It’s no secret I am pretty clueless when it comes to being business savvy. Coming from the creative editorial side of magazines rather than commercial, I’ve always lacked that business side of the brain.
Saying that, this year is a big one in moving forward with the blog. You probably won’t notice much different going on here, but behind the scenes I’m working on streamlining everything into a fully fledged business. I made a lot of changes last year in the lead-up to this (read about how I reduced my work stress levels here) and thought I’d share some thoughts about my experiences (and also ask some amazing women about what they wish they’d known, too) in the hope of helping others who are thinking of setting up on their own.
So that’s my twopence worth…and here are some wise words from some amazing inspiring women on the subject too:
“It took me years to invest in outsourcing and I wish I’d done it sooner rather than struggling to do everything myself. I know, I know, you’re afraid of spending a lot of money, but the truth is, the more time you have to work ‘on’ your business, the more time you have to earn money for your business. If you’re doing everything, chances are, you’re dropping the ball on certain things and even if new business was to come along, you wouldn’t be able to take it on. When I finally invested in people, I started to enjoy a level of freedom I just hadn’t experienced before. In that freedom, I was able to think creatively again.
The more I outsource to people who are experts in the areas that I’m not, the more my business grows. Now, I’m constantly thinking about ways I can expand my team to add people who are passionate about the areas that most impact our bottom line.
Today, my days are guided by how I want to feel and not just feeling a slave to a to-do-list. I carve time for myself to pray, exercise, meditate, listen to podcasts and enjoy a cup of tea in the morning before even thinking about touching my phone. I make time for all of the things that make me feel good and balanced, which then makes me far better at my job.”
“When starting a new business, there’s a load of things I wasn’t aware of, but I would say the main thing for me is time management and how tricky it can be! Once you’re outside of a 9-5 office environment/daily routine and out on your own, time just seems to disappear. I have to be really strict with myself on how I plan my days. I make sure I write an agenda the night before for the day ahead, this helps me stay on track and prioritise. The hours and days fly by so quickly when you’re dealing with all aspects of a business on your own… but it’s totally worth it!”
“Organisation is king. As entrepreneurs and business owners there is no way we would get through the ever growing pile of work to do without first looking ahead at the week. We are endlessly making lists, blocking off time in the calendar for projects and ticking off jobs – otherwise you can end up being very reactive to your environment and suddenly finding you have spent a whole day completing everyday tasks – you will never grow a business this way.”
“Have intention. I don’t think it’s enough to just hope things will happen to you, you really need vision, be flexible, be strong and be relentless. I really believe you make your own luck by working hard at all angles of your business with intention. Not just the service/product you’re offering, I mean the marketing, the brand feel, your systems, photography, and looking after your clients. Sometimes it looks like people get all the luck, but I promise you it’s vision, intent, and graft – it’s not easy, and you need to evolve as necessary. For example, at the moment Lamplighter is being completely restructured and we’re going to be offering a load of new and different services because our market has changed since I founded the business, and to keep on top of our game we need to be open to change too. It’s always a process, go with it and enjoy it!”