Female Entrepreneur: Hannah Jones
Age range: 20s
What motivated you to start your business?
After I had graduated and volunteered for months, I thought getting a job would be easy. But the jobs just weren’t there, so I started selling things on eBay.
I would tell me unemployed friends what I was doing, and they would act like I’d discovered how to turn water into gold – actually all I did was sell things I already owned, and buy more things cheaply to sell on.
So I started writing about how I had set up my business, and my first guide, 31Days2…an Online Retail Business was born – teaching people how to set up an online business in 1 month.
Tell us about your business…
My website sells two guides now: one helping people to set up an online business, the other helping people with an online business to improve it – because I see so many online sellers not achieving their potential!
The guides split everything down into 31 lessons, because I know how busy people are – I think it’s important to know you can make a difference to your life, even if you just invest 30 minutes a day, or a few hours per week.
I also have a blog on the website, giving ongoing news and advice to people with an online business.
What is a day in the life of you like?
As I’m having my morning coffee, I answer questions that have come in from business owners. Then I spend some time on Twitter, finding out what’s going on in the world.
I spend most days simply trying to market the guides – and writing blog posts when I’m feeling inspired.
My boyfriend has a much easier time – he runs the eBay business now, so he gets up at 11 or 12, watches some TV, answers questions and perhaps lists a few things or looks at stock to buy, and three times a week packs up what we’ve sold and takes it to the Post Office. I keep him busy with housework and cooking though!
What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?
With the eBay business, it was just learning the ropes and understanding the numbers – so I put a lot of emphasis on helping with that when I wrote the guide.
Publishing and selling ebooks was a completely new concept for me – it took a lot of research and experimenting. The most difficult thing is letting people know we’re here.
How did you overcome these challenges?
With the eBay business, I wrote a detailed financial plan, and made a spreadsheet that worked out the eBay fees etc, so I could see for the month, “this is what I’ll sell, I’ll make this much profit” etc.
For marketing the guides, I’ve concentrated on building a Twitter following, and doing guest blogging to get my name out there.
What have you found to be the most effective way to get new clients?
On eBay – spend time on your listing title, pictures, and the content of your listing.
Selling the guides – Google Adwords has been quite good, though pretty expensive; I still think guest blogging is good, because the people it sends to your blog already know a bit about what you do – it send you less traffic though.
What advice would you give to other business owners?
Experiment, research, but most of all – when you’ve read everything you can find, jump in and try your best! I always think that doing nothing is worse than making a few mistakes.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I’m a happy person in general – it takes a lot to get me down! But when I do get frazzled, I close the laptop, take a shower, and snuggle down in bed with a book.
Then the next day, I sit down and make a plan for how I’m going to improve things – it’s quite sad how much I adore MS Excel!
What’s your favourite quote?
“A woman’s like a teabag – you never know how strong she is until she’s in hot water.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Who inspires you?
In the spirit of London 2012 year, I’d have to say Mo Farrah – what an amazing guy!
Do you have a business philosophy?
Experiment – then try to find the lesson in your failures.
Get in touch…