Owning a Business as a Student?!

I was recently reached out to by another blogger who was doing a piece on student owned businesses. of course, I jumped at the opportunity but my answers had to be cut down a little bit. Be sure to check out the post here! However, I still wanted to share my full answers so here they are!

My name is Hannah and I started my own business, called Hannah’s Lips UK, while I was studying Medicine at University College London.

1. What is your business about? 
I am a UK Independent Distributor of SheerSense, the UK equivalent of the fast-growing US company Senegence. I sell many different make-up, skincare and coming soon, hair care. Our products are all long-lasting and animal cruelty free. I mainly focus on our premiere product, LipSense. I fell in love with it as soon as I tried it and that’s why I signed up to sell. It’s such an incredible product, lasting from 4 to 18 hours. It’s also vegan, gluten free, lead free, wax free and actually benefits our lips. It’s the best lip colour I’ve ever worn because it’s waterproof, smudge proof and of course, kiss proof. Who wouldn’t become quickly addicted?

2. How did you decide to start a business while studying?
I started my business almost a year after being first introduced to the company. I was first interested in joining the company in December 2016 but unfortunately, I was told that it wasn't a possibility. Fast forward 5 months and I reached out again and after asking millions just a few questions, I finally took the plunge and joined! I have so far loved every second and never looked back!

When I first thought about joining, I was at a cross road in life. I was unsure what I wanted in life, I didn't know where my path was heading and I wasn't excited for the future anymore. Honestly, I was at a stage in my life where I had lost all passion for the course I was studying and I was finding it tremendously difficult to continue. I wanted to do something I was passionate about that didn't put me in too much risk and leave me in a tricky position.

I already had a personal blog and YouTube channel which I absolutely loved, especially over the previous year. I loved the thought having freedom to focus on those areas whilst earning an income. I just couldn't get over how this company had changed so many people's lives. I could see it was a lot of work but I was hoping for a chance.

I'd honestly been thinking what an amazing opportunity this would be for a  good couple of months and I know what they say...if you've been thinking about it for more than a week, go for it! I really wanted to take the leap! I asked so many people, so many questions and when it was all I thought about for almost 2 weeks straight, I decided to take the leap!

3. What was the biggest challenge?
There are a lot of different products that I sell and at the start especially, it was definitely a steep learning curve. I had to get to know each of the products and understand everything about them. I don’t like to sell something that I don’t believe in myself, so I really wanted to know what the product was, what was in it and why it was useful.

I think it’s really important to educate yourself on what yourself and even more so when it’s something as important as beauty products. Just as important as what you are putting in your body, is what you are putting on your body.

4. What was your first big milestone? 
My first big milestone was probably my first sale. As silly as that sounds, I did a lot of work behind the scenes before launching the business so once I had everything in place, I launched and made my first sale a few days later!

As I’m writing these answers, I’m actually heading off to my first ever training conference. My first ever business trip. I am so unbelievably excited! I can only imagine that it will soon be my biggest milestone. I can’t wait to learn more about the company as a whole and how I can further improve my business. I am sure there will be some changes implemented soon.

5. How did you go about promoting your business and growing your client base?
I run my business mainly through social media. I think it’s really important to have consistent branding and make it recognisable. In a way, the simplest form of that is a business name. I wanted something that was easy to remember but was also available across every platform I wanted, which I checked before finalising.

Instagram is my favourite and there I post every morning. From the start I wanted to post reliably so I came up with a weekly schedule with a different topic for each day.

Having had my own personal blog for over 4 years, I knew that was something I wanted to start for my business as well. I had thought of combining the two but with such a broad topic in both, I decided to separate the two and start my business website.

A twitter account is something I feel people can use to see quick snippets of information and I love how easy it is to follow someone and set up notifications. I like to share my blog posts there, along with exclusive information not found elsewhere. It’s where the more personal side of me is and where I share the big milestones I’ve reached in the business.

The advice from the company is to utilise Facebook to promote your business. I took this on board and made both a Facebook Group and Page.

I found my page is the easiest place to share all the information on the business because of its ease of interface. I have linked all my other social media accounts and online profiles to the page which makes it the main point of contact for new customers.

The group is what I refer to as my VIP customer group. Here, I share not only personal advice and have my main bulk of returning customers, but I also have discounts and deals with purchases. I decided to make it a private group because I wanted to maintain the more exclusive feel.

One social media I don’t utilise enough is Pinterest but I do post all my blog posts and YouTube videos on my boards so I do actually do get a fair amount of traffic from their too despite not investing too much time.
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So everything you ever wanted to know about owning a business as a student! Did you learn anything new?

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