These last few months have been very challenging both on a personal and business level. Many small businesses have been affected by COVID and it has and is a constant battle to get back to where we were pre-pandemic; mine is no exception and sadly some of my business colleagues have subsequently wound down their businesses and sought employment. 
Most small businesses do not survive with the first 3-5 years and I can see why. The decision is whether to keep pushing through despite the situation or make harsh decisions about making major changes so that you do not feel as though the business is running you, when in fact you should be in control of the business. 
When I first took the leap to becoming a sole trader and focus solely on my business, I was previously working full time and tutoring part time. I had the advantage of having a consistent monthly income whilst building up my business client base, leaving work in the evening and heading out to tutor. Many of my clients were in London, so the A2 was a regular journey. After a couple of years however, I had the opportunity to focus on the business and grabbed it; my place of work was making staff redundant and I took a leap of faith. I have many years of experience tutoring and mentoring both primary and secondary students; my business has been built on referrals. 
I have tutored many students into grammar schools; Dartford Grammar, Gravesend Grammar, Mayfield Grammar, Chatham House Grammar and Cobham Hall School and Gads Hill, both private schools. In the earlier days of tuition, I successfully tutored a student who went to an international school abroad. I have many successful stories, reports from teachers praising their pupils for showing great improvement and in depth understanding of topics and GSCE grades sometimes jumping two levels above predicted grades. 
Today with increasing inflation and increasing overheads, we have yet another battle to fight- both personal and business- how we absorb these additional costs. It feels as though we are all being battered- seeing who will survive and who will not. These are scary times and we as small businesses are trying to keep our heads above the parapet. 
How we value ourselves reflects how we value our business. I joined a FSB-Federation of Small Business networking meeting where we discussed our value as business owners and the importance of telling our stories as a gateway to developing our businesses in the future- not by telling others what we do but seeing how we can help others achieve their goals and in turn achieve our own. Asking the question, “How do you mean?” Then listening attentively with the intention to resolve their concerns and provide a solution. 
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