Today’s ‘a few minutes with…’ is all about Samantha Hobden from Haynet. Haynet is a fabulous community online created for bloggers.
Tell us about you and your background
I am a half Finnish mum born in the seventies running two businesses, two terriers, a handful of chickens and one huge horse! I have always worked with the public sorting out problems through customer services or promoting companies through marketing and PR. These industries have ranged from the banking sector, hairdressing and medical companies to the car industry. I have also worked in a partnership with a clothing and accessories business. I am now working within the equestrian industry talking all things blogging and social media, which I definitely enjoy the most.
What made you want to start a business?
Having worked for many big companies and sorting out their client’s problems, I knew that I would rather be working for myself utilising these skills and helping smaller businesses. This has now expanded to the rural industry where they are experiencing tough times, so to help with their social media marketing I find hugely rewarding.
How is your business different?
I think because I own and run my own social network it enables me to give my clients and the work I do an extra audience. I would say the experience in running this business over the last few years enables me to use a wider network and encourage them not just to use the basics in social media but help them with content and trying to be just that little bit different.
What makes your product special?
As I don’t sell a product but a service, I would hope that my experience running a social media network would make an extra impact to potential clients needing help. with their social media.
If you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be?
Telling your stories from the stables to the fields!! Sorry that is nine…..
Do you have a motto or ethos?
I cannot emphasise enough to have respect for your clients and work colleagues. Just be nice and friendly. There are times where mistakes are made, so say sorry. Don’t make excuses and own your errors. This builds respect and that goes a long way in business.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?
Well as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and I think that applies to any new business. Give it time, put in plenty of research and thought and go with your gut feeling. It also takes time to gain a reputation and all the hard work you put in when starting will be worth it. However, it just may take some time, so be patient.
One thing that helps you run your business more effectively
As my business is totally online, I would have to say I would be lost without my iPad. I do all my work on a desktop and this is invaluable but my iPad takes over when I am away from home or away from my desk, it continues to work for me. Software wise I am a massive fan of Canva. I am no graphic designer but this piece of software has made my life so much easier. Photoshop made me cry…. So thankfully I discovered Canva before booking on a Photoshop course!
Best thing about running a business?
It is totally flexible and you only answer to yourself. You make the decisions whether they are right or wrong but the buck stops with you. It is also a massive learning curve being responsible for your own income and growing your business. However, it is a great learning curve!
Worst thing about running a business?
Being responsible for your work and this is potentially a tie. You cannot clock off at 5pm and having time off from it can be like organising a military operation. If you work from home like I do, it is not recognised I think as “proper work”. I think perception of working from home is sitting in front of the tv with your iPad watching Phil and Holly!
Top business blog you follow
I suppose it will have to be Andrew William Smith on Facebook. Every now and then you need to take a moment and listen to his video tutorials to make sure you are keeping an eye of the ever changing world of running a business, especially through social media.
Top business book you’ve read
I will side track from a business book and say The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. If you are ever thinking life is not going your way or work is getting you down, please read this book. It will change your outlook completely!
One thing we might not know about you
I love psychic mediumship and all things about it. I have read so many books on the subject and love seeing mediums and have been on workshops too. So make the most of this life before you move on to the next one…
Top business achievement
It has to be Haynet and the recognition and following I have with this now. Someone was talking to me the other day and one sentence from our conversation made me smile and think that running Haynet is all worth it. She was visiting a yard with her work and one of the liveries was telling her how she loved Haynet and had learnt from the blogs and content that was featured on it. She also said what a friendly equestrian place it was online. It may not sound much but it made my day!
Where can people follow you or your business online