Thirty Three.

Moving your business (and family) to a new place.

….This week Frankie Tortora and Steve Folland have a chat in response to a question from Detective Sidney Watson AKA Anonymous. They say:

“So the time has come for us to seriously consider leaving the city we have lived in for almost 15yrs. Both me and my other half are freelancers and we have two children under 3… and two cats that hate us (due to making them share a flat with said toddler and baby).

After our second baby was born, serious discussion of where we can now afford to rent — maybe even buy — have led us to potentially returning to a home nearer family in the countryside.

After establishing strong freelance networks in the city, and having a small children’s entertainment business which is based here, how do you start again? Some of our work can be done remotely but when you are freelance, it’s not just finding a new home/nursery it’s also new clients/networks and that’s scaring us!

Hoping your expert knowledge can help us find a path to our new countryside freelance lives…”

• • • • •

This episode is supported by Nutmeg.

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[Risk warning: Capital at risk. JISA rules apply]

Take note dear listener! We might swear a bit. This one’s for the parents. To be enjoyed at your desk or once the kiddos are in bed.

Here’s what was said in this episode:

Comments on the previous episode:

[00:01:35] – Frankie
Hello, you’re listening to the Doing It For The Kids podcast, where we swear a bit too much and talk a bit too fast about freelance life with kids in the mix. I’m Frankie and this is Steve.

[00:01:45] – Steve
Hello! Yes, each week we take a question from the Doing It For The Kids community, do our best to answer it, and then, of course, we take your comments from the previous week’s episode and feed them into this week’s episode.

Which means, of course, we go back to last week’s episode. Last week’s episode was-,

[00:01:57] – Frankie
Having a financial safety net when you’re sick or you have an accident or something.

[00:02:01] – Steve
Penny Smyth got in touch.

Penny said,

“This was such a brilliant and timely episode for me. We’re in the process of buying a house *pained face* and there’s nothing like a mortgage broker sitting at your kitchen table, grilling you about your money adulting to make you feel about an inch tall.

I loved what Steve was saying about building up the layers of financial responsibility over time to make it feel less overwhelming. This is kind of what I’ve been doing without realising it. And it’s thanks to Doing It For The Kids that it’s happened at all. I already have a private pension, thanks to reading a chat in the community and have also been investigating income protection insurance — again, thanks to following DIFTK threads. The mortgage broker nearly fell off his chair when I told him I was paying into a private pension already! Almost made up for not being able to borrow on my salary due to only having six months worth of books.

I have always been scared of money stuff, but being freelance has forced me to pull my head out of the sand and start slowly, at last being a grown up. Thanks for being part of it, DIFTKRers.”

[00:03:05] – Frankie
Yes, Penny!! I love that message. So good.

[00:03:08] – Steve
I hope the mortgage broker had insurance for falling off chairs. Occupational hazard.

[00:03:13] – Frankie
Laura Mangozzi Marsh says,

“Freelancer listens to podcasts, relates to the version of herself that Frankie described a few years ago, buries head back in sand, hopes to maintain good health until income increases.”

So she wrote that and then I basically said, “I feel your pain”. And then she came back a couple of hours later and continued,

“Update. My husband and I have had a good talk about this and we’re going to look into income protection. Well done, guys. You’ve inspired change.”


[00:03:43] – Steve
I mean, you don’t have to carry us aloft on your shoulders, but if you want to…

[00:03:46] – Frankie
Go for it!

[00:03:49] – Steve
Although, mind your back, because unless you’ve put that income protection in place yet.

[00:03:53] – Frankie
Bend your knees.

[00:03:53] – Steve
And Ross Wintle got in touch, who said,

“Don’t give me such a huge podcast mention while I’m driving. I almost veered off the road.”

[00:04:00] – Frankie
It’s a running theme here.

Our answer to this week's question:

[00:06:51] – Steve
Okay, this week’s question is anonymous. We need a detective name…

If you don’t know the deal, by the way, if you’re going to be anonymous, that’s fine, but we don’t like saying just ‘anonymous’, we’d rather make a name up. We go for the Fantasy Name Generator website and come up with a detective name. So, here goes.

Blake Abbott.

[00:07:11] – Frankie
Strong start.

[00:07:12] – Steve
Bailey Woods.
Reese Byrne.

That sounds like something you could actually get. Oh, that’s a nasty Reese Byrne, is your Reese okay?

Sidney Watson.

[00:07:25] – Frankie

[00:07:27] – Steve
Okay, so this week’s question comes from Sydney Watson, Detective Sydney Watson, who says,

“So the time has come for us to seriously consider leaving the city we have lived in for almost 15 years. Both me and my other half are freelancers and we have two children under three and two cats that hate us due to making them share a flat with said toddler and a baby. After our second baby was born, serious discussion of where we can now afford to rent, maybe even buy, have led us to potentially returning to a home nearer family in the countryside.

After establishing strong freelance networks in the city and having a small children’s entertainment business, which is based here, how do you start again? Some of our work can be done remotely, but when you are freelance, it’s not just finding a new home, a new nursery, it’s also about finding new clients/networks. And that’s scaring us.

Hoping your expert knowledge can help us find a path to our new countryside freelance lives.

Yours, Sydney Watson.”

[00:08:42] – Steve
I mean, the good news is… because for the Being Freelance podcast, I’ve spoken to lots of people who have relocated and their businesses have survived, if not thrived. So it’s definitely doable and they all seem very happy.

I think if you can build a business… If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. It’s true, though! Frank had a point. You can just do it again. You’ve already done it once. You’re a dab hand at this.

However, we need to fill the rest of this episode, so let’s crack on.

[00:09:03] – Frankie
All the things that I can think of are basically teaching Sydney to suck eggs. I mean, there’s the internet, right, all those local Facebook groups. You know what I’m talking about.

[00:09:11] – Steve
So you think, start getting in with the local community before you’ve even moved to the local community?

[00:09:18] – Frankie
Oh, I’m really sorry. That’s the courier picking up the laptop!

*Goes to the door*

Yeah, exactly that. You can get the lay of the land online now, way before you actually go somewhere.

[00:09:28] – Steve
Within groups, not even local groups, but within national groups, you can say, “oh, we’re thinking of moving to blah, anybody else based there?” You might find there are people based there who can already like, “oh, yeah. Let’s have a chat about what’s…”

[00:09:45] – Frankie
Yeah, it’s true. Put a post in the Doing It For The Kids community and see if anyone’s local to you!

Like, as I’ve touched on in a million episodes, we’ve been talking about moving out of London, our city, for ages. One of our big ideas was moving to Leeds for a while. I went to uni there, that’s the connection. Anyway, I learnt loads about the area we were looking to move to, what the schools were like, where the nearest co-working spaces were, all that kind of stuff just from Facebook and Instagram pretty much. But I started following all these people and researching it to the point where certain types of accounts from Leeds were starting to follow me!

It doesn’t take a lot for you to start getting noticed in those communities, is my point.

[00:10:27] – Steve
That’s one point — prep before you go. And then when you get there, it’s all about the people. You’re going to have to start networking again, but remember that school gates…

[00:10:37] – Frankie
This is it. Like, do you even need to network when you have kids and you run an entertainment business for kids?? You’ll be alright.

My mum always said to me, “if you’re going to move out of the city, one of the best times to do that is when you have small children, because you just naturally build a network around yourself through your kids, whether that’s for friendships or business stuff or both”. That’s an opportune time in your life to do that.

[00:11:05] – Steve
One thing I’m just going to float out there. This doesn’t really work for freelance businesses, right, but they’ve mentioned the fact that they have this children’s entertainment business as well. Can you keep it going in the city that you’re in and then just open a new version of it in the new place you go?

[00:11:23] – Frankie
Oh, like a new branch!

[00:11:25] – Steve
Is there somebody who could not buy it off you, but effectively run it for you in the place where you already are? Where you’ve already established a reputation?

So, we have a window cleaner…

[00:11:37] – Frankie
I love how much your window cleaner comes up in the podcast. Do you want to give him a shout out?

[00:11:42] – Steve
No idea what his name is. We just basically do charades through the window each other.

But actually, here’s the point. He was our window cleaner, right? He moved from where we live to Cornwall or Devon. He moved to the other end of the country, but instead of just packing up his business and starting afresh down there, he hired people — or brought on people — to run the business for him at this end. So presumably they take most of the cash and they send a cut down to him.

[00:12:14] – Frankie
Yeah, it’s actually really clever.

[00:12:15] – Steve
As well as setting up a new business, presumably, wherever he went. So, yeah, I think if you’ve already got a successful brand, then it’s worth exploring. I’m sure there’s loads of people who might be interested.

[00:12:26] – Frankie
The idea of you keeping an income back in the city… I like that it would just take the edge off those first few months while you’re establishing yourself as well, even if you don’t want to do it in the longer term.

[00:12:39] – Steve
Another friend of yours might be Google My Business. Yeah, let’s not go off on a massive one about Google My Business. But if you don’t know about Google My Business-,

[00:12:48] – Frankie
Google it! Yeah, I was going to suggest looking at other established businesses in the new area that you’re going to in your wider industry — maybe approaching them about some sort of partnership or collaborating in some way? I mean, people that would complement what you’re doing. So, say you do a lot of birthday parties, someone that does, like, I don’t know… styling or music. Try to work with them, get yourself on their audience’s radar and vice versa.

[00:13:15] – Steve
But that works with freelancers too.

[00:13:16] – Frankie
Yeah, totally.

[00:13:19] – Steve
And we don’t know — because Sydney hasn’t said — we don’t know what Sydney and their other half do as freelancers, but can that not just be more remote? You say some of it can be remote, but why not more of it? Even the people who I work with who are local to me, I still don’t really see them. We all just do it online. They could be on the other side of the world for me really.

[00:13:43] – Frankie
That’s how I work. I met two of my clients at the meetup the other week and I’ve been working with them for, like, three years?? But, yeah, you’re right. Is there a way you can do more of that kind of stuff? But you’re also in a co-working space, right? Like, that’s another means of connecting with local businesses.

[00:13:59] – Steve
That’s something we haven’t mentioned. Yeah, a co-work space.

[00:14:01] – Frankie
Do you feel that helps you build a name for yourself locally, or not so much?

[00:14:06] – Steve
Yeah, I think it does. A co-work space is basically full of other people running businesses. People like to help people, so they’ll be like, “oh, you’re new. I know this person who needs that sort of thing”.

[00:14:17] – Frankie
I know some co-working spaces profile their members as well on their social channels and their blogs and stuff. Yeah, I was in a co-working space. It was amazing. And I still have clients, what, like six years later through that experience!

[00:14:33] – Steve
There you are — get yourself to a co-working space.

[00:14:35] – Frankie
I mean, you could even start your own co-working thing in a local cafe to try and meet people?

[00:14:41] – Steve

[00:14:41] – Frankie
And there’s also… Does it still exist? There was an app called the ‘Kitchin Table’. Yeah, kitchen, but with an I at the end. Like K-I-T-C-H-I-N table. It’s specifically for women. Sorry, Dads, but it’s about like… When it was pitched to me, it was like the Airbnb of coworking. So, you use the app to set up co-working sessions in your own home and then people pay a small fee to come and co-work in your house or your flat.

Oh, I guess… Now, this is old school. But what about flyers? Printed marketing material! Put it up in the local library, get it in the windows of your local cafe on the high street. I mean, you can’t go wrong with that kind of stuff, can you?

[00:15:25] – Steve
Postcard in the post office window?

[00:15:27] – Frankie

[00:15:28] – Steve
Local press?

[00:15:29] – Frankie
Yes, local press. That’s true. PR. Yes. Now we’re talking.

[00:15:33] – Steve
Go off the beaten track from where it is you live. So, like, go for a run, go for a walk with the family around where you live. Often there’s always these sort of, like, businesses and business parks. You’d never go near them because they’re not like the town centre with the shops, but they exist and they’re all full of businesses that potentially you could help with whatever your freelance service is. And so there were some that I would walk past on a regular basis, and I was like, “I wonder what they do?” And I would look them up and the ones that I genuinely thought, “oh, they look like a cool business. How can I help them?” I then wrote an email to and I was like, “I often walk past your offices and blah, blah, blah…”

[00:16:12] – Frankie
So you pitched to them? Nice.

[00:16:14] – Steve
There’s something to be said for still knocking on doors, right?

[00:16:16] – Frankie

[00:16:17] – Steve
Certainly the person who knocks on doors gets remembered.

[00:16:20] – Frankie
Very true. Having said that, I’m also aware that that’s pretty terrifying for lots of people.

[00:16:26] – Steve
Then send the email, do what works for you.

[00:16:28] – Frankie
Yeah. Do the research and send the email. Yeah.

[00:16:31] – Steve
Okay. Do you know what? I’m excited for you.

[00:16:35] – Frankie
I’m a bit jealous.

[00:16:37] – Steve
Okay, if you’ve got a comment, maybe you’ve even done this.

[00:16:40] – Frankie
Yes, I bet loads of people have.

[00:16:42] – Steve
Then let us know. Get in touch, as ever, #DIFTKPodcast. You can get in touch on Instagram, on Twitter, and as ever in the community. This is episode 33, all the threes.

What would your advice be?

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