Setting up a Business
setting up a business

I launched my business in 2013 - probably more by luck than by design, in the first instance. Having had a 5½ year break from my marketing career to raise my family, the time was right for me to return to work; but in what form?

Simply going back to becoming someone else’s full time employee did not appeal, as with young children and a (supportive) husband with a busy, demanding job I needed the flexibility to work around the needs of my family.

I had been informally helping a friend with the marketing of her business and one day I just decided to brand this venture, launch a website and see what happened with setting up a business. So here are some things I’ve learned along the way, that are perhaps worth sharing if you are about to venture along the same path:

1. Seek out and create your own opportunities – you never know, a comment made in passing might just turn into your next big opportunity leading to success
2. Be friendly, honest and consistent – reputations take months and years to build yet can crumble in minutes, so treat others as you would like to be treated
3. Stick to your own area of expertise and become really terrific at it. People often confuse what I do - marketing - with PR, with website development, with sales or with design. Each one of these is a specialism in itself and whilst none of them are my area of expertise I have a very good network of people who do work in these disciplines and who I am happy to recommend
4. Which brings me to my next suggestion– network. Make new professional friends beyond your own specialism, both to extend your reach and influence and because being friendly is a nice act of human kindness, you never know when you might need one
5. Surround yourself with a trusted support network – setting up a business can be daunting and lonely, but if you have friends and associates to help and advise it make it so much more fun!

And here I am, nearly two years on, with my biggest client yet - the unique, iconic and this year record-breaking Royal Highland Show – where I lead and delivered on the show’s marketing; everything from developing the marketing strategy, to leading a multi-disciplinary team of agencies, to co-producing the show’s first foray into live streaming…and everything in between. So go on, take the plunge!

Cate Nelson-Shaw
[email protected]
@YellowBookCnslt

What Opus Matrix can offer you as an aspiring female entrepreneur?
female entrepreneur

Opus Matrix is a place where females are valued and respected for their skills, services and interests. It may be a silly thought to think of sewing or child minding as your best skills but where there is a skill - there is always a demand for it somewhere. An aspiring female entrepreneur can grow their business and sell their skills.

Opus Matrix is a place where you can try out your often forgotten or unrecognised skills gained by experience to mentor others and in return gain endorsements. A place where you can easily identify and communicate with people with the skills you need to move forward. Aspiring and established entrepreneurs can hugely prosper on this site.

There are also lots of mums out there who are wondering how to make the transition back to work after being off on maternity. Some will be looking for new opportunities that fits in well with childcare demands and costs. Many will often see becoming a mum as the perfect opportunity to break away from the corporate world and start down the path of self-employment.

Starting a business doesn't necessarily have to involve big financial commitments or set working hours. As your own boss, you can decide how much time to spend and focus on the small milestones initially. Your small venture could be part of a wider plan to expand once the kids have got to school.

A simple way to get started is to focus on what you are good at and learn how these skills can be utilised by others on a freelance basis.

Sign up here

The OM Team

Business Plus Membership Benefits
Business Plus
Opus Matrix (OM) is a fast growing global network specifically aimed at helping women skillshare to start ,develop and grow their business

OM is all about getting women employment.

We advocate skill sharing as a great, often inexpensive way to get started to enjoy the membership benefits.

Try out your skills and get yourself some potential clients through creating a profile with your up to date details.

Get your skills or services 'out there' by signing up as a Business Plus member and get yourself promoted to our huge and daily growing network. As a Business Plus member, you will get all the benefits listed below and with 3 months free on annual membership for a limited time only, there's no better time than now. You could reach a potential audience of 12 Million per annum.

Featured regularly on Home Page
Regular Shout outs
Your tweets embedded on Opus Matrix for maximum exposure
Sell from your own 'keep all you earn' shop
Get target specific social media marketing to your chosen buyers
One year's free web hosting RRP £80
Double promotion to 8 million per annum
A business profile - showcase your Services and Products
PLUS+
A personal profile to showcase your skills, expertise, products or services
Feature in our business directory
Find Potential business partners with specific skills through Skillshare
Connect with others, view profiles, message and Skype
Gain exclusive additional access to jobs with wow-a2z business members
Access/respond to crowdsourcing projects and prosper by working with others
Post projects and events and make the most of our networks
Post 10 jobs per year and get exclusive addional access to jobs with wow-a2z business members
Find jobs, working partnerships and opportunities locally, nationally and internationally
Fnd self-employment advice and tips to support you with your business venture
Gain automatic entry to the Hall of Fame and compete for the quarterly giveaway
Read and post blogs and to forums from us and our members
'Meet the Experts' to get valuable information, support and advice on particular topics and receive their special discounts
Add your Testimonials
Annual Members - Special Offers Only

The OM Team

Who Said That Stay-at-Home Moms Cannot Have a Bright Career?
October 27, 2015
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stay-at-home momsSource: http://users.atw.hu/tavmunkaonline/10.jpg

According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, there are over 11 million of women owning a business in the United States today. Among this great number of ambitious working women, there is a high percentage of stay-at-home moms who manage their own careers directly from home.

It may seem overwhelming for the majority of mothers to only think about managing children, husbands, household chores, finances and various duties all at the same time, that only imagining to add a part-time career to the list of things to take care of on a daily basis might appear unimaginable.

Many women may believe that, once that motherhood hits their lives, any chance to develop or continue a rewarding career will be archived forever, or that investing their time on that job they have always dreamed about, would be practically impossible. However, here there is surprisingly pleasant news for you - even though you are an extremely busy mom with plenty of tasks to manage, you can still have a successful job from home! Just think about all the set of skills you already have. You might have learned some of them in university or college, or you may have developed them because of a strong passion you have always had.

Anything can be a source of inspiration and could potentially lead you to an outstanding job right from the comfort of your own home, allowing you, at the same time, to keep taking good care of your beloved family. All you need is a touch of creativity. By acknowledging the powerful competences you already own, you will be able to put them into practice and create a profitable job that will, not only help sustain your family economically, but also boost your self-esteem and increase your level of qualifications.

Have your friends and relatives always told you what an amazing baker you are and that nothing tastes more wonderful than your dishes, or that no one draws, sews, takes pictures, decorates, manages accounts, organizes events or writes better than you? Well…it is now time to start finally taking all those compliments into serious consideration, because those things you are so tremendously great at doing could open unexpected doors to outstanding job opportunities!

Based on your personal level of knowledge and capabilities, there are a huge variety of lucrative professions which can be undertaken within domestic walls. The 10 most popular activities for home working mums in North America are the following:

  1. Online Marketing Specialist
  2. Medical Transcriptionist
  3. Translator
  4. Web Developer/Designer
  5. Call Center Representative
  6. Tech Support Specialist
  7. Customer Relations Specialist
  8. Teacher
  9. Writer/Editor
  10. Business Consultant

In order to start an overwhelming career, however, it is fundamental to work on the development of a professional network, which will enable you to find clients, investors, or coworkers. This is why it is highly recommendable to create a personal account on professional platforms as Opus Matrix, which, similarly to LinkedIn, will allow you to find the right jobs, to expand your business, or to quickly get in touch with smart experts. Creating an account on Opus Matrix is easy, free and can significantly improve your professional future.

It is now time to make a strategic work plan, turn on your computer and become an outstanding working-at-home mom! Good luck!

the OM Team

Going back to work after having children
going back to work after having children

The day I was finishing work to start my Maternity Leave my employer went into administration; and so began the 5½ years I spent first with my eldest (now 7) and then with my youngest too (now 5). These years were a mix of pure bliss and as well as utter despair and although I wouldn’t swap them for the world, in terms of CPD, possibly not the best.

“Parents - women particularly, but not exclusively, there are plenty of dads also in this situation - face all kinds of hurdles when it comes to returning to work” says Janet Unsworth, Non Executive Director of www.scottishchanginthechemistry.co.uk, an organisation that seeks to increase board diversity. “They may lack self confidence, might have problems finding childcare, perceive they have nothing to offer, might be afraid their skills are out of date, that their requirement for flexibility makes them less attractive to a potential employer, they may be lone parents, or perhaps their partner isn’t very supportive. It can be a real challenge sometimes quite demoralising”.

However, with some positive thinking and a bit of creativity, there are strategies for success if you are planning a return to work. So, here are a few suggestions:

  • consider volunteering – either at grass roots level or by joining a committee, an advisory group to a board or a board itself as Non Executive Director – goodmoves.org.uk is a good place to start
  • explore the possibility of Returnships with potential employers
  • understand where you might need to upskill and seek out workshops, courses, distance learning and funding opportunities to help you achieve these, for example skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk
  • reinvigorate your old network – I had some professional correspondence cards made, hand wrote a personal note and sent them to a selection of contacts I wanted to reconnect with
  • seek out introductions from friends and contacts to other professionals in your field
  • seek out networking groups – of which there are many – for new contacts and support. It might take a few attendances to find the right ones for you but once you do, they can be invaluable
  • undertake appropriate follow ups with people you meet: connect with them on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter not on your Facebook page (professional contacts do not need to see your dinner!). And make sure you have a terrific profile and a decent professional photo, no selfies or holiday snaps
  • invite them for a coffee to explore mutually beneficial ways of working
  • be prepared to give something for nothing in the hope and expectation that the same professional courtesy will one day be extended to you
  • be brave and go for it!

And if all this just sounds too scary to even contemplate, remember you are not the first person to return to work after time spent looking after children and your conversational repertoire can and does extend beyond the emotional wellbeing of your offspring and their associated needs – so go on, take the plunge, you’ll be fabulous!

Cate Nelson-Shaw

[email protected]

Twitter: @YellowBookCnslt

Starting up at 50 plus
startup

It’s a well known fact that in 2015 ageism in the workplace is rife and, unfortunately, is set to stay for the foreseeable future.

We have been particularly hard-hit by this recession. Back in 2008, statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 28% of those aged between 50 and State Pension age were out of work, compared with only 20% of those aged less than 50 years of age. Fast forward to 2015, and the figure has risen dramatically with the unemployment rate for over 50’s standing at a staggering 47.2%.

Furthermore, the ONS shows that those who lose their job aged 50 or over, have only a 10% chance of ever being re-employed.

Amongst many others, these 2 factors has meant that many women like you and me in our 50’s and older have, out of necessity, to show a significant interest in entrepreneurship. This has been borne out by a recent PRIME Report which shows that half the Self-Employed population is over 50.

All this may seem very negative, but there are many positive factors to being over 50 in this day and age which can act in our favour. We are no longer under absolute male domination. Besides, we are more financially independent than we have ever been. If we are fortunate enough not to live in countries where the State religion limits our actions as women, then frankly the world is our oyster.

It is also a well known fact that businesses started by people over 50, have a 70% chance of surviving their first five years, compared with only a 28% survival rate for those below 50.

Don’t believe it? Well, check out some fifty something success stories

Arianna Huffington started The Huffington Post at 54; Patti Lee-Hoffmann and Gayle Mills were approaching their 50th birthdays when inspiration struck for Flutter Eyewear.

Across the U.K, U.S.A. and Canada alone, with an estimated population of 150 million women over 50 facing the same issues, having access to the internet, we don’t have to go it alone. The internet has allowed us the ability to connect with one another via websites like opusmatrix.com.

I started opusmatrix.com to allow women, especially those just like me, to connect with one another, to share our skills and experience and not have to make it on our own. Opusmatrix.com facilitates SKILLSHARE, allowing its members to barter or sell their skills, and in so doing, generate work and income for themselves. Opusmatrix.com allows for the creation of work opportunities globally - an opportunity which might not otherwise have been possible had we been working on our own. Opusmatrix.com is here to provide a supportive network for us all to grow our businesses, without the sharp elbows!

If like me, you’ve reached your 50’s but are still keen to follow that dream, then Opus Matrix is the platform from which to reach out. We’re no longer bound to the kitchen or the housework and a generation of feisty women, who have reached heights which would have been unimaginable for us women 100 years ago, has gone before us. Many others have set new standards of achievement for women showing us just what is possible for us today.

Believe it or not, being pushed out of the employment door, may prove  to be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Come on. Quit making excuses!

Join us and get your first 3 months FREE

Debbie Davis,

An ideal platform for female entrepreneurs

We all have dreams and aspirations, so finding stepping stones to realise these aspirations is a god-send as they aren’t always obvious.

The current economic situation has driven many women to revisit those oft-times buried ‘nice to do’ dreams, which they perhaps planned to shelve till after they retired, in order to make ends meet. After all, if entrepreneurship means hard work and long hours - especially in the initial stages - why not spend the time and earn money doing what you really want to do. Here you could be using the skills that you already have, while gaining real satisfaction in achieving your goals, rather than the goals of others?
The web is full of large multimillion dollar websites, whose main goal is to sell you products or services.

Opus Matrix is unique in caring for our members, facilitating working relationships - especially between women - and skill-sharing. In this way, individuals, whether aspiring or established entrepreneurs can easily find other women with the female skills they need to realise their business dreams.

We don’t want our members to feel like ‘a needle in a haystack. After all, there are millions of other women just like you out there with similar dreams and skills, from which you might realise your dream and they, theirs.

Read more

The a2z of useful websites for Startups – Part 1
November 12, 2013
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startups

As a business startup, you should be embracing self-help opportunities wherever and whenever you can. Running a business can be a big learning curve and some of the most successful entrepreneurs have had to learn from their mistakes and grow stronger. There is a mountain of information and help out there for startups and so we have compiled this list of 100 of the most useful websites.

Citizens’ advice bureau – The Citizens Advice Bureau provides self-help information to help you solve problems. This site is recommended for free, confidential, and impartial advice, with quick easy-to-print fact sheets on a range of topics. Be aware of what you need to think about if you are starting your own business. Find out about training, how to trade, managing money, premises, health and safety and employing people.

Santander – Managing your money doesn’t have to be a problem within your business. Santander offer advice about starting in business with free guides on a variety of topics including how to create a business plan, calculating costs and marketing your business. They also have deals on mobile card readers to make it easy for customers to pay you when you are out and about.

Association of Scottish business women – The ASB supports business and professional women throughout Scotland. There are many national events for linking and connecting with other women in business and there are opportunities for national recognition through their awards. A great opportunity for startups to voice their opinions for your industry and strengthen working relationships with others in similar organisations.

Barclays Bank – Barclays offer great price plans for business customers. Their business banking is shaped around you and  your needs. Whether it’s taking card payments face to face, through your website or via a mobile phone app, they’ve got it covered. You can even join an online community of like-minded business owners and even find customers.

Business Gateway – A wealth of resources to get your startup mind focused. Deepen your understanding about what is required for starting up in business, how to find funding and most importantly how to grow and improve. The site is excellent for reading case studies about other business owners in your industry and there are regular free event workshops to cover everything you need to know about key elements of business planning.

It is worth spending time looking at each of these websites, particularly in the early stages of your business planning. Therefore you can be as prepared as possible when it comes to hitting the ground running when you are ready to promote your products or services.

Look out soon for part 2……..

the OM Team