Support for small businesses is vital. When you are a small business, especially a sole trader, the benefits of having a group of like-minded people alongside you on your journey cannot be underestimated.
In this blog, one of my Step Up To Success members, Michelle Eshkeri explains the value she has gained from being part of the group and why the benefits of support for small businesses are so huge.
I’m Michelle Eshkeri, a copywriter and children’s author and I joined Step Up to Success around 3 months ago. My business is called Let Me Write and I’m a sole trader who set up about 6 months before the pandemic lockdown in March 2020.
For the first 6 months I mainly relied on face-to-face networking to find clients, which worked pretty well and when the lockdown came, fortunately the groups I was in transitioned quickly to online networking.
As a result, my business grew very quickly over the summer and autumn of 2020 and I found myself needing to put more focus into planning, process and systems streamlining and looking at my business model more closely to identify the most profitable work.
At this point, I had been visiting Debbie’s Athena groups online and found out about the group that Debbie was setting up to provide support to small businesses.
Who is the group for?
Step Up To Success provides support for small businesses who are run by women entrepreneurs. It provides a safe space for us to discuss everything related to business (and somethings things on the periphery) so we can be more successful and enjoy out businesses more.
The benefits of support for small businesses are huge.
When you work on your own, life can be a bit lonely. You don’t have others around you to bounce ideas off and you don’t have people to pick you up when you’ve had a tough day. That can make life as a self-employed person hard.
Step Up To Success has given me the following benefits:
When you work alone, it’s easy to put things off for another day or to waste too much time not achieving very much at all. The business support group gives you the accountability to get more things done. Each month you can choose to have an accountability buddy who you check in with as much as you both agree, and this helps you to stay on track. When you know you must report progress on your goals to someone else, it gives you much more focus.
- Sounding board
Sometimes you think you’ve had a great idea and later it turns out, it wasn’t so brilliant after all. The Step Up group gives us a safe, non-judgemental space to explore potential new business ideas and do some market research which can save you a lot of heartache and frustration down the line. Recently, I took the hotseat at one of the Mastermind meetings and asked the group about a new product I was thinking of launching. I received valuable feedback and suggestions which has helped me to develop my offer.
The support and encouragement I’m receiving from Debbie’s group makes a big difference to my motivation to succeed and I love the fact that we also celebrate the wins and successes with each other. When you need a pick me up, the group is there for you and when you need to shout about something that’s gone brilliantly, they are cheering you too. Encouragement and support for small businesses can make all the difference to your achievements.
- Target setting and tracking
Each month we choose 3 goals to work on for the month. This is great for giving you short-term focus on task that must get done to be more successful – especially those ones you may have been procrastinating over. Just this past week, I finally stopped talking about moving my email list from Mailchimp and actually did it. That’s a tick off my list for May 😊.
Debbie is providing amazing value for money with this group – mind blowing, actually. Not only do you get multiple brainstorming and mastermind sessions and your accountability buddy each month, but there is also a monthly training session which delivers enormous value. The group is worth the cost of only £24 for this training alone. I will be delivering the training this month on how to write SEO blog posts to drive traffic to your website – better make it a good one!
As far as I can see there are no downsides to joining Step Up to Success. I’ve gained so much – insight, encouragement, knowledge, tips and tricks, friendship, accountability – in short, every support for small businesses you could possibly want – except perhaps someone to make me a cuppa as I set my keyboard on fire writing for my clients 😊.
What do you have to lose?