I am dedicated to saving time for my clients. I love discovering new ideas, and learning from other small business owners. On this blog I ask fellow entrepreneurs to share their tips and tricks so we can all learn and save time!

This week I am thrilled to welcome Shona Chambers of Shona Chambers Marketing. Shona is an Instagram buddy, and we have bonded over our love of reading business books. If Shona recomends a book it is worth reading! I will hand over to Shona…

Please introduce yourself and your business.

Hello, I am Shona. I have worked in marketing for the last 20 years, firstly within a corporate environment,for media and finance companies. Later as a self employed marketing consultant helping small businesses. I also run a networking group called Self Employed Club, designed to provide training and support for fellow small business owners, which has an online presence on Instagram and Facebook. 

When and why did you start your own business? What was going on for you at the time?

I’ve been running my marketing business since 2018. I’d been asked for guidance by a number of small business owners before that and just decided to take the plunge. At the time I was focusing on events marketing, but over time have done more and more different projects. It feels like a long time ago now, probably because of the changes that this year has brought. Life is very different in 2020 isn’t it. 

What were the first steps you took to put yourself out there?

I very much went down the route of asking people I knew for referrals, I find people are just so kind when you tell them what you need. Every one wants to help a new business.  I also headed out to lots of great networking events. There were lots of good ones around my area, although a lot have had to stop for now, and others have moved online. 

What game-changing piece of technology or kit have you invested in for your business?

Well not so much an investment but Zoom has been a lifesaver this year, as I’m sure for many. I used to do all my meetings in person, and also deliver workshops that way, but of course now everything is virtual again. Thank goodness for Zoom.

What apps do you use to help your business grow and streamline your systems? I use Canva a lot for creating posts and visuals, it’s so handy. And of course all of the social media tools too.  How do you keep track of your tasks and to dos? Are you a notebook or digital person?

I’d say a bit of both! I do love a notebook, and sitting with it at the start of the day with a cup of tea before anyone else in the house gets up.  If you are a notebook person – where is your favourite place to buy stationery? I’m showing my age now, but one Christmas my husband treated me to a Mulberry filofax, it was beautiful. I used it for years. The stationary was all ordered from Mulberry too, I felt very fancy! What has been the most helpful business/self-help book that you would recommend reading?

The best book I’ve read this year in terms of business is The 5am Club by Robin Sharma. I’d go as far as saying it is life changing. If you (like me) don’t love mornings then you may be thinking there is no way you would ever embrace 5am rising. But I have found the advice it gives you about how to structure your morning and indeed your day for best succes, invaluable. It does have quite an interesting narrative structure as it is all told via a story, but you do get over that quite quickly.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give other small business owners?

Think about who needs you. Not just wants you. Most of us have natural customers and thinking about the obvious supply and demand relationship saves you a lot of time. 

What’s the best thing about running your own business?

Being 100% in control of building something from scratch. I wish that schools spent more time focusing on entrepreneurship as a valid career path. We are all naturally creative and we can all come up with amazing ways to make a living that don’t have to involve a 3 year degree.  What is the most challenging thing about running your own business? I think this year more than ever it’s finding ways to innovate and stay ahead of the curve.  Where do you hope your business will be this time next year?

I’d like to have turned the e-book I just released ‘100 Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners‘ into an online course that people could complete in their own time. It would have 8 modules taken from the structure of the book. I’d also like to release an audio version of the book to expand its use to small business owners. I know so many people love to listen to an audio book on walks or commuting. And of course I’d love to still be doing interesting work for interesting people.

Thank you very much for interviewing me Jenny! 

Thank you so much Shona. I totally agree with you, it would be wonderful if our schools could teach more about entrepreneur skills and opportunities. 

Shona’s book is brilliant; it is packed full of super, practical marketing ideas that you can go out and implement now. Highly recommended! You can get a sample of them here.

Keep in touch with Shona on Social Media….InstagramFacebookLinkedIn & Twitter

Until next time, have a great week