Celia Gaze explains how putting her llamas in bowties gave her business the edge.
So, you are stuck in a dead-end job that pays your mortgage but crushed your mojo? You are frustrated about getting another year older but still no closer to following your dream? Want to change career but scared to take the plunge?
You’ve had this idea but you are wondering what people will think of you? Can you really make it happen? What do you need to do to get it out of your head? How could it become a reality?
Celia Gaze was that person and she decided to do something about it. She said ‘goodbye’ to her life as a stressed-out NHS Director and ‘hello’ to her new life running a quirky wedding venue complete with llamas in bow ties!
Celia gives you some steps you can follow:
Step 1: The first thing is to get your idea out of your head. When thinking of an idea, it’s important to think about doing something you are passionate about, as passion is contagious. Ask yourself:
What do people love about your business (if you already have a business)
If you don’t have a business, what do your friends think you are really good at?
What do you love to do?
Why do you want to do this?
What do you value? It is important to be true to who you are and don’t try to change yourself, otherwise your idea could become diluted into something you didn’t want to do. What do you want your idea to stand for?
Step 2: You’ve got to do some market research to find out if there is an opportunity or gap in the market for your idea. Does your idea solve a problem for someone? Is your concept going to stand out from the competition? If so, who are the competition and what is different about your idea? Attend networking events, talk to people, visit similar places or test similar products to see how you can improve upon them.
Step 3: Who is the target market for your idea – can you describe your ideal customers? Where do you plan to sell your concept?
Step 4: Try and use the above thinking and the market research you do to identify your unique selling point (USP) – How are you going to bring your personality and the things you care about into your business?
Step 5: The above findings need to be written into some sort of business plan which you can use to seek financing or further support; for example – a mentor to further work on your idea. Most local authorities have some sort of business growth support unit/network which helps businesses find grants and mentors and can be a tremendous source of advice.
A huge part of making your crazy business idea a reality is your mind-set. You need to have bundles of self-belief that you can do this. Believe and follow your gut instinct. Seek out who can help you. Don’t be scared to fail and remember that resilience and patience are the two most important elements to develop. Most of all remember to have fun, keep your passion going and remember why you are doing this. Go and create your aspirational brand and find your distinctive space in the world. Make 2020 the year you change your life!
Celia Gaze, Founder and Managing Director of The Wellbeing Farm Wedding & Events Venue and author of ‘Why Put a Bowtie on a Llama? How a crazy idea can change your life and transform your business’.