Starting your own business is exciting and it can be overwhelming. Finding the right training, tools, resources, coaches, and like-minded people to support you on your journey can be difficult. Here are a few ideas to help you build your business and keep your sanity.
PROFESSIONAL VIRTUAL TRAINING
The first stop is online training at Freelance University! Take classes and workshops for a month or sign up for a year. You can refresh or get clear on your niche, path, website, creating client packages, pricing, and everything in between. If you do take any classes, let me know. I’m a Mentor there and I would love to support you in their private online Facebook group. And the link is not an affiliate link!
FIND BUSINESS FRIENDS
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will both motivate and inspire you to make yourself and your business a success. Fill each day with positive energy and with people that you love spending time with, even if it’s just in online groups.
Building a network of these like-minded professionals will give you access to people to bounce your ideas off of, which is so helpful when working on your own, as well as being able to learn from them too.
It can be scary to put yourself out there but networking events are the quickest way to raise your profile in your local area. There are so many business networking events and most will welcome new visitors so prepare a short opener of what you do, take a pocket full of business cards and a smile!
INVEST IN YOURSELF
Personal growth can help us at work but also on a personal level. By taking time for yourself to experience something new or learn a new skill, you are helping stretch your mind, your comfort zone and potentially your client list.
Making a plan of action for the year can sound scary but it’s something that has to be done. Your 12-month plan can be a working document, so you edit as you go or as things change, but without an initial plan and strategy, you won’t be able to figure out what tasks you have to do to get you to your end goals.
TAKE TIME OUT
Life can be busy and stressful which easily wipes our energy. If we’re not careful it can leave us feeling drained and, at worst, depressed and anxious. Take time to slow down and unwind, switch off and recharge. Your business needs you healthy. You need yourself healthy.
Taking time out to reflect on what you have achieved is a fantastic exercise, no matter what stage of business you are in. Have a monthly meeting with yourself to review your website stats, how many inquiries you received, how many new clients you took on, what digital products you sold, how many new social media followers you gained, what e-product had the most downloads, and anything else worth tracking.
When you see your figures and notes written down each month you’ll be able to see how you’re progressing, if you’re hitting any targets, and where you need to focus for next month. Be sure to celebrate all your successes, no matter how big or small the achievement.
Teaming with another business owner for an event or project can be an incredible way to challenge as well as push you. It holds you accountable for your own part of the agreement and you get to be a part of someone else flourishing in their line of work too which will give you such a boost.
KEEP YOUR CLIENTS HAPPY
We all know that customer service is key, but it can be easy to get complacent and expect clients to keep paying each month when really it could end at any time. No matter what other services or products you sell, our clients are our ‘bread and butter money’, they keep us going each month and we should be appreciative that they chose to spend their money with us by keeping every promise we make and sending everything when we say we will.
Send a client a card or small gift for their birthday, perhaps a voucher for their local café you know they like to work in or somewhere they take their children, anything you know they love. A small gesture could cost merely a few pounds but to them makes them feel cared for and that you really value them as a client.
WORK ON YOUR MINDSET
Our mindset is a powerful thing. When we start working alone from home after being used to a busy office of chit chat and phones ringing all day, it can be very isolating. And when our nearest and dearest don’t get what our new business is and are patronizing in their reactions, it can feel disappointing.
Some people just won’t understand what you’re doing and why… and that’s ok! As long as you know where you’re heading and what your business is all about then that’s all that matters.
If you perhaps start working with a client who isn’t a great fit for you and you’re not enjoying the work then keep a handy reminder of why you started your business nearby. You started up to work for yourself, not become an employee again.
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Image ©Elisall at Twenty20
Some ideas curated from Charlotte Wibberley