Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Debs Aspland, Founder of Life AsPland, located in Ashford, Kent, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Life AsPland is a company created to help parent carers stay on top of their role. We create organisers, trackers, and journals so they can stop using their brains as filing cabinets. Clearing that space allows them to think creatively about ways they can "use the challenges" to discover a world of possibilities.
Tell us about yourself
As a parent carer to three young people, I have lived through the challenges of that role (and continue to do so). I knew that one of the struggles for me was that everything was in my head or in notes scribbled in random notebooks, backs of envelopes, or post-it notes around the home. Trying to remember everything was a challenge, and what if I was ill? Where would my husband even begin?
Creating a notebook where I could keep all the details of who we saw, why, when, and where, along with medication details, waiting-for lists, gift ideas, day-out ideas, and much much more, freed up so much time for me. At a parent carer event, I used the notebook section to take notes, and others around me said, "we need one of these, where did you buy it?" And Life AsPland wa born.
The joy of creating this company is that in the future, it can also offer employment to my children and, hopefully, some other parent carers who struggle to find flexible employment.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The accomplishments for me come from feedback when parents tell me what a huge difference the organiser has made to them or how they were able to use one of our trackers in a meeting to help give a really clear understanding to a practitioner. When one parent organisation rang and asked if I could make 100 so they could hand them out as Christmas gifts, I was delighted. As a parent carer, I know this is one Christmas gift I would just love to receive.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Balancing the roles of parent carer and business owner, along with wife, homeowner, friend, daughter, and more. Add to that the challenges of trying to learn "all the things" so you can launch a website, do social media, create marketing plans, build email lists, create and produce an organiser, and so much more. I'm currently creating a new organiser specifically for my business, so everything I need to remember is in one place too.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Write down how you do something. Add a post to your site, create an image, create a sales funnel, create a mailing list, etc. Make the time to do a step-by-step note of how you did it. I can guarantee if it is not something you have to do daily, you will forget how to do it. Create a step-by-step guide or checklist. It will take you 10-15 minutes to do this, but it will save you hours and hours of time. This can also help if your company grows and you employ staff
- Batch similar work. If you have to write social media posts, take an hour to write the copy for a week's worth of content. Then take an hour to create the images for each post. Doing this instead of trying to do one image, then one piece of copy, then one image, etc., makes life a lot easier. Your brain switches into writing mode and then switches later into creative design mode.
- Write your task list the night before. Save yourself the effort of trying to remember what needs doing or trying to prioritise work that day. When you finish on an evening, you will be in workflow and will know what needs doing next. Write those things down.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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