
We also think it's important to get feedback from our amazing customers so when we're ready to 'refresh' or 'relaunch' a product we always reach out on Instagram to see how we can improve the design of things to make them EVEN better.
How many people work at Fox & Moon?
Official F&M employees.. two; me and George, but Nick does help when we need some man power and Harper considers herself the BEST sweeper sweets can buy. Freddie should also be on the books considering how much time we spent together in the office in his first few months in the world.
How do you manage your time?
This one has changed quite a bit in the last year, I've found it more challenging to get my head around. Pre-covid I would be at work for 8-9am Monday-Friday whilst Harper was at school (with Freddie in tow) and then when the kids are asleep that's when the night shift would start.
Since we've been in lockdown, I've had home-schooling to contend with so we've had to switch up our delivery days and I've had less time in the office so had to juggle the work admin at home in between Zoom maths and PE with Joe. I actually created a new product off the back of Lockdown 3.0 to help structure the days at home.
What was your aim for Fox & Moon at the start?
Can you believe there was no business plan and no real intention to create something like it has become!? I just wanted to create planners to help motivate people just like me to achieve the things they wanted to achieve. The community of people that have gotten behind me on Instagram have just kept me going to create more and more and I couldn't be more grateful!
Who do you use to ship your orders?
We use Royal Mail and if you were around for the chaos during Black Friday/Christmas 2020 you'll know we recently upgraded to a tracked service. You can find out all about our delivery services here https://www.foxmoon.co.uk/pages/delivery
How do you advertise your business?
Instagram is my shop front, almost all of our sales come from social media and of course our lovely loyal customers. We have some customers that have placed over 50 orders over the 5 years and we can't believe it. This is part of the reason we created our V.I.Planner Rewards Scheme so we could give back to our loyal customers in the way of money off and free shipping.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
You can start a business with £10 or £10,000. It's really not about the monetary investment but more about how passionate you are. Consistency is key, you have to believe in your products whole heartedly and show up every day. Results don't happen over night. I read somewhere recently that Coca Cola only sold 25 bottles in their first year of trading, however true that is, building a business takes time; they didn't give up and neither should you.
If you have any more specific questions, then keep an eye out on for our Instagram business Q&A this week!!
We were very kindly gifted this Dell Latitude Laptop as part of a Small Business campaign and now use this daily to help with the running of Fox & Moon!!
That's all for today fellow business babes, have a good week!