The 4 things I didn’t learn in business
Here are 4 things I didn’t learn from being in business.
When you first start out in business, it’s exciting. It’s also a bit nerve-wracking but you’re happy when getting your first clients or customers to sign up or buy your product. It’s not until you get ‘settled in’ and get further along your journey, that you begin to realise that some of the work you do doesn’t make you much money – but, hey, you are still making money and that’s the point of going into business surely? See our previous blog about starting your own business.
I didn’t learn to say NO!
If someone said to you, ‘stop doing the little jobs that don’t make you much money,’ you would probably be horrified at the thought of turning down business right? But sometimes that’s just what you have to do to make any money. Sounds a bit bizarre, but by working out the products or services that make you the most money for the least effort and time, you will then start to home in on the type of clients you should be working with.
Of course, it’s not always that simple and you might find you enjoy doing some of the smaller, less profitable jobs, but if you really want to make some decent money then you must say ‘no’ to at least some of those things. Which then leads me on to the second thing I didn’t learn…
I didn’t learn how to niche my business and target a particular audience
Think about those jobs/clients that bring in the most revenue for minimum effort and that you enjoy most. That should be your target audience. Learn to speak directly to them. Solve their problems, showcase the products they are looking for, understand their needs and keep in touch with them. Talking to people about the things they want or need is crucial to building a relationship with them so that when they are ready to buy, you are the person that they go to.
I didn’t learn to slow down and take time out
Lastly, I thought I was there to provide a service, and to some extent I was but I didn’t set parameters. I delivered at all hours, evenings and weekends; I was answering emails late into the evenings too!
Let people know your opening and closing time, your delivery options and your terms and conditions. Your customers will email at a time to suit them, that doesn’t mean you have to reply if it doesn’t suit you. Put a polite automatic response on your emails saying you will answer their query between the hours of X and Y, thank them for their patience and respond between X and Y. Don’t be open all hours, don’t answer emails at every hour of the day or night, make it clear what’s involved.
I didn’t learn to stand firm on my pricing policy
Make your pricing clear, what’s included and what’s not and stick to your prices, don’t be bartered down. If you discount your prices once, this customer will expect the same discount or reduction the next time and the time after that. It’s a downward spiral.
In other words, don’t let your business run you. Run your business in a way that makes you money but without running you into the ground. Take time out, you know what they say about ‘all work and no play’. People create businesses for a number of reasons, such as being made redundant, wanting a better life, knowing you can do it better on your own or just wanting to be in control. Don’t let IT be in control otherwise you’ve just bought yourself a job! I hope the 4 things I didn’t learn from being in business will help you on your business journey. Please feel free to contact me and let me know what you have learnt from being in business on firstname.lastname@example.org and if there is anything you can share with our member to help them on their business journey, please get in touch to discuss.