Author Archives: Jerry Marshall

Dream Job Destination: Starting Your Own Business

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We’re delighted to welcome a guest blog from Chelsea Lamb. Chelsea Lamb has spent the last eight years honing her tech skills and is the resident tech specialist at Business Pop. Her goal is to demystify some of the technical aspects of business ownership. 

Everyone looks forward to a period of “refresh and recharge” during which we leave our work responsibilities temporarily behind. In fact, according to The British Psychological Association, taking a vacation can improve overall job performance, as well as physical and mental health, which is why savvy employers encourage — even mandate — them. But what if that recharge isn’t enough and that feeling of Monday morning dread is a lingering one?

If you have no complaints about your co-workers or boss or even your career field, there may be another source for your discontent: You may be craving the autonomy that comes with being your own boss or launching a great idea because you see an unmet need in your community. Mind Your Own Business knows that understanding where to start and what resources are available to you can help you leap from the precipice of indecision and finally take the entrepreneurial plunge.

Assess your passions, skills and market demand.

The key ingredient to any career success is enjoying what you do. However, in running a business, there’s more to it than that. Case in point: A good writer might be in high demand in their community, but not have the business and management savvy to run a company. Conversely, the aspiring entrepreneur is aching to run the business side but couldn’t fulfill the need for good content in marketing. Either can be a success by simply filling in the gaps — the writer can partner with the business guru and the entrepreneur should hire a few top writers to get the company started on the “write” foot.

If you are unsure of the need for a service or product in your community, expand your business network to discuss and test your business ideas. You can also use simple online or email surveys to assess the demand for your business idea. Other business owners understand how the community benefits from local businesses, and it is in that spirit that they are usually eager to help budding entrepreneurs. New businesses increase the tax base and revenue, and they help keep job talent in the community. Reducing the need to commute out of town is better for the environment.

Start with your local chamber of commerce and local economic development councils. Then search for entrepreneurial programs that offer support, mentorship, and even classes to help get you started.

Even if businesses compete, the prepared business owner is equipped for that competition. They use it to improve their service to both their customers and their employees. Every company wants to attract top talent and maintain a good reputation — all of which benefit your community.

From market idea to business plan.

Once you’ve assessed your market need, it’s time to create your business plan. During this phase, it’s important to navigate essential financial questions: Can you self-fund your business? Should you? What would you be forfeiting by courting investors? Is a bank loan the best way to go? The business plan will also guide you through a marketing strategy to ensure you will reach your customer base, and set an attractive price point that is sufficient to pay your obligations.

Part of the plan should include having the technology and tools needed to run your business. This is especially true for payroll. You’ll need to learn about small business payroll defined and

what it means to process payroll, from determining the proper payroll classification of each employee to the tax payment deadlines to actually managing employees’ schedules and paying them on time. When you set up an automated payroll system like QuickBooks, you’ll be assured that you’re making required tax payments in a timely fashion, avoiding costly mistakes like missing tax payment and filing deadlines.

Ready, set, leap!

Once the planning, financial, and structural pieces are in place, you are finally ready to launch your entrepreneurial dream. Do it knowing that, by following your dream, you are also becoming a community asset, which is just good business.

Launching your own business or social enterprise is a big leap of faith. That’s where Mind Your Own Business enters the picture. Download the free workbook and templates and join our community today!

Photo by Christian Battaglia on Unsplash

Your church or group can fight unemployment

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Job clubs have limited value when unemployment is high. How can your church or community group create new jobs, at no cost apart from a willing volunteer?

Unemployment can be devastating. It happened to me in the 1980s just after my wife had given up work to have a baby and we’d moved to a new house with an excitingly high mortgage. There was just one week’s notice and no redundancy payment.

Many churches and other community organisations are involved in job clubs. When unemployment is low it’s a great way to help people get back into employment. But what if the jobs are just not there and there are dozens of excellent candidates for every role?

That’s where the free Mind Your Own Business workbook comes in. For individuals without a job, it enables them to create a vacancy exactly tailored to their skills and interests, where they are the only candidate. The workbook helps identify the right business for them and then test whether its viable, before they put any money into it.

The trouble is, going self-employed or setting up a small business can be lonely and requires motivation. Being part of a small group going through the workbook together provides support and encouragement. All it needs is one person to facilitate a regular gathering (Zoom or in person where allowed) to discuss each section of the workbook or each podcast and to take the suggested actions.

Could you or someone from your church or community group or job club give this a go?

When I was made redundant I was offered a job, but I turned it down. This was mainly because God told me to. Not that I was very happy about this at the time. But also being dependent on one employer seemed too risky; instead I became self-employed, spreading my work across many employers. Thirty years and five businesses later I have helped create hundreds of jobs and no longer need to work. But I enjoyed creating the Mind Your Own Business resource back in January and it feels as though post Covid its time has come.

The workbook and other resources are available here:

Reflections on faith and business

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Does faith have a role to play in entrepreneurship? Here are a couple of articles that might be of interest.

A recent piece in Faith in Business Quarterly (2020 Q3) can be downloaded here. It is on the place of business in areas of conflict, focusing on Transcend in Palestine.

An older piece in the Journal of Rural Theology was entitled “Is rural enterprise any of God’s business?” and can be downloaded here. Don’t be put of the rural label – it applies to urban as well!

Covid Support Summary

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We keep adding useful links to the resources and links pages. One recently added is a useful round up of Government support, which can be found here: .

Now a 13 Part Radio Series!

“Mind your own business” has been made into a 13 part series on Trans World Radio UK, starting on Sunday 5 April at 7pm (also Saturdays at 7am and available afterwards as a podcast here). Each half hour programme includes interviews with different entrepreneurs.

The series starts with two introductory programmes and then covers the core Workbook material. The series comes from a Christian perspective but is designed for those with any or no faith. Click here to order or download the workbook.

Jerry will also host several webinars during the series for local aspiring entrepreneurs. Details will be sent to those downloading the workbook.

New business start up workbook now available!

The award winning Germinate Enterprise material published by Germinate: The Arthur Rank Centre, originally for a rural context, has been completely rewritten, updated, extended and published as “Mind your own business” .

This brand new programme provides a practical step by step guide to setting up a small business or social enterprise. The workbook is written by entrepreneurs who have set up a variety of small yet successful businesses.

The programme helps you choose the right business for you to start; and then helps you work out whether your business ideas is viable.

Part 1 provides background and encouragement. Part 2 is the core business start up material, a series of 10 double page spreads with information, areas for discussion, action points and case studies. Part 3 covers vital information on the early stages of running a businesses, including how to set up a website; more information on sales and marketing; crowd funding and crowd sourcing; compliance; exporting and how to sell your business.

No previous experience is required. The workbook is written in a straightforward way for a wide variety of contexts, urban and rural, UK and beyond.

As well as the workbook, there is a business plan template and a cash flow template. Download all the materials free of charge.

The workbook and other resources are available here.

Find Us

Contact us at:

Mind Your Own Business, Bankside, Sandy Lane, Weaverham, Cheshire, CW8 3PX  UK