Incredible though it may seem a year has passed since I left the comfort and security of a corporate job to set up my own business. During that time there have been highs and I would be lying if I did not confess that there have been lows too. For all those interested in starting their own business I thought it would be useful to share 5 reflections on lessons learnt.
Business plan. I did not need to create a plan as I was not looking for financial support or have a business partner but felt it would be useful to have something to measure my progress against. I created a short, visual plan which I pull out from time to time to measure my progress against my projected targets and adjust as necessary. I have found it really useful to revisit this regularly and to keep me focused on the back-end of my business.
Trust comes at a price. Coming from a compliance background I am always keen to comply with the various regulations. Registering with the ICO, secure, offline backups, VPN, robust anti-virus and complying with the GDPR regulations all come at a cost which can very easily for some, be batted away…at your peril! In addition to this is the trust that you are executing the clients’ budget correctly and for this a tool called Toggl comes in very useful to track the time spent.
Make it personal. For my business I get the most interesting discussions, leads and clients through building personal relationships. Right at the start I invested in networking and it has really paid off. It is something I enjoy but for those that don’t, I would recommend you find the group(s) you are comfortable with, prepare well and try to learn from others.
Make it work for YOU. On a few occasions I have been drawn into carrying out work that I am capable of doing, but just really hate doing (sounds like maybe I need a VA, LOL!). I have been relatively strong on this and invested in training to make me more confident, given additional effort in completing the task, but also knowing when it is not working and walking away.
Lumpy workflow. I was lucky enough to be very successful at recruiting clients right from week one. However, there have been times when I have been down to a few hours of work a week, which is mainly down to me not being more disciplined at keeping the flow of marketing and networking steady in busy times as well as quiet times. Moving forward I am planning on more discipline on steady promotion to even out my lumpy cashflow.
Hopefully this will help some new starters or those standing on the edge of launching their own, new enterprise.
If you want a sounding board – you know where I am!