Let’s not beat around the bush, starting your own business is no easy ride! But I can honestly say, it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.
I genuinely get a thrill every time a child walks away in a pair of well-fitted shoes, and I know their parent is happy and enjoyed the shopping experience. That alone is worth all the effort.
And although it’s not without its challenges, working for myself, choosing when and how to work, has been liberating.
There are many other benefits I hadn’t anticipated, like meeting customers and other business owners, and really feeling part of the community. What you don’t necessarily think about when starting a family or leaving your job, is how much your social situation will change. Making these new connections definitely helped keep me sane. Plus, the job helps keep me fit, yes really! And learning - oh my goodness I have learned so much, skills I never knew I needed!
My motivations to set off along this path will be familiar to many of you. As a mum of young children I wanted to be around to support them through each new experience of the world, but I also knew I needed something for me. I wanted to keep my mind engaged and maintain some independence. I had left the corporate world but continuing to work was important to me - it just had to be on my terms.
You may also recognise the frustrations that led me to focus on children’s shoe fitting. Our local independent shoe shop had closed and the alternatives were poor in comparison. I didn’t enjoy the experience of shoe shopping for my toddler and often left feeling unsure the shoes were really the right choice for her feet. For me, this just wasn’t acceptable, so I started to look at how I could address the problem.
Over the last five years I have learned what works and what doesn’t. I have adapted along the way and put in place the building blocks that enable the business to run smoothly and continue to grow. I have learned about the shoe industry, built relationships with suppliers and gained a huge amount of experience fitting little feet.
Going it alone is not for everyone, particularly if you’ve little experience in the industry, or business in general. Even when fuelled by a sense of purpose, just getting started can seem like a mountain to climb, so perhaps a franchise could be the answer.
This gives you a blueprint of how to structure and run your business, so you’re not starting from scratch. But it’s still your business, there are still plenty of decisions to make and flexibility in the way you work day to day. It’s a proven business model and the infrastructure, such as a website, booking system and inventory management, is all there ready to go. So you can focus your time and energy on growing your customer base and making sales.
In this case, you will also have my support and the benefit of all I have learned. Believe me, I really want you to succeed!
I realised early on how crucial your support network is when you work alone, in whatever form it might take. A CeCe & Me network could bring even more exciting opportunities, both practically in terms of economies of scale, and creatively in terms of collaborating and sharing ideas.
I am absolutely passionate about making children’s shoe fitting a convenient, relaxed and enjoyable experience, and ensuring lots of happy little feet. If you share my passion, let’s have a chat.