Photo by Capture this moment photography
Starting a business is exciting!
Whether you have a service you want to offer, a product you are passionate about or you create beautiful items, you have started with an idea, a dream. Creating your business can be one of the most rewarding journeys you will go on... BUT we all know that running a business isn't always sunshine and roses. The entrepreneurial journey can be a bumpy one, with lots of lessons to be learnt along the way even for the seasoned business owners...
One of LBRs biggest missions is to help local businesses grow so at our recent SocialNet we asked all the business owners to share their knowledge and tell us "One thing they know now that they wish they knew when they first started out" and we are here to share their top tips...
Only you can make it happen...
Quite a few of the business owners said they wished they had believed in themselves and started sooner. If you're reading this with a dream of owning your own business but you're doubting yourself and your ability.... STOP RIGHT NOW. Believe in yourself, believe in your vision and the rest will follow but if you don't bite the bullet you will never know.
"You don't have to reinvent the wheel" Adele Style Coach
Photo by Capture this moment photography
You don't have to reinvent the wheel to be successful...
There's a common misbelief that you have to come up with something ground-breaking, something new and completely different to what's already out there to be successful but this isn't always the case. As people we are all different, we have different ways of doing the same things. Your individuality and your personality will naturally set your business apart from others. If the fact that there's already another business/product/service doing what you want to do is stopping you from taking the leap then shake that out of your head right away...
Don't get hung up on watching your "competitors". It can be easy to get far too focused on what others are up to but all this is achieving is distracting you! Of course it's healthy and natural to wonder what others are doing but don't let them influence what you do, or give them too much of your time. Concentrate on what you are doing, being the best YOU can be and developing in the way that YOU want to.
"Work/life balance, is that not the reason we all decide to be our own boss?"
Work/life balance? Only if you discipline yourself!
Ahh that ever-elusive promise that being your own boss will magically create an amazing work/life balance... Isn't that the reason we all decided to work for ourselves? Whilst it is possible to create a good balance it is most likely that this won’t feel the case and you must prioritise and discipline yourself to get it right! Blocking out "family time" or "you time" will help to stop your business taking over your life. IT IS OK to switch off!
Do have a plan but don't have a plan...
I'm aware that makes no sense at all but hear me out...Obviously having a business plan/goal is important but so is being fluid...Expect curveballs, expect things to change and go with it! Running a business is never linear, sometimes things don't work and you adapt, develop and learn from those things and sometimes you might grow much bigger or more quickly than you expect!
"It's better to say no to some clients than yes to all" Clair Stevenson from Up write
It's ok to say no...
Particularly when you first start out you feel like you can't say no to work but what if you're faced with a prospective client and your gut says "hmm this doesn't feel right"? Then say NO! Working with the wrong people will ultimately result in lost time, lost money and it won't be fun! By sticking with your values and listening to your gut you will naturally repel the wrong people away and attract your ideal clients.
You're not going to be everybody's cup of tea and that's ok!
Let's say you start working with a new client but they don't come back...Instantly you might be thinking "What's wrong with me, what have I done, why don't they like me?" Stop right there.... in the same way that not everybody will be our ideal client, we won't always be everybody's "ideal person for the job" and if we take it personally it can be really damaging for our mental health, we have to just keep doing what we do best which also leads us to...
You can't help everyone.
Particularly in service based industries you may be giving the most amazing service, doing and being the best you can be in your field but you have to remember that when it comes to clients, they have to be willing to do the work and want to make the change. You can't help someone that isn't willing to help themselves. What they do with your advice and knowledge is up to them and if they aren't ready to take it on board that's on them and not you.
"Have the confidence to charge your worth" Katy Davies from Forest Physical Therapy
photograph taken by Capture this moment photography
Don't undersell yourself!
Much like believing in yourself you need to believe in your value! You have most likely worked your butt off to gain the knowledge, the skills, the equipment even, to be in the position you are in to create your business so have the confidence to charge the money that reflects this. Being the cheapest doesn't mean your best, ultimately you will be working harder! (and If someone tells you you're too cheap then you probably are!)
Network and surround yourself with a community of people who understand...
Being a small business owner can be isolating (and even more so at the moment) So surrounding yourself with other like minded people who will have your back, be a shoulder to cry on and give you a kick up the backside when you need it, makes a huge difference. There also aren’t many small business owners who don't get a kick out of supporting another or a buzz when you're able to personally recommend someone. Opening up your network makes you appreciate just how many business owners there are out there, you are not alone! You never know what opportunities or relationships may arise. We've had many beautiful friendships and collaborations formed from networking and supporting each other in a local business community. (Yes this is what we do at LBR, no we didn't pay any one to say this...it's just fact.)
A massive thank you to all the incredible business owners who have shared their knowledge and tips to create this blog in the hope to help other entrepreneurs. Keep being awesome!
Adele Mitchelle-Adele Style Coach
Carolyn Thomas-Freedom yoga and relaxation
Thomas Cullinane-Culli Services
Angharad Wrigley-Hot Tubs Rock
Dave Beddis-DBC Solutions
Liam Pearce-Pearce I.T
Sarah Taylor-Phillips-Career Voyage
Clair Stevenson-Up Write
Rachel Ellison-Strong Mums Lydney
Clair Hoare-Allergy and nutritional therapist
Katy Davies-Forest Physical Therapy
Valerie Barrell-Old Hendre Farm
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