4 Things You Should Know Before Starting A Business
Looking to start a business? There may be some things you may want to know about starting a business before you dive in head first. Starting a business requires a lot of research and time invested into what you are going to do. Once you actually start the business, new and harder challenges await. These challenges can often be overwhelming and eat new business owners alive. Coming from a real business owner, check out some things an owner wish he knew before starting his own business.
Take a look at the article below from Forbes for more information.
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Four Things I Wished I’d Known Before Starting My Own Business
Since starting my own business five years ago, I’ve gone through a lot of “firsts.” Getting hired by my first client. Hosting my first workshop. Hiring my first freelancer. Building my first website. Staring my first business. Launching my first podcast. Creating my first online course. The list goes on.
Going through a lot of things for the first time has convinced me that the shift from working full time in the corporate world to running your own business involves an extremely steep learning curve. I’ve definitely experienced my fair share of eye-opening moments that have taught me four things I wished I’d known sooner to make the ride a bit smoother.
1. Outsourcing Tasks Will Feel Uncomfortable At First
Self-employment, by definition, feels like it should be something you do on your own. After all, that’s the whole point, right? So when I first started my business, I tried to do everything by myself. I know, I know. All sorts of advice is out there about why doing everything on your own is not a good strategy. Still, starting my own business made me a bit more of a control freak, probably because so much was at stake and because I wanted everything to be just right when it came to marketing, pricing, and positioning my services.
Because I was reluctant to let go of the reins of the business I was building, I ended up wasting a lot of time trying to do everything myself. My first business logo was one I created myself using …wait for it…Microsoft Word. I pieced together my first website on WordPress.com using a ready-made template and my very rudimentary HTML skills. Needless to say, I ended up scrapping my site and my logo soon thereafter, but only after investing tons of time creating something that wasn’t even very high quality.
I eventually decided to outsource all tasks that didn’t fall into my core area of expertise or interest. That included web development and design, logo design, music composition for my podcast, animation for short-films, trademark filing, audio production, photo editing, administrative tasks and even document design. While hiring the right talent to help with tasks is an investment of time and money, it frees you up to focus your energies on your actual billable work and growth strategy that moves your business forward.
2. Investing In The Right Tools Supports Growth
When I first started my new business, I wanted to run a low-overhead, low-cost operation, which meant I did my best to avoid any unnecessary expenses, including business expenses. So I did a lot of things manually rather than investing money into paying for administrative tools, software or services that weren’t absolutely critical to my client work.
For example, I initially tracked my finances on an Excel sheet, which quickly became a royal mess when it came to tracking invoices, expenses and income. I also scheduled client meetings the old-fashioned way, simply emailing back and forth to find a mutually agreeable time, which was very time-consuming. I hesitated to pay for an email newsletter provider because I didn’t have many subscribers at first, which resulted in a rather manual rather than automated email process.
Eventually, I bit the bullet and invested in some paid solutions that have been worth every penny. I used QuickBooks Pro to track all my business finances. I used ScheduleOnce to automate my scheduling processes. I signed up for a paid Mailchimp account to automate my email marketing. In some ways, committing to ongoing business expenses created an urgency for me to grow my business to justify that spending.
Committing to ongoing business expenses can feel quite scary, especially when you’re first starting out. However, investing in the right overhead can save you time, lay a strong foundation to support the growth of your business, and also create a more professional operation.
I’ll admit I’m kind of a perfectionist. On the one hand, this has allowed me to maintain high-quality standards with my client work, which has helped my business grow. On the other hand, being a perfectionist also led me to invest way too much time and effort into getting things just right, only to walk away from all that investment later.
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