5 Things We Wish We Knew Before We Started Our BusinessJan 21, 2022
As Jill and I go into our 3rd year in business (I can't believe The Market Vibe is 3!), it's got us looking back, at not just our wins and successes, but also laughing about all of our pitfalls and mistakes (because they're way funnier after the fact). It's really important to reflect, not just for yourself, but for others as well.
I think it’s really important as business owners to not only share our successes, but really to share our failures or past mistakes, because what those actually do is help people watching, who have maybe not had a business before, or who are going through something similar, avoid the pitfalls that we went through, so you can actually build your business quicker and more effectively . . . and I mean, isn’t that the point?
So this blog is all about sharing things we wished we would have known BEFORE we started our business. Our goal for you is that this helps you avoid some of the mistakes we made, so hopefully, you build your business more quickly and more successful than we did!
The first thing I wish we would have known was about the power of having really good schedules/systems in place. When we first started, we just did the work in our business that we thought was the most important that day. We didn't have any overarching strategy for what we did, we just did what we thought was best. While this may end up working, this is by no means the best way to run a business . . . you need to have a plan.
At the beginning especially, because for most business owners, us included, we had to build our business WHILE we had jobs during the day. This means that you've got to be REALLY productive with the time that you do have to work in your business. Knowing this, you want to prioritize the things that will help your business move forward as quickly as possible especially in the beginning. Things like:
- increasing sales
- gaining more leads
- increasing brand awareness
Also, make sure you have a strategy for the content that you're creating for your audience. Create a marketing/social media calendar that highlights the content for that week, the product/service you're marketing, and what your goal is for your audience by the end of that week. This will make sure that your content is always laser-focused, which will help your audience that much more!
The second thing I wish I had known was that it's not about doing these big huge deals, or going viral, but it's about small, repeated actions every single day that added up to success in our business. I used to think that if we landed that "one" client, or made that "one" sale, that it would set our business up long-term.
Over time, I learned that it wasn't the big stuff, but rather the daily actions that we put forth every single day that began to rack up success for us. It was the things like:
- posting every day on social media
- blogging weekly
- doing 2 rooms a week on social audio
Our business wasn't going to be successful because we made one huge sale, or got on that "one" podcast, it was going to because we did the small stuff, each and every day that it takes to be successful running a business online.
So we made it a priority to show up, every day, whether we felt like it or not, and trust me, a good portion of the time, we definitely didn't feel like it, but you're not always going to, and the businesses that succeed are the ones that show up consistently where they need to.
The third thing I wished I would have known was to focus on building friends and giving value, NOT selling products and focusing on dollars. I know this sounds crazy to most business owners, but when all we did was focus on how much product we were selling and how much money we were making, it was nearly as much as when we focused on building relationships and giving awesome value.
When we gave great value, clients naturally wanted to work with us, and people wanted to buy our products and services. As we got to know people in the industry, we started to collaborate together in ways that saw us BOTH increase our brand's awareness and businesses. We just had to learn to focus on the right things!
The fourth thing to know is that it will happen in its own time. As much as I tried (I'm a type "A" personality), I couldn't control the outcomes in our business. All I could control was my actions, i.e. whether I showed up and did the things I know I needed to do to be successful. So focus on the things that you know you can control because every minute you spend worrying about the things you can't control is a wasted minute.
The last point is pretty simple and basic, but that's to have fun! I know that in our previous businesses, I wasn't having very much fun because I was too focused on the results we weren't getting, or the fact that I always needed to be busy. But just remember, you're building a business for your future, and it's supposed to be fun! So try to find little reminders or things you can do to make sure you're having fun in your business!
That wraps it up! Those are the 5 main things I wish I'd have known when we started our business! I hope that this was helpful to anyone out there who is a business owner and may find yourself struggling, or a newer business owner who's looking to get started!
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