I run my own business – Stacey Vee from Content Candy

Today I feature someone whose opinion about running your own business I really value! Stacey runs two of her own businesses (one recently launched), a blog AND a CHARITY! All while being a mother of three and wife. Thanks for this invaluable advice Stacey.

1.  Name

Stacey Vee

2.  Business name and website

Copy Candy t/a Content Candy (www.copycandy.co.za). I also run a charity called iPadsforLionhearts (www.ipadsforlionhearts.co.za), a website called DigiKids (www.digikids.co.za) and my own blog Living Lionheart (www.livinglionheart.co.za)

3.  Brief description of business

My main business is called Content Candy, a Johannesburg-based content studio that works with some of South Africa’s biggest agencies and publishing houses to produce branded content for every platform – from print publications, to social channels, to digital media.

4.  Since when have you run your own business

I started freelancing on the side in 2006, and registered my company in 2009. In November 2010 I quit my job in corporate and went into business for myself full-time. As you can see from this timeline, I spent years building up a solid client base before making the leap.

5.  Why is it better than working for a boss?

It’s not. A lot of new business owners start out believing that you’ll have more flexibility, and can spend more time with family, and that no one will be telling you what to do anymore. The truth is that I have less free time than when I worked for a boss, and in fact, I now have about 20 bosses – my clients!

6.  Thing you enjoy most each day

I love my team – just sharing an office space with them is a treat.

7.  Thing you enjoy least each day

Dealing with the unexpected, like rush-jobs, the occasional client emergency, internal or external disputes – I’ve never been one for conflict, but if you’re going to run your own ship there is no escaping I

8.  Advice for people starting their own business

You need to have enough squirreled away to survive for 12 to 18 months while you get your business off the ground. If you can’t make it by then, have a rethink: is it a viable business, and is running a business really your cup of tea? Only a small percentage of first-time business-owners have the personality for it – and there is no shame in admitting you don’t. It’s not a very glamorous job, no matter how hard the media tries to make entrepreneurship look exciting.

9.  Top three things you have learnt from having your own business

  1. Don’t let your job take centre-stage in your household. This is much harder than it sounds.
  2. It’s not enough to be good at what you do (in my case, producing content for agencies and brands), you also need a firm understanding of business basics i.e. PAYE, VAT, profit ratios, contractual agreements.
  3. Cash flow is everything.
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