Starting your own business is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Any piece of business advice or information you can get is absolute gold. People have been there and done that, you don’t need to learn every lesson by yourself. Success can seem like a never ending climb to the top with set backs coming at you left right & centre. Having the tenacity to keep on going takes guts and brains. Here are a few of the things we think have led to our success so far:
- Aim high and be persistent. Determination is everything. You’ll face so many roadblocks as a start up and you have to be able to face and demolish them. If start-ups were easy, everyone would be doing it. They aren’t! But hard work really does pay off.
- Keep up that enthusiasm and excitement. Believe in your business! And believe in yourself and your skills. There is a reason you ventured out on your own. Hold onto that and keep the positive thoughts coming.
- Turn your competition into inspiration. Gaining mentors in the industry can be absolutely invaluable. Everyone was in your position once upon a time and you’ll often find that they’re willing to help. Entrepreneurship can be lonely sometimes. Reach out to people and learn from them rather than viewing competition as the enemy.
- Get a fan base happening. Ask for reviews and referrals all the time. This has helped us grow very quickly! Most people will trust a referral from someone they know over any other form of advertising. It also costs you nothing. Asking for reviews on social media and Google will go a long way to building up your reputation.
- If you’re not on social media, get on it now. Know who your target market is and leverage it. Not social media savvy? Or you’re just too short on time? Get someone who does it for a living to take it off your hands and make the most out of these valuable platforms.
- Network! One of the reasons we love our co-working space is meeting other business people every day. You never know where a new connection could lead. Aside from that, networking is fun!
- Go above and beyond. Customer experience and relationships are too often over looked. We think it’s the most important part of our business. If exceeding expectations means making yourself available on a Sunday afternoon, then do it. Making a client feel like nothing is too big of an ask (within reason of course) and being as available as possible for them is certain to bring you referral after good review after referral.
- Be personable and build relationships. Not just with clients but with partners too. We have a great network of referral partners who trust us with their clients, and who we trust too. It’s a win-win for both parties.
- Outsource. Identify what you’re good at and where your skills might be lacking. Rather than try to learn the ropes of every single facet of business, outsource certain things to people who specialise in these areas. We outsource our social media management to Victoria Walker Social Media who works closely with us to ensure it’s 100% authentic and “us”, whilst taking the writing (eugh), content creation and most importantly, time off our hands.
- Take time to work on your business, not in your business. This is one of the biggest challenges in our experience. You simply can’t grow if you don’t take the time to continually improve your back end. How’s the website looking? The new client procedure? There is literally always something to improve. If you find yourself in a momentary quieter period, take advantage of it. Schedule a couple of blocks a month to focus on yourself rather than your clients for once.
- Have a life. We know too well what it’s like to work over 60 hour weeks, 7 days in a row. Stop doing it! A Sunday off to take your partner out to lunch, watch a movie and catch up on some reading is vital for your sanity, and also the quality of work you’re producing.
- Positive thinking! Anyone who has met us will know how passionate and full of energy we are. Of course we all have days when you question if it’s too hard but the ability to pull yourself out of that and remind yourself why you went into business is so important.
We hope these thoughts help you with your climb to the top, we know ours is still a work in progress! Have you got any lessons for us? We would love to hear about them.