Olivia Crabtree’s Small Business Handbook is a comprehensive manual designed to support small businesses nationwide, focusing on product-based enterprises like creatives, artisans, Etsy dealers, and entrepreneurs. The manual offers affordable support, masterclasses, one-on-one counseling, and planners tailored to specific topics. Crabtree’s background includes starting a second business while a full-time Ecology, Economics, and Environment student at the University of York, selling handcrafted gifts on Etsy and personalized candles. Despite initial financial struggles, Crabtree’s book provides essential support for small businesses to achieve their goals.
Olivia Crabtree explains how her comprehensive manual is aiding small businesses all throughout the country.
What does your business do?
For product-based enterprises, generally run by creatives, artisans, Etsy dealers, and entrepreneurs, the Small Business Handbook offers affordable but essential support. No of their financial status, I want to help as many individuals as I can because I think every small company should have the chance to achieve their goals with support. I provide a range of masterclasses on certain subjects, such as “The Instagram Content Strategy Masterclass,” which teaches people how to create an Instagram plan that helps them to advance and sell at the same time. If company owners need more help, I also provide one-on-one counseling and coaching. I also provide a selection of planners made specifically for owners of product-based businesses. For instance, each is tailored to a specific topic. Users are guided through the steps necessary for a successful product launch by the Launch Planner.
What is the background of your company?
I had another business before The Small Business Handbook. I discovered I didn’t have enough money to exist while a full-time Ecology, Economics, and Environment student at the University of York. I also worked a part-time job, but the number of hours wasn’t enough to pay the rent on my shared property. As a result, I took the decision to start selling handcrafted presents on Etsy, which later grew to include personalized candles. This business unexpectedly enjoyed great success. I thus gave up college after a few months and returned to it full-time. I didn’t have a real passion for the first business because it was started only for financial gain, and as it developed and demanded more effort, I lost interest.
I gave advise and recommendations to other Etsy merchants because it was so successful in such a short amount of time, and they said that my help had considerably improved their sales. I made the decision to help others by starting an Instagram page with small business advise around 11 p.m. on a Friday. After giving out free advice for about a month, someone recommended that I create an Etsy eBook, which I did. I made more money in the first twenty-four hours following the eBook’s release than I ever had from any other job.
That evening, I made the decision to close my Etsy shop and turn my small business advice page into a business. I had just recently moved in with my financially secure partner in Hull. I started publishing more and more eBooks, and my business was growing at a rate I couldn’t imagine.
The Small company Handbook evolved into a lively community where people felt at ease expressing problems they were having and asking for help. It currently has a combined readership of over 50,000 small company owners on social media. Even though I’ve only been in company for six months, I’m already extremely near the six-figure mark. The beautiful thing about the community I’ve built is that as I’ve grown my own business, others have grown theirs alongside me. I still give my customers and followers a lot in return, including daily social media insights and giveaways, since I appreciate them very much.
Although I am aware that many people now look up to me, I hope they always remember that I previously stood in their position and that they may also succeed in their professional endeavors. With my first firm, I invested the majority of my earnings—which ranged from hundreds to thousands of dollars—in business courses. I am aware that this is completely out of reach for many small businesses, therefore I will always work to offer everyone who needs it aid and guidance at a reasonable price.
How do you spread the word about your company?
My main traffic sources are reels, TikTok, SEO, YouTube, PPC Facebook ads, influencers, referrals, and Pinterest. By posting images of my masterclasses and planners on social media, my fans regularly act as my brand’s advocates.
What kind of progress has your business made with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Because people couldn’t go out and buy presents, more people turned to buying them online, which helped my first business thrive throughout the epidemic. The Small Business Handbook hasn’t been significantly impacted by the epidemic because it was released at the same time that the regulations were relaxed. Since I do everything online, I don’t think any changes would have a big impact; but, if the pandemic were to damage the businesses of my clients, it would also have an impact on mine.
What part of running a business is the most challenging?
There is a lack of time and too much to do! I used to put in absurdly long hours of work, which I do not support, but I have since changed. Even now, I still believe there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done! Recently, I started outsourcing, and it has really helped!
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
I suddenly experienced severe health worries throughout the summer of 2021. Although I’ve never liked the heat or warm weather, the strain together with the combination of the two seemed to send me into a panic attack. I suffered daily panic episodes for three months, which temporarily put a stop to my business. Because I get nervous on Zoom calls, I was unable to offer one-on-one mentorship. Because I was worried or preoccupied by this concern most of the time, I was significantly less productive. I kept self-diagnosing, which kept me from seeking help from a professional for a while, but ultimately I understood it was anxiety. After my treatment with Dr. Kirren, whom I found on Instagram, life and business resumed as usual. I made an appointment with her. I didn’t have any staff at the time, and because I wasn’t working, no work was getting done.
What one thing from the past would you alter if you could?
I would have hired a contractor much earlier. I certainly needed more help since I was stressed and nervous. I feel that if I had asked for help, the ineffective three-month period may have been avoided. I was only motivated to start outsourcing after reading a book that advised me to “invest more money than time.”
What have you accomplished most successfully thus far?
It is challenging to choose one out. Every day, I get Instagram messages and packages in the mail from people whose companies have developed as a result of taking my lessons. If I had to pick just one accomplishment, it would be helping seven small company owners transition to full-time employment in less than a year.
What goals do you have for the following five years?
I would like to keep building a network of proprietors who see The Small Business Handbook as a safe refuge. I hope to sell my book and plans in well-known retailers like Waterstones and Paperchase in the near future when I publish my first book.
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