I’ve been running my own business now for 4 years. In various capacities, shapes and forms this business has grown and developed to what it is today. I’ve not ever worked officially a full time job in the traditional sense, so this is what I do for a career -I run my own business. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve learnt a thing or two along the way – sometimes the hard way and sometime through the kind guidance of others but this is what I would like to share with you.
The 5 thing that are good to know when you are thinking of starting your own business.
- Just do it! If you have a dream, an idea or a plan… the first step is starting. The rest just happens in time. You may fall, stumble or even crash at times – but at least you’re moving. You have to just start!
- Communication is everything. The way you communicate with people on all forms of media needs to be timely but also personable. Whether it’s calling, emailing, texting, social media messaging or traditional letters – having a conversation will build relationships and this is how you will get business and maintain business. Discussing issues early, talking about your expectations and generally having a dialogue with people you work with is so important. Communication will help in building relationships. I thought communication so important I included it in the business name!
- Patience is a virtue. When I first started in business, I wanted it all now! I wanted a flashy website, a big sign, amazing clients, sub contractors and to be the business woman at the head of the boardroom. Well… it’s not like that. But that’s not saying that you give up and you won’t one day have all that. You have to put in the effort, put in the work and you may not see an immediate result. Things take a lot longer than you think. Trying to talk to one client may take 2 weeks, getting business cards printed takes 3 weeks, and setting up your own website (in my case largely due to procrastination and an unrealistic pressure to make it perfect) can take 3 years. But you do it! You meet people, you work with people, you get your business cards and you are running your own business. It may just take more time than you initially had thought- but it will happen.
- Shameless self promotion is a must! I know this sounds horrendous and probably the last thing you would want to do as a business owner but this is a skill to be mastered. I don’t mean running around shoving your business card in everyone’s face and standing on the rooftops shouting out your business name. I mean telling everyone who ASKS you what you do, to tell them you run your own business. They can then ask you more- if the conversation leads that way, give them a card, tell them your website address. You need to be talking about your business so that others will too. I drop into conversation where I can what I do – I share with my friends my Twitter, Blogs, Facebook updates – I have a website, blog, twitter, youtube, instagram and facebook page – and you can bet these are on my email signature, business cards, website pages and more. Wherever you have the opportunity to say how to connect with you and that you are running a business- do it! If you’re not talking about you, who will? Be your own marketer, promoter and cheerleader! Go Team You!
- Celebrate the little wins. When you work on your own business, it can feel like a constant uphill battle. Stop sometimes, acknowledge what you’ve achieved and celebrate when you do something well. Set up a Facebook page – have a glass of champagne. Get your business cards printed- buy a cupcake. Land your first client – get a manicure! Whatever it is, enjoy the business rollercoaster!
Running my own business has been an adventure and a journey and will continue to be. I hope you enjoy every moment of it and give it your best – that’s all you can ask!
Written by Lovelly Communciations Director, Emma Lovell