When you start your own business, there’s so much to learn and so much to be done. I’ve been working for myself for over 15 years and i still learn something new every week [which i love].
Sometimes people are of the opinion that it’s easy to go out on your own, but it can be very time consuming if you do it right [and of course…I made sure i did everything right]. From business registrations, to finding out what licenses and insurances were needed; business cards, letterheads [and all other sorts of stationary- like magnets and pens]; filing systems, research, legal advice; etc, etc, etc.
Sure, you need to 100% make sure you’re meeting all of your legal and professional requirements, thats very important. However, there are some things i should have focused on more/less and some things i should have taken a different approach on. We all look back and have those couple of things we worried about for no reason.
So, with 15 years of successfully running my own small business, i thought i would quickly share a few things i’ve learnt along the way.
10 things i wish i knew before i started:
- Don’t be afraid to shamelessly network and talk about your new business [You’re going to need to get good at selling yourself!]
- Surround yourself with positive and supportive people [Running your own business can be tough sometimes, you’re going to want to be surrounded with wonderful people to help you through it].
- Organise yourself and your business FROM THE BEGINNING. [There is nothing worse than having no organisation system implemented when work starts to pick up].
- Build relationships
- Don’t take no for an answer [When there’s a will- there’s a way!]
- Alternatively, it’s okay to take a day off sometimes! Working for yourself is a full time [and more!] job, it comes home with you after hours and on weekends… but sometimes you have to take a minute for yourself and for your family. You’re working hard for them, right? BUT you also can’t spend your whole life working and not enjoying yourself. Work-life balance is important!
- It is ok to make mistakes-just learn from them! Don’t beat yourself up over them too much, just fix the issue and make sure the same thing doesn’t occur!
- Save some money before quitting your day job! [Write a budget, make sure you’re going to be okay if you don’t make any profit for 6-12 months].
- Don’t be disheartened if you’re not flat out busy straight away. They say it takes between 2-3 years to build up a successful business.
- Write a business plan. I cannot stress this enough. Make sure your values, motives, marketing etc are all written down and not just up in your head somewhere.
There’s so much to running your own business, most of it you’ll figure out for yourself along the way! Always keep in mind WHY you started out and you’ll do great.
– Fiona Ewen
Proud mother of 2, loving wife & successful small business owner.