5 years ago I started my new business with no money, no support but plenty of determination. Over the years I've learnt a lot!!! So in this post I'm going to share with you 5 things I know now which I wish I'd known back then.
This post is for you if you're thinking about starting a new venture or if you're a business owner who feels a little lost. Perhaps you're frustrated or losing confidence in yourself or just apprehensive and want to make sure you do it right, in this post I share with you my biggest learnings so you can make the rollercoaster a little less bumpy.
My 5 learnings from starting a new business
Lets dive in and get straight to it. I'm going to start with something simple.
1) Have the ability to edit your own website - Over the last 5 years Refreshed Minds has been through 4 fundamental changes, not to mention countless tweaks to packages, prices, freebies, layout etc. If I'd had to pay every time I wanted amends it would have been so frustrating and very costly. It definitely benefits you to be able to edit your own.
That's not to say you have to design your own website from scratch, although there's lots of simple options now available like Weebly (I use this one) and Wix. But if you're going to pay a web designer to create your website make sure the training so you can edit it is also part of the package.
2) Start with the customer, not the products - At the beginning I spent all the little money I had on building some brilliant packages, a website, a leaflet and paying for stalls to promote my amazing new business. Only to found I'd created packages the customers didn't want.
When I say start with the customer, I don't just mean thinking who your customer might be, I mean really get to know them. You need to be able to talk in their language, solve all their challenges and in a way which they will love. You need to know where they are, what they're doing and what would be the perfect solution for them. Build that product.....not the one you think will be amazing.
3) Prepare Yourself for the Long Game - I can't count the amount of people who think they'll open the doors and people will come. Who go to a couple of networking meetings and get frustrated because they've not been offered any work. You have to work your ass off for 4-6 months consistently in order for your hard work to start paying off. If you're a brand new business make that 6-12 months!!
At the beginning I found this part of business soul destroying, I worked super hard and got nothing back, zip, diddly squat and I started thinking what's the point, I lost my confidence and thought about giving it up.
This 4-6 months window is normal so prepare yourself for the long game, every time you do something new it will take at least that long before you start seeing results.
Which leads me nicely onto learning 4........
4) Have strategies to top up your determination and motivation - Your motivation and determination will need constant nurture and care. You do not have endless amounts of either and the work a new business requires drains them quickly.
At the start you're out of the gate like a racing horse but it only lasts so long (see point 3!) you absolutely need to take care of yourself and top up your good stuff regularly. Even more regularly than when you're in employment because there's just you, only you and without you and your drive, there is no business. Don't expect yourself to have endless energy, motivation and positiveness, these need care and attention to keep them topped up.
With this in mind I've created a little freebie you can download below if you're in need of a motivation and determination top up.
5) Get help, ask, hire, network and talk - I missed the gate on this one. When I started my business I was a one woman, taking over the world, I can do this, watch me kind of business owner. I went to networking and heard from people like the Chamber of Commerce and the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) but thought no I can do this on my own........I was stupid....utterly stupid!! I missed out on loads of support, grants and help.
Support is out there, get yourself in there and don't be too proud to take it.
Equally, you can't do this all on your own. Trust me I tried!!! As a solopreneur you don't have a team to bounce ideas off, you don't have colleague to nip to the canteen so you can download to them. As a business owner those people aren't around you all day so you have to go out there and find them, go networking, find your tribe and support each other, counsel each other. Nobody is an island, you need a support team.
You'll also need expertise from others, you can't be great at everything. This also took me way too long to realise. 4 years in and I finally got myself a coach, priceless!! Absolutely priceless. You can't see your own stuff until someone else points it out. Equally there's lots of things you need in order to run a business and people out there who are experts at them, hire them and if you can't do that talk to them, ask their advice, go to their free webinars. It's worth thinking, how can I best get the expertise I need.
I got exhausted from trying to be everything.........you need a team, go find one!!
Feeling overwhelmed, I have just the thing.
Since topping up your motivation is so important, and something which business owners don't do enough of, I've created a free Rest and Refresh Audio which you can download and listen to. It lasts just 10 minutes so can fit into even the most busy of days.
This audio is a guided meditation with affirmations to unconsciously top up your good stuff and lift your mood. When you're feeling overwhelmed, tired, anxious, stressed.....and all the feelings that a 'busy-life and business' brings, then please take 10-minutes to gain some clarity on the situation and Rest & Refresh with this 10-minute mindset audio.
Click 'grab your freebie' below to access the audio.
Prefer face to face support?
If you're feeling pressured, frustrated and would benefit from a break to find your clarity, my Break Free, Find Clarity monthly mindset event for entrepreneurs would be perfect for you. They bring together like-minded entrepreneurs to work on all things mindset, have honest conversations about running a business and we always starts with a relaxing 10 minutes too. Their just £15 and all the details can be found by clicking below.
That's it for this time, I hope you found those learnings useful and whatever you do don't suffer in silence. If you would like support get in touch.
Until next time