As a local business owner, I know there are many lessons learned when setting up your own business. I set up The Little Marketing Company back in 2018. I support small business owners with their marketing and assist them with the fundamentals of how marketing can really promote their business, identifying lessons to be learned and supporting clients in making the relevant changes to turn their businesses into successes.
There have been many lessons learned along the way, so I thought it might be beneficial to new business owners and start-ups to have a read.
1. Many hats
As a business owner and a mum I wear many hats. You will have to learn to juggle too. I’ve found it difficult juggling everything, being a mum, step mum, wife, sister, daughter and granddaughter, and finding time for just me and catching up with friends, as well as working within the business doing sales, accounts, admin, marketing and HR – and that’s without serving my customers. I’m sure I’ve missed something.
You may have lots of time at the start of your business journey. As a result you may feel like you need to do everything to save money. However, do consider using an expert, whether that’s an accountant, IT support, HR person, or virtual assistant. They have specialist knowledge and will do the job quicker because they know what they are doing. In the meantime, you can spend time on something else that only you can do.
2. Systems and Processes
DO NOT wait to set these up. At the beginning of your business journey, you have loads of time and feel like you are waiting for customers. So take this time to think about your processes and consider automating them as much as possible. For example, you could use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to capture your leads and customer details. When you get busy with customers you won’t have the time to think about this and you’ll wish you’d done it earlier when you had the time.
3. Importance of networking
It is crucial to meet lots of people, make connections, and build relationships. Most business is generated through word of mouth. So build a network of people and businesses. Go out and speak to as many people as possible, whether they are interested in what your business offers or not. If they are not interested right now, they might be later, or they might know someone who is.
4. Planning is crucial
Do not underestimate the importance of planning. Plan, Plan, Plan. Write a marketing plan. If you don’t have a marketing plan, you risk wasting two vital resources as a small business owner: time and money. It really does pay to be prepared. Planning helps a business identify its goals and keeps you on track. I recommend planning your next 12 months as an outline, then break this down into quarters. Then break that down into months and then weeks and days. I have found this really helps me keep focused on my long-term goals.
5. Surround yourself with support
It is imperative that you surround yourself with the support of family and friends, neighbours and acquaintances. The more supported you feel, the better your business will do. Running your own business can be lonely, so it’s important to have people around you who can support you.
Do you own your own business? Can you relate to any of the lessons above? Perhaps you would like to share some of your own business lessons learned. We would love to know what you think.
Words by The Little Marketing Company