2020 certainly hasn’t been the best year! But, one positive thing to come out of all this is more and more people are following their dreams and starting their own business.
Heck, why wouldn’t you want to have the ability to call the shots, the freedom of being your own boss, and the flexibility to schedule more YOU time?
I will tell you now though, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies! Being a biz owner is tough, and more often than not you have to learn the hard way (I know I did). So here’s the advice I wish someone had given me as new business owner.
Stay Focused on Your Niche
This is one of those areas where people often get stuck, especially if you enjoy working in multiple niche groups. However, if you try to cater to everyone your overall marketing and message won’t speak to anyone.
Staying focused on your niche means you can:
- Optimise your products and services
- Focus on organic SEO growth
- Shows you as an expert in your field
If you’ve not quite nailed your niche yet, Google Trends is a great tool to help you identify how stable a particular niche is.
Marketing Should Be A Priority
The internet has given online businesses the ability to reach much larger audiences at a much lower cost. Back in the day, big brands with big budgets could roll in and wipe out all small local businesses in the blink of an eye. Today, digital marketing has levelled out the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete with and even outrank established ones.
If you don’t have the budget for advertising, there are lots of ways to market your business for free (minus your time). Utilise social media platforms, build an email list and start an email campaign, improve your search engine rankings.
If you’re new to SEO, check out my FREE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO SEO to give you a head start in optimising your website.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
In the early stages of a new business, you have to wear many hats, many of which are very uncomfortable. For a lot of people, it’s getting in front of the camera on social media and talking about their service or product. Some people are absolute naturals, but for the majority, filming ourselves talking (especially when you’re trying to sell) feels alien.
Unfortunately, being outside of your comfort zone is something all business owners have to learn to get used to. We all have the same struggles, even if it doesn’t look like it from the outside. As with most things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Get Into the CEO Mindset
Say this out loud… “I am no longer an employee, I am a business owner”. If you’re a service provider, this can be an easy one to forget. You get your first couple of clients and you find yourself slipping back into the old habits of an employee.
Don’t get me wrong, we all want to impress and retain our clients but, you are not their employee, it’s a partnership. They want something from you, just as much as you want something from them! Stop saying “yes” to tasks you don’t want to do, and stop letting people push your boundaries and add stress to your day. Nipping these things in the bud early on makes for better working relationships going forward.
Invest in Yourself
Parting with time and money when you’ve not made any yet, can be tough! When I was first starting out, I toyed with the idea of enrolling in a course for months before actually taking the plunge.
When you finally drop some cash on a course or coach that is going to level you up, you’re making a commitment to yourself. There is tons of research out there that show that the more someone pays for something, the more they value it. This is also true of training and coaching services.
I definitely don’t regret any of the investments I’ve made in myself, I only regret not doing it sooner!
Outsource Sooner Rather Than Later
I know you think you can do it all, but you just end up spreading yourself too thin. The consequence of that is; not seeing your friends and family, low-quality content, never ticking off your to-do list, and ultimately not providing the customer service you are capable of.
I know parting with your hard-earned cash isn’t easy, but the more your business grows, the more help you’re going to need help keeping it together. Surely that’s a good sign, right? No one is going to know your business better than you, but there are people who specialise solely in content writing, social media, marketing, graphic design and basically anything else you can think of! By utilising their skills, you can uplevel your business and achieve your goals much quicker!
If you’re at that point where you need to outsource, I actually wrote a whole post on some of the benefits of outsourcing.
Take Care of Yourself
What good is a successful startup if you destroy yourself in the process? Nothing is as precious as your health, which is why you shouldn’t sacrifice your well-being for the sake of your business.
In fact, what might seem like hard work could ultimately derail your career. Sleepless nights, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, and becoming stressed are all going to have a negative impact on your health.
Learn to switch off the computer, actually take a lunch break, go for a walk, spend time with family and friends. By taking care of yourself and your health, you’ll have more strength to achieve your goals.
Life as a business owner is challenging and definitely full of risks. You will have ups and downs, but getting these few things right from the offset will help set you up for career freedom, and building a successful business you can be proud of.
So, what’s the first thing you’re going to change in your new business?