Nov 4, 2013


1) In 2010 you decided to take the plunge and start your own business with the launch of 
Sally Rhys-Jones Interior Architecture, was this always a dream of yours you wanted  to bring to fruition?

I think I have always been destined to have my own business when I think about it. 
I was that kid selling lemonade outside her house, or doing letterbox drops offering dog walking & gardening services. Then when i was at uni had my own jewellery making business. Working for someone else straight out of university was invaluable experience though; I learnt almost everything I know {despite the 5yr uni degree!} from my boss of 7 years before I went out on my own. 

2) What aspects of building and running your own business have you struggled with and what advice can you share to help overcome them?

Obviously the first big thing is getting clients - my work is all word of mouth! You have to really hang in there, they will come - there will be very quiet periods where you might second guess yourself, then a few weeks later you could be run off your feet!

Also, this might sound obvious but make sure you let people know about your business & what you do. Just because you know the list of the services you offer doesn't mean everyone else does!
 I discovered this when early on a family member engaged someone to do their council submission not realising this was something I did!

OK, here it is, the big, practical one that no one likes to talk about - money! 

I'm not going to sugar coat it & I don't see this talked about very often, but think its really important to remember - when you first start working for yourself you are probably going to take a pay cut, as I said above it takes time to build up your clients & work load! 

You also wont have a regular weekly income - some weeks it could be great, other weeks you may send out no invoices. You need to be prepared for this. Have some savings built up first & make sure you continue to save so that when you may hit a quiet period you can still pay your bills! 

3) In your opinion what are the absolute 5  "Must Do's " you would like to share,  for  women out there wanting to start their own business?

1. Don't just go out there cold turkey - i was doing jobs on the side for people while still working full time, then cut back to 3 days a week with my old job & then went out on my own full time.
 It allowed me to build up some experience & a client base before taking the leap permanently.

2. Back yourself - be confident in yourself or your product

3. Book keeping - speak to an accountant & be organised with your records of income & expenses. It sounds pretty obvious but don't forget to set aside the funds to pay your tax at the end of the year or quarterly - if you work for yourself this is now your job!

4. Keep learning & ask for help! - Don't be to proud to ask people for advice, i am always asking my trades & suppliers questions & learning new things from them. I also try to attend events I'm invited to, as working for yourself can be isolating at times & these functions are great to meet new people in the same field & network. 

5. Have a website! - One of the most important business tools out there, even if you build a simple one yourself to start with that has a few images & your contact information. These days if anyone is looking for anything they search on the web! I have 2 projects featured in the latest Home Beautiful after the editor came across some photos of the on my website!

4) What are the Pros and Cons of running your own business and being your own boss?

Working for yourself is a big responsibility & can be stressful at times.

No maternity leave or paid holiday leave etc

Income may be less when you start out {& don't forget you have to pay your own super etc!}

It can be hard to switch off - i am guilty of checking emails when out to dinner, weekends...the middle of the night....

Pros - 
The best part by far is the flexibility - my husband is a police officer & does shift work so we no longer have a 'weekend'.

I'll work at night or on the weekends and we may head to the beach or out to lunch on a Wednesday! 
I also find I'm more productive at certain times of the day which i use to my advantage - when I'm feeling like I need a break ill go for a run or do other chores. 

I love having the creative freedom working for myself has. I don't stick to one style & each design is different based on the client so its great exploring different finishes & design styles. 
At the end of the day though after all the stress of building, nothing makes me happier than seeing my clients thrilled with their finishes spaces & when they say they have got a better result than they imagined or that they couldn't have done it without you - that is purely why I love my job!

5) On your  " Vision Board"  if you could pin 5 images onto it, what would they be and why?

Dreaming of our trip to france next year & the reminder that I'm going to need to work like Beyonce to save for it!

6) Finish this sentence...In 5 years time I hope to.......

Continue to be working on a steady stream of jobs of different styles & have more & more clients loving their new spaces!  Oh & also maybe on a personal level, have done some more travelling, bought & renovated a house & have a baby :)

Thank you Sally for a great read and for sharing some very invaluable business advice with us, you are an inspiration to all and we truly wish you all the best with the continued success of Sally Rhys Jones Architecture.

If you would like to get in touch with Sally to discuss more about her services please be sure to pop on over to her site Sally Rhys Jones Architecture for more information.

Images courtesy of - Sally Rhys Jones

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