The Bordon Hub is a group of small business owners, entrepreneurs, sole traders and freelancers who meet once a week for training, inspiration and collaboration to help them develop and grow their businesses. In this new blog series I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the Bordon Hub members themselves; their backgrounds, their motivations and what inspires them.
Our first ‘member in the spotlight’ is Eloise Ranson, a web designer and developer, and owner of This Is Eloise. Eloise’s business is about the same age as the Bordon Hub, having launched at the beginning of 2018. Below Eloise shares what she loves about running her own business and her life long passion for designing and coding.
Member in the spotlight – This Is Eloise
Q: Tell me a bit about your background before you started your current business.
Eloise Ranson: “At 12 years young, I got into coding. I was on the social network MySpace (the Facebook before Facebook existed), and was able to change my profile with code. I played around for hours and made lots of pretty and creative profile pages, and then moved on to building stand alone websites.
“As a young creative, I took a design route in education, got a degree in digital graphic design and continued coding in my spare time. It was in my last year of college that I realised I could combine my love for design and code and make websites. I worked with a few web agencies after uni but in January 2018 I took the plunge to run my own business.”
Q: What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs (aka business owners) and those who work for someone else?
ER: “I don’t think there’s a difference between entrepreneurs and employees IF you are happy in what you do. But since running my own business I can certainly see a difference between successful people who pursue their dreams and those who are miserable, stuck in a job they hate and living only for the weekend.
“I’ve noticed successful people have a similar mindset. We are brave, tenacious, and push ourselves out of our comfort zone. It’s called this for a reason – being outside it is uncomfortable and awkward. Something not everyone is willing enough to jump out of – but that’s where the gold is, where the opportunities are and learning begins.
“We also have tremendous patience, never giving up or settling for less than we want. Any barriers that come our way, we don’t get defeated. When bad stuff happens, it’s easy for people to think the universe is against them. They use barriers as an excuse to not move forward and get ‘stuck’. Successful people understand that shit happens, and look for solutions instead, because they know there is always a way to change their circumstances.”
Q: What ignited the spark in you to start your business venture, and what to you do?
ER: “I’m extremely lucky to have a life long passion. Designing and coding is something I’ve always done and love to do. I never wanted to do anything else and as soon as I had my first paying client at the age of 16, that was it. I had tasted blood and every job I had since just didn’t compare with the excitement I had for managing my own business.”
Q: Would you say you’re good at innovating in your business, and if so how do you generate new ideas?
ER: “Yes, one of my greatest strengths is that I’m constantly buzzing with ideas. I rarely need to ‘look’ for or struggle to find inspiration. Like most of us, I get my best ideas walking the dog and in the shower. Humans are very good at getting stuck in our own heads and problems so it’s important to give the brain a break and a chance to wonder. You never know what lightbulb moment is hiding in your subconscious.”
Q: What is your favourite aspect of running your own business, and would you recommend it to other people?
ER: “The complete self-management of myself and my business is my favourite part. I get to decide when/where/how I work. I no longer need permission to take holiday, go to the doctors or try out a crazy new business idea.
“However the life of self-employment is not for everyone and I’d only recommend it if you have a passion (or strong enough will to find that passion) because working for yourself is hard, like really hard (in the beginning, you trade your 9-5 for a 24/7)! But entrepreneurship has been glamorised into sipping cocktails on the beach, travelling the world, working only 2 hours a day, so it’s easy for those ‘stuck’ in a job to think entrepreneurship is going to solve all their problems.
“But the beach is just the end goal after years of dedication and hard work. The day-to-day reality is very different. When I went self-employed, it’s because I had a vision of what my days would look like – the admin, the projects, the networking, the marketing etc. It wasn’t the beach I wanted. It was the drive to work on and manage what I love.”
Q: What is the best piece of business advice you have ever been given?
ER: “Knowing the value of what you do and pricing yourself accordingly. So many of us underprice our services or products (particularly in the beginning) out of fear we won’t get sales. But there’s a whole psychology around pricing (comfort in expense for example) and it really just comes down to positioning. Know what you want to charge and position yourself accordingly.”
Q: How do you define success?
ER: “Doing something you love in a way that enables you to live the way you want.”
Q: Tell me about the Bordon Hub, what aspects of it do you find most valuable?
ER: “The hub has enabled me to excel very quickly in my business. The workshops and talks have provided me with invaluable information that has helped me manage, market and grow my business more effectively.”
If you’ve been inspired by Eloise and her business, come along to the Bordon Hub! Our meetings and training help start up entrepreneurs as well as established small businesses put their ideas into practice and become more successful.
Also don’t forget to contact Eloise if you need her services! Here’s how to connect: