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  • FIRST POST
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 25th Jul 16, 7:16 PM
    • 10,454Posts
    • 69,667Thanks
    Bobarella
    Budget Wars - A New Hope (with apologies to George Lucas)
    • #1
    • 25th Jul 16, 7:16 PM
    Budget Wars - A New Hope (with apologies to George Lucas) 25th Jul 16 at 7:16 PM
    A New Hope is a very fitting title for my first ever DFW diary. For the first time in around 18 months I really have hope. I am one of those people who has always seen September as the start of the year. Because of back to school I suppose. And this year is the first September I can honestly say I am 100% looking forward to in years.

    My situation is complicated but to simplify, I took the enormous step to not only become self employed but to sell my family home to finance my new business in 2011. I turned my back on a very well paid career to go out on my own.
    In that period I have had many challenges. Gone to hell and back owing wages and HMRC. Dont worry the wages were paid back long ago as quickly as I could. And I repaid HMRC.
    The stress of being responsible for other peoples lives is intense if you've never been there. At my lowest point I deactivated my voicemail to avoid the energy company being able to contact me.

    At one point I owed around £40,000 all business related. Primarily on a loan, but some CC.

    Time and again I bashed my head against my mental bars and wondered if I could physically carry on. But I did. Through hell and high waters. Quite literally in fact....

    This last year has not been easy. I worked as the sole employee of my business during my entire pregnancy with DD and went into labour whilst still at work. When my baby was 4 months old I got seriously ill and spent a week in hospital. My lovely FIL was diognosed with the big C 2 months ago. And life has wobbled along precariously as always.

    The reason for my new hope is I finally made a big decision. To stop the business I am running & build another. It wont be easy but it will get me out of the hole I am in & allow me to take on paid employment around the new business. I have 4 days left of my old situation and then good night vienna!

    I love MSE. It and the people of it have been such a comfort. And now I am hoping to use this diary as a place for me to record my baby steps towards a life less stressful, adrenaline filled & chaotic.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bobarella; 25-07-2016 at 7:34 PM.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
Page 70
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 17th Mar 17, 1:47 PM
    • 3,033 Posts
    • 13,526 Thanks
    kirtsypoos
    Lovely to see you're back to your usual positive self Bob - I truly don't know how you manage it but here's to facebook marketing getting numerous new bookings for you
    Last edited by kirtsypoos; 17-03-2017 at 2:31 PM.
    £250/3000 OH BC(91.66% PAID)
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    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 17th Mar 17, 1:59 PM
    • 3,369 Posts
    • 28,913 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Bob - I have a friend who does a load of social media marketing as part of her business. Let me know if you want me to put you in touch with her. x
    NSTSeptember #32 NSD 8/18 RYSAW17 #1 £1313.42 20p Savers #88 £1 a day for Xmas # DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • chanie
    • By chanie 17th Mar 17, 7:25 PM
    • 1,683 Posts
    • 8,345 Thanks
    chanie
    I don't know the nature of the your venue, but I've struggled to find halls for hire for my children's birthday parties. When I've googled, I get lots of random websites, with no prices etc. It seems to be fine if you know of a hall, but if not, they seem to be difficult to find. Could you contact local schools and ask them to put a poster for you?

    Try partnering with organisations to co-run events? E.g. they bring the people and you provide the venue? It could be a way to attract new clients.
    Last edited by chanie; 18-03-2017 at 9:44 AM.
    2017 challenge to save £800
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    My spending diary - Spend Less, Live More
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4327401ht
    • f0xh0les
    • By f0xh0les 17th Mar 17, 8:08 PM
    • 1,035 Posts
    • 7,601 Thanks
    f0xh0les
    Great you are being so positive. Go get em!
    MFW May 16 £118,340
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    • greent
    • By greent 17th Mar 17, 8:51 PM
    • 6,422 Posts
    • 64,839 Thanks
    greent
    I don't know the nature of the your venue, but I've struggled to find halls for hire for my children's birthday parties. When I've googled, I get lots of random websites, with no prices etc. It seems to be fine if you know of a hall, but if not, they seem to be difficult to find. Could you contact local schools and ask them to put a poster for you?

    Try partnering with organisations to co-run events? E.g. the bring the people and you provide the venue? It could be a way to attract new clients.
    Originally posted by chanie
    Assuming you hire out to kids events - as well as local schools and preschools - NCT nearly new sales? - flyers/ business cards in goody bags cost about £15 here and hit the parent market nicely - from birth to secondary age in this area (might be different in yours?) Things like Tesc0 and Sains will put up adverts on their 'families' board here, too.
    x
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 17th Mar 17, 9:14 PM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Thank you all so much for your amazing thoughts and ideas. I'm just literally running out the door again, but will reply to everyone properly.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 18th Mar 17, 2:18 PM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    " I can and I will!" she said.

    NOA
    x
    Originally posted by NoOneAround
    Ooo is that a quote NOA or just words of wisdom? Either way it's good

    Good luck Bob! You can definitely do this, and if you eventually decide not to continue the business, you will know you have done everything you can! Fingers crossed for you on both counts, the rates and the new business!
    Originally posted by FacelessNumber
    Thanks so much FN appreciate that

    Bob the hustler! Go girl x
    Originally posted by apple muncher
    Thanks Apple why do I have ' she works hard for the money' in my mental jukebox now
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 18th Mar 17, 2:25 PM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Lovely to see you're back to your usual positive self Bob - I truly don't know how you manage it but here's to facebook marketing getting numerous new bookings for you
    Originally posted by kirtsypoos
    Thanks Kirsty.

    Bob - I have a friend who does a load of social media marketing as part of her business. Let me know if you want me to put you in touch with her. x
    Originally posted by crazy_cat_lady
    Yes please do DM me her details Cat, that's great

    I don't know the nature of the your venue, but I've struggled to find halls for hire for my children's birthday parties. When I've googled, I get lots of random websites, with no prices etc. It seems to be fine if you know of a hall, but if not, they seem to be difficult to find. Could you contact local schools and ask them to put a poster for you?

    Try partnering with organisations to co-run events? E.g. they bring the people and you provide the venue? It could be a way to attract new clients.
    Originally posted by chanie
    That is very interesting Chanie we are listed on an events venue website and it seems to have very good listings in search engines. The enquiries I get through that account for around 50% of my traffic. So that is working for us. But you've made me wonder if a website would be worthwhile. I am heavily active on the three main platforms and fb is pretty much a website itself for free so again not sure whether to do that.

    I do put out a lot of flyers already in local areas. But maybe I should target some schools more heavily.

    The idea about partnering is a good one and I do already have someone in mind, that I sort of started with in the winter but then events overtook me.

    Thanks Chanie, certainly a lot to ponder over you should charge
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 18th Mar 17, 2:29 PM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Great you are being so positive. Go get em!
    Originally posted by f0xh0les
    Runs up the steps in a Rocky fashion!!!

    Assuming you hire out to kids events - as well as local schools and preschools - NCT nearly new sales? - flyers/ business cards in goody bags cost about £15 here and hit the parent market nicely - from birth to secondary age in this area (might be different in yours?) Things like Tesc0 and Sains will put up adverts on their 'families' board here, too.
    x
    Originally posted by greent
    Thanks Greent I think we might 'just' be too small for NCT sales. Round here they are very popular, and tend to need church hall type size/community centres.

    Again I feel lazy because I had considered marketing direct into our local upmarket nursery (I'm only making that distinction due to disposable income indicator's) but having dropped them an email they ignored me.
    That said I've seen so many parents grumbling about barely getting a reply about enquiries for a place at a nursery so maybe my sales pitch was a bit weak and I should look to be talking with the manager directly?

    I will revisit the notices I had up at the local supermarkets definitely. Again thanks for all the suggestions.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 19th Mar 17, 8:17 AM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Morning Everyone

    Well today should be a good day. First Sunday off in 7 weeks (well almost off, not officially working but have to go over to do some measuring and a viewing later, but 99% off.

    This week has been busy. Three separate events. Three late nights. 5 enquiries since Friday. Money dribbling in from new business & this weeks events. One rebooking straight away which is lovely. I now have bookings into June.
    Apart from that I have done quite a lot of promotion on fb and the local forum, and followed up again with a local events company (thanks again for that suggestion Chanie)

    Time to shift soon, pancakes won't make themselves

    Bob
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 19th Mar 17, 8:24 AM
    • 5,241 Posts
    • 18,350 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    Morning Bob,

    Lovely to see you positive again and I'm sure things will pick up with all the bits and bobs you've been doing.

    Have a great day today xx
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
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    • Macey1510
    • By Macey1510 19th Mar 17, 10:27 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    Macey1510
    Hi Bob, hope its all going well...we often have information and stories about small businesses in our weekly free paper...I don't know if you have something like that in your area?
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 19th Mar 17, 10:38 AM
    • 2,438 Posts
    • 18,624 Thanks
    sashybo
    Enjoy your almost off Sunday Bob. Pancakes sound good.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £8830 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £45,847.89
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    • chanie
    • By chanie 19th Mar 17, 4:14 PM
    • 1,683 Posts
    • 8,345 Thanks
    chanie
    I recently attended a short seminar and it occurred to me that the principles could help your business.

    inbound content marketing is about putting the right information out there in the right way and at the right time. The Tutor gave the example of receiving an email from Amazon saying that their favourite author had a new book out. So, the information was useful and relevant.

    Inbound content marketing produces significantly more leads than traditional forms of marketing like cold calling and ads in the local press.

    The power of purchasing has moved from the seller to the buyer so consumers are can afford to be picky and companies are fighting for our attention.

    The most powerful form of marketing is word of mouth and consumers are purchasing based on personal recommendations, not fancy adverts.

    In terms of your business:
    Get a Facebook page for your business if you don't have one. Make sure you have good pictures and prices. A pet peeve of mine is not knowing how much a venue costs e.g. it could be £50 or £500 for all I know!!!

    Ask all of your friends and family to 'like' your page and this should show up on their feeds.

    When you hire out your venue, bribe your customers to do one of the folllowing:
    1) let you take photos of their event and post them to your Facebook page
    2) ask them to 'check in' on Facebook to your venue.
    3) ask them to post a comment on your Facebook page
    4) link your venue to their event e.g. if they have a children's party and are posting photos, to link your venue.

    Give them say £10 off hire, or huge tub of sweets for children's parties or tea and coffee for meetings for doing one of the above. My local beautician offered £10 off treatments if I 'liked' their Facebook page.

    You could then periodically post relevant content e.g. ' do you need a venue for your child's party .... take a look at how you can transform xxxxx venue' along with pictures of the decorations'. Or, post something like 'happy Easter, if you are thinking of having a party, consider xxx venue' Possibly add some tips about how to have a fab party.

    Anyway, I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I've been thinking about how I could use the principles of inbound content marketing for my job. I thought this could help put you on the right track for your business.
    2017 challenge to save £800
    Savings on purchases £807.18
    My spending diary - Spend Less, Live More
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4327401ht
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 19th Mar 17, 5:35 PM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Morning Bob,

    Lovely to see you positive again and I'm sure things will pick up with all the bits and bobs you've been doing.

    Have a great day today xx
    Originally posted by Purplemumof2
    Thanks PM02

    Hi Bob, hope its all going well...we often have information and stories about small businesses in our weekly free paper...I don't know if you have something like that in your area?
    Originally posted by Macey1510
    Thanks for the great suggestion, I recently started to be followed by a local newspaper, who have been liking and sharing a few posts. I will give some thought on how I could use that relationship further. Thank you Macey

    Enjoy your almost off Sunday Bob. Pancakes sound good.
    Originally posted by sashybo
    Might need to let the old trousers out a few more inches now, but they were goooood pancakes
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 19th Mar 17, 5:38 PM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    I recently attended a short seminar and it occurred to me that the principles could help your business.

    inbound content marketing is about putting the right information out there in the right way and at the right time. The Tutor gave the example of receiving an email from Amazon saying that their favourite author had a new book out. So, the information was useful and relevant.

    Inbound content marketing produces significantly more leads than traditional forms of marketing like cold calling and ads in the local press.

    The power of purchasing has moved from the seller to the buyer so consumers are can afford to be picky and companies are fighting for our attention.

    The most powerful form of marketing is word of mouth and consumers are purchasing based on personal recommendations, not fancy adverts.

    In terms of your business:
    Get a Facebook page for your business if you don't have one. Make sure you have good pictures and prices. A pet peeve of mine is not knowing how much a venue costs e.g. it could be £50 or £500 for all I know!!!

    Ask all of your friends and family to 'like' your page and this should show up on their feeds.

    When you hire out your venue, bribe your customers to do one of the folllowing:
    1) let you take photos of their event and post them to your Facebook page
    2) ask them to 'check in' on Facebook to your venue.
    3) ask them to post a comment on your Facebook page
    4) link your venue to their event e.g. if they have a children's party and are posting photos, to link your venue.

    Give them say £10 off hire, or huge tub of sweets for children's parties or tea and coffee for meetings for doing one of the above. My local beautician offered £10 off treatments if I 'liked' their Facebook page.

    You could then periodically post relevant content e.g. ' do you need a venue for your child's party .... take a look at how you can transform xxxxx venue' along with pictures of the decorations'. Or, post something like 'happy Easter, if you are thinking of having a party, consider xxx venue' Possibly add some tips about how to have a fab party.

    Anyway, I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I've been thinking about how I could use the principles of inbound content marketing for my job. I thought this could help put you on the right track for your business.
    Originally posted by chanie
    Chanie you are so kind to share this. Honestly I am so touched

    I particularly like the idea of doing different shots of dressing the space.
    Do you know what the power of the check in is? I have always wondered. Anyway sorry to turn MSE into a Q&A zone! So grateful for your time.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • chanie
    • By chanie 19th Mar 17, 7:58 PM
    • 1,683 Posts
    • 8,345 Thanks
    chanie
    I've probably exhausted my usefulness as I'm not a big user of social media. I think 'check in' could work as a way to advertise an ongoing event e.g. 'chanie checking in to xxx venue for weekly salsa class 7-8pm'. Your target audience probably isn't constantly on social media so a one off event probably won't work every well for check in. I'm happy to be corrected of course.
    2017 challenge to save £800
    Savings on purchases £807.18
    My spending diary - Spend Less, Live More
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4327401ht
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 19th Mar 17, 10:58 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    I'm so glad there are awesome people on here like chanie who can offer you actual practical advice because I am totally useless but please know I am cheering you on
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Mar 17, 11:14 AM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    I've probably exhausted my usefulness as I'm not a big user of social media. I think 'check in' could work as a way to advertise an ongoing event e.g. 'chanie checking in to xxx venue for weekly salsa class 7-8pm'. Your target audience probably isn't constantly on social media so a one off event probably won't work every well for check in. I'm happy to be corrected of course.
    Originally posted by chanie
    Right yes, can see what you mean. Maybe the check in less important for my purposes. Thanks again!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Mar 17, 11:16 AM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    I'm so glad there are awesome people on here like chanie who can offer you actual practical advice because I am totally useless but please know I am cheering you on
    Originally posted by boxofpaws
    Cheer leading also highly appreciated Paws
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
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