I have recently passed my first anniversary of being in business so have been reflecting on the last year, its successes and its failures, its highs and lows. From the lowest point last Christmas when my husband suggested I needed to do some more marketing to my highest billing month last month.
Running a business is clearly a life-long learning curve and I am still at the start of that journey yet already I have learned some valuable lessons which I will take forward into the next year and that others in a similar position to me might find useful:
- It is amazing what work is out there when you actively look for it and make yourself available to receive it:
- I have “found” all of my clients by putting myself in the market place.
- Trust your gut instinct, if if doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t going to work for you:
- The client who made me doubt my ability and I just didn’t “gel with” wasted my time and caused me stress.
- Don’t be afraid to turn work away if you have a valid reason for not wanting it:
- I’ve undertaken low grade jobs which have been dull to complete, low in profitability and not progressed into more but at the time I was too afraid to decline.
- Don’t be afraid to ask others for help or guidance and listen to their advice:
- As a marketing “expert” it’s hard to accept business development advice but I can’t know it all.
- Know the going rate for your services, trust in your ability and price yourself accordingly:
- Misinformation at the start and an element of self-doubt led me to under-charge in the early days.
One year on my business has achieved what I set out for it to achieve and I am now looking eagerly to the year ahead. It is now time for me to think longer-term about what I want my business to look like in the future and re-think my strategy to help me get there. It is now time for me to put into practise what I preach!
I would be interested to hear from others who have recently started their own business and find out what they have learned over the first year. Please comment below.
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