What I wish I knew when I started my business

Have you ever wished your present self could have one of ‘those’ conversations where you pass on valuable knowledge to your younger self? I have several times now, and yet that conversation is yet to happen!!

If your present self can’t have one of those conversations either, I’d best help you both out and let’s have it now.

In the several businesses I have launched over the years, here are some of the business tips I wish I had known or been guided towards.

Business Tip 1: Know and Understand Your ‘Why’

What’s your purpose for starting this business instead of going to work for someone else? Perhaps it’s for family reasons, or you are like me and aren’t a very good employee.

Getting very specific about your ‘why’ will help when things don’t go your way. You may have had a bad experience with a client or lost a contract.

Understanding and knowing your ‘Why’ will help you get back up, dusk yourself off and refocus on what’s important to you.

Constantly remind yourself of your ‘why’. Write it down every day, have a picture of it on your desk, have it on your phone screen saver or where ever you will see it all the time. Don’t just have it as a visual, you need to be writing it down every day. Have it as your computer password, that way you are always typing it out!

Business Tip 2: Get a Good Business Coach.

You have the product or services know-how, but what you may not understand the fundamentals of how a business operates and is pieced together. A business is like a baby, always needing attention in one area or another (and keeping you awake at night!!). A good business coach can help you build a great business from the ground up.

Guiding you in the right direction to set systems in place so you and your business flourish. Having a good business coach is like having your very own cheer squad in your corner, yet they will also make you accountable when you deviate from your goals.

Before you hire a business coach meet with them to make sure you have chemistry. Yes kind of like a first date. You are going to be sharing a lot of sensitive information with them, so make sure you have a connection.

Business Tip 3: Conduct Market Research.

This would have to be (in my opinion) the most boring part of starting a business, but it is an important step that should not be missed.

Conducting market research will give you an idea as to whether or not their is indeed a market for your business idea. Conducting your research can in fact save you a lot of time and money, but can also give you valuable information to help you hone in on a specific niche and have a successful and well received launch.

Market research doesn’t include asking your family what they think of your great business idea.  Instead really think about your ‘ideal customer’ and seek those people out and ask them questions that will guide you in the right direction. Online surveys are one popular way of gathering research.

Business Tip 4: Have a Positive Mindset.

It’s great to have all your family and friends supporting you, but at the end of the day it’s imperative you believe in yourself.

You want your passion, energy and excitement to transfer through to your customers, because if it doesn’t they will sense the lack of confidence and commitment straight away. If it’s missing you could damage your business’ reputation and your chances of having repeat customers.

You need to have the determination and passion to keep going even when you think you want to quit. I’m not going to lie, starting a business is hard. Have faith in yourself and believe you have something unique to offer your customers that other’s cannot.

Business Tip 5: Outsource Time Consuming Tasks.

You know your skill inside out, what you probably haven’t been taught is every little time consuming task you are required to do to start and have your business successful. Nor should you be expected too.

Don’t for a second think that outsourcing is something you shouldn’t do and only the large businesses can do this. That’s utter rubbish.

Your time is valuable, and so is your sanity. For all those things you know you need to get done, but just don’t have the knowledge or time to focus on them – these are the jobs you can outsource to someone who knows how to get it done and fast!!

Outsourcing certain things to a specialist will get the job done right the first time and allow you to focus your precious time on other things like following up leads, marketing your new business or fulfilling an existing order.

Think of it like this: You are a health coach, you have the knowledge to help people in regards to their health and fitness. Computers are not your thing, so don’t waste hours of your precious time looking through google trying to fix your computer. Call on an expert and they could have it fixed in a flash.

Yes you will have a small invoice to pay, but in my eye’s that is so much easier than getting yourself worked up into such a state and you wasted hours of your time.

Now you are a business owner, time is your most precious resource. Treasure it and use it wisely.

——————–

Felicity O’Donohue has a passion for helping small to medium sized business owners. Through social media businesses can boost their brand awareness and grow their followers by building relationships. By nurturing these relationships these followers soon become loyal customers. I’ve never met a business owner who didn’t want more customers!! Find out more about Felicity’s services over on SocialKitty.