Working from home was essential for Syeda due to family committments, highly qualified she decided to start her own businesses. Content Writing and Jewellery Designing she gives us an insight into her busy schedule.
A little bit about me.
My real name is Syeda Sani-e-Zahra Bukhari. I am from Pakistan, Rawalpindi city. I have completed a homoeopathic diploma D.H.M.S from Karachi as well as completed my MBA (marketing) from Bahria University Karachi Campus.
After my diploma in homoeopathy I wanted to go for homoeopathic practice but due to family reasons I was unable to do so. So I went for my post graduate studies i.e. MBA But the family situation didn’t change and I was unable to go for a daily job routine. Readers might think that I am from conservative family which is absolutely wrong. Actually I have two elder brothers a rheumatologist and a cardiologist who are in UK and USA they are actually bearing all the household expense. Since the day they went abroad, as an eldest daughter I need to perform their responsibilities by taking my parents to routine checkups and helping the youngest sister at the best level.My father is a patient of cholangiocarcinoma and he requires intensive care and as a homoeopath I can do it very well. When I completed my thesis after my MBA, I did it quite well I decided to become a content developer. This suited me as I really needed a home based job. During this content developing business I got an assignment to write a thesis on small business management via social media and that was the time when the idea clicked my mind.
What inspired or motivated you to become involved in fashion?
Well I got the creativity in my genes through my mother. As I am a female whose first love is jewellery, I have always loved to make small bracelets and lockets using beads. I was admired and encouraged by
my family and friends. Some of my friends loved my handmade jewellery items so much that they would always ask for some, I would just gift it to them and this motivated me to make more different, unique designs. I usually reuse the things which are supposed to be thrown away – no-one would think of doing this.
Tell us about a day in the life of a small business owner
The thing I learned in my M.B.A was that no matter whether the business is small scale or large scale the owner needs to be dedicated towards it. Hard work, dedication, innovation are the keys of success in business. My entrepreneurship’s teacher used to say ‘business is just like a baby, a child i.e. yours. If you want to raise your child as a successful person you need to devote your life to the one and same goes for the business. A day is usually an ordinary one. I am helping my mother in home chores as well as acting as a son to my father by going out with him to buy groceries etc and then I make new designs of jewellery accessories as well. My day is really good as my family is really very supportive. I also need to update my Facebook page as well as it is very necessary so that fans don’t forget you.
What are the advantages of working for yourself?
My friends used to say that I have a bossy nature and I wouldn’t be able to take orders from someone else. And they are right.
Advantages for working for myself are:
- Flexible timing
- I know when I have made mistake and as there is nobody else to blame I have to fix it.
- I have learnt time management. As if I need to take my father to a routine checkup I finish my work before that day.
- Obviously I have to meet deadlines in both businesses i.e. as a content developer and as an owner of Passion In Fashion (my handmade jewellery business) and I know how to meet them very well. Thanks to my teachers.
- In my priority list my family comes first and by working for myself I can take care of my family very well especially because I am not the one who is bearing all the expenses as it’s the job of my brothers (rheumatologists in UK and cardiologist in USA). I can give my father his medicines on time.
- Earning money is not bad at all ;)
What has been your greatest challenge so far?
I am having trouble in finding the raw material to make jewellery items and I think it’s just because we are new in this city (Rawalpindi) and we really don’t know about markets. Consumers (girls) usually prefer ‘cash on delivery’ service and currently I am unable to provide so.
What are your greatest achievements?
I started my handmade accessories business in October 2012 and it has been doing well to now. People i.e. consumers mostly recommend the cash on delivery service and I am unable to provide this service. As a content developer I have done great and I am getting a very positive feedback from my clients.
How do you ensure work life balance?
As a content developer: I need my laptop and good internet connection. I usually sit in T.V lounge with my family, doing my work as well as fulfilling my family responsibilities. As a jewellery maker I really need a lot of space where I can really make mess. I do have to clean it up before the visit of any guests and my younger sister really helps me at this moment. Thank God I really have a supportive family.
Who are your customers?
Usually the university and college students.
What advice would you give to someone starting a business?
- Dedication is must.
- If one has a talent/idea then social media is a best platform to start from especially if one doesn’t have enough finance to start a business.
- Business doesn’t mean a furnished, executive office in posh area. Business means dedication and motivation. If you can’t work hard then work smart.
- Planning is not enough until or unless you execute your plan and see how things are working. Don’t built castles in the air.
- If you have developed your business then do help those who are new in this field. I believe that it helps you to learn more.
Name one thing that you could not live without in your business.
- Family support
- Unique ideas/innovation
What is your favourite or most popular product/service?
- In Passion In Fashion (my handmade jewellery accessories) rings and bangles have been admired by the consumers as well as other people.
- In content developing consumers are delighted because of intense research as well as low percentage of plagiarism.
What is your ultimate goal - and has this changed from when you started?
I basically started my business of content developing to get rid of the stress and it helped a lot. I started both businesses for self satisfaction i.e. I am not just a household women watching daily soaps.
Does the internet help you in spreading the word about your business?
Yes indeed. I am getting clients for my content developing via LinkedIn and Facebook. And the other business i.e. Passion In Fashion (handmade jewellery accessories) is totally based on Facebook. I am gaining attention of fans which are turning into my consumers.
How big a role does Social Media play in your business?
It has played a very important role.As I have mentioned, I realized the importance of social media at the time I was working on a research report on social media. Before that I have used social media only for socializing purposes. During research I realized social media is a whole world and as a marketer I should know about this medium very well. I started learning more about social media via blogs and different social media analysts. Then I decided to have an online business. Since that day, whenever I log in to my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter account I learn more about social media. Learning is great. Social Media is a blessing for all people who have great business ideas but are unable to execute their plans due to financial constraint as well as family constraints. Best for young business people, home-makers and any other person who has their own personal reasons for working from home. Even unemployed people can create employment via social media.
“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.” -Rita Mae Brown