Being an entrepreneur is always a learning curve. As with any profession, there is always more to learn, and it can feel overwhelming, especially at the beginning. Today, I would like to share with you 3 things I learned during my first year of business that changed the way I see my business and how it operates. These are the things I wish I had known before I started. Hope it encourages you!
- It’s not at all wat I expected
Owning a business sounded like a romantic idea at first, but really, it can often feel more like juggling torches. Being a business owner means you have to become a jack of all trades as you learn to manage finances, deal with customers, establish your policies, and stay creative all at the same time. Learn to do these things well, and you will be able to enjoy your business more.
- I was short-changing myself
I hesitated to share this one because I didn’t want it to come across as prideful, but I decided to share it because I really hope this one resonates with you. It’s something I see many entrepreneurs struggle with. As creatives, we can tend to think that our talents are ordinary, and we charge accordingly. As a result, our businesses struggle to become successful and sustainable. If you have a skill, please realize that you have something to offer, and even if others have the same skill, you give your creations a unique flair. Your products are worth selling. Don’t short-change yourself. By doing so, you are doing both yourself and your customers a disservice because it will eventually propel your business into a downward spiral that serves neither your customers or yourself well. Charging adequately for your products is not prideful. In the end, it helps you serve your customers better.
- Plan, Plan, Plan
Business is very much about planning and having a vision. Your business can’t be run haphazardly. If it is, you will feel like a chicken running around with it’s head cut off, and your new business will fail to survive. For a successful business, you have to learn to dream big and plan ahead. Not only do you need to set goals, but you will need to develop new ideas, products, marketing strategies, and more. Use a notebook or a planner to record your long-term and short-term vision for your business, then break that vision down into actionable goals. You may not always meet them the way you envision, but goals give you something to shoot for, and your business will be the better for it in the end.
It is my hope that by sharing the biggest learning curves of my first year in business you will gain a head start in your own business. While it may be impossible to plan for all of the curveballs your business will throw your way, you can be prepared for some common difficulties that every business owner faces early on.